Take cover, it’s a brainstorm

Time for our next project – digital storytelling! Remember the NETS standards? We used the ones dealing with collaboration and communication previously. Now let’s see what they say about creativity and innovation:

Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
a. apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
b. create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
c. use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
d. identify trends and forecast possibilities.

Digital storytelling is just one of many ways you can incorporate touch on many of these elements. Work with a partner. Choose one of the stories listed below to get an idea of how digital stories can support content learning. Think about how the story connects technology, pedagogy and content knowledge all in one.

Elementary Science – The Water Cycle
High School Math – Geometry: Art and Architecture
High School Language Arts – To Kill a Mockingbird

What stands out?

You have several options for what your digital story might be:

  1. What you did over your spring break.  You know, like the themes of elementary school.
  2. An educational video for use in your subject/grade level.
  3. A video that showcases a personal talent.
  4. A commercial for your major.
  5. A TED talk about something you are passionate about. (What is a TED talk?).
  6. A new video about UGA to replace this one.
  7. Or something else…I have to approve it by Friday March 11th.

Here are some other details about the project:

  • The video should tell a story – not simply instruct.
  • Your story needs a beginning, middle, and end.
  • It can be fiction or non-fiction.
  • You need to identify the age of your audience (within the story or preferably on your Creativity and Innovation webpage).
  • If you are writing fiction you need characters and conflict.
  • If you are writing nonfiction – your readers need to know why they should care about your topic.
  • Regardless of fiction or nonfiction – your reader should learn something.
  • The story will likely be 2-3 minutes long. Nothing bad happens if it’s a little shorter or a bit longer.
  • You can use video or pictures (or both).

If we have enough time, let’s start brainstorming our story ideas now! If you want to be able to create a visual of your brainstorming (although not required at this point), I suggest using the free online tool called Bubbl.  Spend a few minutes getting used to the tool and then begin a brainstorming web for your story ideas. Your web might be a large cluster of different ideas for a story or you might already have an idea so your web is just laying out what you want to include in your story. There are many other brainstorming tools that you can use as well. You might also want to use KidspirationInspirationXmind or Edistorm. Here’s a tutorial for Inspiration and Kidspiration. You can also use old fashioned paper and pencil. If the technology gets in the way of your creativity – don’t use it!


  1. Explore Making Teachers Nerdy to see some of the resources available for digital storytelling. There are all kinds of great tools for lots of things, so click around (I’ll be asking what you found out!).
  2. Decide what you think your story will be about.
  3. Read Friday’s blog post, and work online.  There will be no class Friday, but you are expected to do the work on your own.  When we meet again Monday after Spring Break, we will work more on your digital story project.
  4. Have a safe and fun Spring Break!

Here’s the schedule for the next three weeks:

  • Today: Brainstorm (in class)
  • Friday: Learn about tools (online)
  • Monday-Friday: Spring Break
  • Monday (March 21): Work on project, ask questions (in class)
  • Wednesday (March 23): Finish project (online)
  • Friday (March 25): Project Due, show to class (in class)

Because I’m giving you so much time off to work on this independently, I will not accept late work.

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