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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Have your students become Digital Storytellers Join the Davis Digital Storytelling Challenge! Showcase the 21st-century learning happening in your classroom! Submit your students' stories by April 15th, 2009, and they could be featured in SchoolArts magazine and the Digital Storytelling Showcase. Go to for more information. Left to right: Auggy editing video footage; Monique creating an image for her digital story; Kirsten Smith with Brittany. SA: What were the major challenges youandyourstudentsfaced? KS: Creating voiceovers was one of the biggest problems we encountered. Many students had to re-record their audio several times because they wrote the story as if turning in a paper in their English class rather than how they actually speak. To help, we went over voice intonation, enunciation, and slowing down. It was helpful for many students to bring a friend with them when they recorded to remind them to speak like themselves. Students also struggled with producing original images for the project. I encouraged them to go out and take photos and/or video to reenact or illustrate a story. I also suggested making drawings if they couldn't get photos or video. SA: Howdidthisexperiencebenefit yourstudents? KS: Students got to see their hard work pay off, and they were able to share it with others. The reflection process in creating their e-Portfolio was extremely beneficial. Students were able to recognize their strengths and weaknesses, and learned what they would change if they had a second opportunity to create a digital story. SA:Howdoesdigitalstorytelling connect to twenty-first-century skills? KS: This challenge covered nearly all of the twenty-first-century skills. As an art educator, I know that students are constantly applying learning and innovation skills, as well as life and career skills, in all art classes. My courses also clearly cover the information, media, and technology skills on a daily basis. As a teacher, you always believe that the subject you teach is the most important for students to learn. Based on the foundation of the twenty-first-century skills, I now feel I have proof that what I teach is of the utmost importance to prepare students for the future! SA: What suggestions do you have for otherteachersconsideringtheDavis DigitalStorytellingChallengein 2008–2009? KS: Stress creativity and effort with your students, as well as the elements and principles of design, especially when discussing unity of text, transitions, and use of space within the video frame. Encourage students to keep transitions to a minimum, so they are not distracting, and be sure to set aside sufficient time to complete the project. This project took us nine weeks, meeting five days a week for forty-five-minute periods. Push students to go the extra distance in obtaining images and video to improve their work. Be sure to have a working critique about ¾ of the way into the editing process, so students can learn from one another and see how to proceed and finish. If you'd like to participate in the 2008–2009DavisDigitalStorytelling Challenge, please visit schoolartsonline.comandclickontheDigitalStorytelling Challenge link. Brian Hutcheson is digital accounts manager for Davis Publications. bhutcheson@ Web liNkS SchoolArts August/September 2008 41

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