SchoolArts Magazine

AUG-SEP 2008

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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All Levels 2008–2009 Davis Digital Storytelling Challenge Showcasing 21st-Century Learning in the Art Classroom Brian Hutcheson W e are excited to announce the 2008– 2009DavisDigital Storytelling Challenge! Last year's challenge produced some wonderful digital stories and the winners can be viewed at davis.digication.com/dscshowcase. Digitalstorytellingistheartof using digital content—still images, video clips, voiceovers, sound effects and music—to create short and compelling narrative movies. As an expressive medium in the art classroom, digital storytelling can be used to integrate subject matter knowledge and skills from many areas of the school curriculum. If you want to demonstrate that your students are learning and applying twentyfirst-century skills, there's no better method than an e-portfolio and a digital story, especially when the portfolio includes documentation of the process, reflection, and assessment. As we begin the second year of the challenge, it might be helpful for other teachers who are considering taking part to gain insight on how last year's winners produced their digital stories. Kirsten Smith, 40 schoolartsonline.com an art teacher of fourteen years from WashingtonTownshipHighSchool in Sewell, New Jersey, gives some insight on what it takes to guide students through this project. SchoolArts: Can you describe your teaching environment and the kind of studentsyouteach? Kirsten Smith: I work in a public high school with a population of about 3,000 students, grades 9–12, in Southern New Jersey. Our school has seven art teachers, and we offer many full-year courses in art. The subjects I teachareDigitalImagingandDesign, Animation I, and Animation II. SA: What motivated you to participateintheDavisDigitalStorytelling Challengewithyourclasses? KS: There were several reasons, the first being I knew this would be a truly meaningful and educational experience for my students. There was also an administrative push across the entire school to incorporate more writing into our curricula. Finally, I wanted to integrate movingimagesintomyDigitalImaging course, and even though I knew this project would require a large chunk of time, the groundwork for the lesson was already supplied on the website. SA: What motivated your students in thisproject? KS: The digital storytelling project was a win-win setup for my students, as there were very few rules and they got to choose their own subject. They also had the freedom to execute the project in the media that suited them best, whether that be still images, video clips, or created images. As usual, grades were also a factor. This big of a project was broken down into many grades. SA: Howhelpfulwastheprovided lesson? KS: The provided lessons and resources were extremely helpful because they allowed me to jump right into the project. I had to do very little research and lesson planning. I used the storytelling exercises in the beginning, which were fun, and the students seemed to enjoy. I also used the storymap and the storyboard for classwork and project planning, which were very beneficial.

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