Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Search and Rescue - A Digital Speech

video

Our local Canadian Forces Base Anniversary Celebration was this past weekend.

This story is one of about 8 stories from a group of students I worked with this year in a 4th and 5th grade class. I was contacted by a teacher who thought that adding original digital stills and voiceover narration to the speeches her students were writing would add to the experience. Boy, did it ever!

I had the parents of these students tell me what an exciting time their children had creating their "digital speeches".

In this story, the student describes a scene in the Arctic. He didn't have to search creative commons for the photos. His dad was the pilot of the plane and provided the photos from one of his search and rescue missions.

As the student and I were finishing the story, his dad happened to stop by the school. We showed him the story. A very powerful and engaging 2 minutes of listening and watching followed. The look on the dad's face told it all.

Patrick Lowenthal's research on Digital Storytelling in the classroom, on page 252, Chapter 18 of "Story Circle, Digital Storytellling Around the world" supports this "digital speeches" project. Here is what he found:

Amplify Students' Voice

"Perhaps one of the greatest benefits is digital storytelling's ability to reach the many "unheard and unseen students" in our classrooms (Bull and Kajder 2004). Storytelling gives students voice (Burk 2000). However, digital storytelling can give students voice "in ways that are not possible without the technology" (Hofer and Swan 2006: 680) because it can amplify a students voice. Further, it can help give voice to struggling readers and writers. (Bull and Kajder 2004)

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