In the process of attending the recent 2012 Computer Users in Education (CUE) conference, a number of resources were shared that dealt with digital media production as well as digital storytelling. These resources and those that have come forward from my own experience can provide TRIO programs with some powerful video editing, media resources, and utilities that are either free or very inexpensive. Some of my favorites include:
- Storyboarding: A key element of any media production effort is storyboarding to provide the basic flow and organization of the project. Some sites that have been used by other educators to provide resources in this regard include:
- Video Editing: Probably the most convenient video editing tools available to programs are those that come directly from Apple and Microsoft. For the Mac, iMovie is a very powerful digital video editor. As for Windows, Microsoft offers Windows Movie Maker as a free download and provides the basic elements for teaching students about digital video editing. For the iPad, you might also want to take a look at Action Movie FX.
- Royalty Free Images, Video and Audio: Students not only need to learn the issues of media but also the requirements dealing with plagiarism related to original ownership and copyright. A way to alleviate potential problems is to use resources that are in the public domain. Some resources worth exploring include:
- Story Telling: A good way to get students engaged in digital media production is through digital story telling. Using resources like those listed by the Digital Storytelling Association can make it easy to integrate into your program. In the effort to teach students about digital storytelling, it’s worth having them consider some of the following key components:
- Point of View – Have students consider not only the reason for a story but also why it should be told now and to whom should it be told.
- A Dramatic Question – What is the question or issue that needs to be addressed? To maintain the interest of the person watching or listening to the story, what’s important and will be answered or resolved by the end of the story. For example, In an adventure, will the hero reach the goal? Once the question is answered, the story is over.
- Emotional Content – Did the story engage emotions? Did it invoke sadness, happiness, excitement, etc?
- Adding Voice – Did the student personalize their story by using their own voice. This has other benefits such as ELL instruction, practicing public speaking, etc.
- The Power of a Soundtrack – Selecting one or more soundtracks can help set the mood of the story and influence the impact and feeling related to the event currently being viewed.
- Economy – Ideally students will only shoot just what is necessary to keep the story visually rich while moving forward, with only the minimum of dialogue and number of scenes necessary to envision the larger story
- Pacing –An audience’s interest is sustained by the rhythm of a story. A fast-paced movie with many quick edits and upbeat music can suggest urgency, action, nervousness, exasperation, and excitement. Conversely, a slow pace can suggest contemplation, romanticism, relaxation, or simple pleasures.
We have been asked frequently to have TRIO programs to tell their story. With the ease and ability that this can be done now by students, maybe we can begin to build a library of stories about TRIO and its success. We welcome comments and contributions related to this post.
Source: Monjan, M. “Digital Storytelling 2.0″, 2012 CUE Conference, Palm Springs, CA