Sunday, October 26, 2008

Digital Storytelling in Fourth Grade

Our "Planet Film Fest" was on Friday. Dave and Emily were there in addition to 8 of my students' family members, my principal and learning coordinator. I posted plans and resources that I used to help my students through the process of creating Powerpoints and Photostories on the Global Learner wiki.

This is the second year that I have taught this unit and used digital storytelling as the culminating project. Some thoughts:
  • Last year I had movies, using Moviemaker, as a choice and I found it to be too hard for me to manage so I just didn't make it an option this year. Any suggestions for integrating Moviemaker? It is so difficult to manage multiple groups using two (or more) different pieces of software.
  • I found last year's movies to be a little "thin" on information so I really tried to organize myself better to make expectations clearer. This group's is better, but there are some groups that clearly worked harder than others.
  • I would still like to make the process more streamlined so that projects could be completed quicker. They took about 3 weeks to finish, which seems too long to me. Is it possible for them to do this faster, and still produce quality products? Do I move on to my next unit earlier and do the filmmaking process at a different time in my day, like writing?
  • This is the first time I did a Film Fest and invited teachers and parents. I really enjoyed it and I think that it really put students on the spot (in a good way). They focused better and seemed very proud of the work they had done. Next time, I would like students to run the entire Film Fest on their own, but this time around I didn't feel like I had enough time to prepare them, and this group of students requires more "coaching" (shall we say...) to stay on task.
You can see the final projects here on our class blog. Students would be thrilled to hear your feedback.


Anonymous said...

Interesting to see your perspective on digital storytelling in your fourth grade classroom. We'd love to have you try out a social storytelling platform that is trying to change the way we create, share, and discover stories. Honestly, a lot of teachers are looking to meet their storytelling needs to engage their students, or as learning aids and tools -- I'd love to hear more on how Heekya could meet your needs.

Wesley Robinson said...

Hi Jeff-
Thanks for the suggestion of viewing and commenting on your Planet Film Fest. My class would love to! We have finished up a unit on the Solar System, and my now (hopefully) knowledge students will be able to understand what your students learned about space above. How exactly do we access films? I am having trouble getting to your site:, but perhaps we could see it tomorrow at school. We'll try commenting as a whole class at first, and then perhaps as a center. Great Job! Kate Ibarra and I are also using your class as an inspiration for a WizIq session we're planning in a few days.