What a perfect example of one application, that can be utilized in the classroom, of our “Web 2.0” world: Digital Storytelling. As this site outlines, digital storytelling can come in a variety of formats, and is a natural evolution to more traditional approaches to creating and sharing a story. What better way to get students involved in creating a story, when you can offer them such variety through New Media?
For example: you are an English 9 teacher whose class is studying Animal Farm by George Orwell. Not only can you offer your students a digital format of the book, as opposed to worrying about hard copies going missing, but the web also opens up a great deal of possibilities as far as assignments and projects are concerned.
Maybe they create a video that takes place several years after the events of the story? Not only would students have to utilize video technology and software such as Windows Movie Maker, but they could go on to post their finished product to such video hosting websites as Flickr, Vimeo, or YouTube.
How about using StoryJumper to have students re-tell Orwell’s story in the format of a children’s book?
Those are only three suggestions of ways that digital storytelling could be utilized, using a concrete example. While they all fall under the term of digital storytelling, notice how different those three choices are? Each of those will produce a unique finished product that not only can be shared within the classroom, but all over the world. These kinds of assignments/projects are also not limited to just the language arts, but could be easily adapted to other subjects such as math and science.
Shifting my attention to StoryJumper specifically, I have to say this is a fantastic website for educators and students alike. I was blown away with all the options at my disposal to create a story from scratch, not to mention the many helpful templates included on the site. Don’t understand how the site works? Watch one of their tutorial videos and learn how to make your own story in moments! Even without using any tutorials, I was able to figure how to use the site and create a biography with great ease; yet another classroom activity that could be employed by a teacher.