Note: This is the 2nd in a series on iPadifying the Writing Workshop.
#1 – AIM FOR ENGAGEMENT
“More milk!” demanded my son, thrusting his hand out from his place on the couch. His words caused my father, gone since October, 2006, to jump from his Lazy-boy recliner to refill the bottle. As the video plays on, showing picture after picture featuring a grandson and his doting grandfather, brilliant white hair growing back after chemo-therapy months before dying, I realize how I miss him.
Telling that story isn’t something I did for a workshop assignment, but to remember, to immortalize a memory hovering at the edge of forgetfulness.
Story isn’t a frill in human life—something we do just for kicks. Story is a vastly powerful tool. By educating ourselves about story, we can use to learn that power in our own lives. (Source: Daniel Pink’s blog, Interview with Jonathan Gottschall, author of The Storytelling Animal)
“Whether it’s something that happened twenty years ago or only yesterday,” said F. Scott Fitzgerald, “I must start with an emotion—one that’s close to me and that I can understand.” As a blogger, making personal connections to other’s writing, I know how true this is. Like us, our students are human beings for whom the art of story is not a workshop act, but an act of life. Whether you read or write, aim for engagement. Start with emotion.
Yet, digital storytelling can be tough a la computer. You have to have a computer with a microphone, know how to mix photos and images together. In fact, the workshop where I crafted that digital story wanted me to learn Final Cut Pro. Now, iPads make the storytelling easier.
iPads can make digital storytelling, as well as digitizing the writing workshop process, incredibly, powerful experiences for students and staff. Just as our students have new digital tools, so do we as their teachers. If stories restore power to us as human beings, iPads make sharing our stories all the easier. Why not take advantage of that as teachers?
iPadify Tip #1: Use iPad video and camera features to tell compelling stories about what you and your students are learning about. Take advantage of apps like 30HandsLearning, Haiku Deck (watch age limits) to create engaging, image-rich slideshows that require students to deeply reflect about their message then add audio narration. It can be as easy as taking a photo of a student’s piece of writing, inserting that image into the 30HandsLearning app, then asking the children to narrate that. Publish the series of student writings and children’s voices as a video on a video-sharing site (e.g. YouTube).
Check out Miguel’s Workshop Materials online at http://mglearns.wikispaces.com
Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure