Monday, January 31, 2011

The birth of my digital storytelling passion.

I first learned about Digital Storytelling when I became a Regional ICT Facilitator in the ECE ICT PL Programme for CORE Education back in 2006. I worked with centres across Auckland and Northland looking at ways ICT could enhance teaching and learning in Early Childhood Centres. Each centre chose their own topics of research, and areas of focus ranged from - How can ICT support parent/whānau engagement? to How can literacy be enhanced through ICT? and What impact does ICT have on Oral Language? To see more comprehensive documentation of the ECE ICT PL research, download the full report here

I used digital tools long before starting my facilitation role. As part of my role I enjoy trialling new things in my own time. A great way of doing this was by exploring tools with my own children. My then Mr. 5 and Miss. 2 were avid Digital Storytellers - often taking their own pics and narrating their own stories. It had never occurred to me that these could be shared beyond our immediate family, but to our wider extended whanau, school, early childhood centre and their teachers.

My first 'wow' moment with Digital Storytelling actually occurred in my personal life. Mr. 5 and I went for a walk at a local park, he took photos along the way and then he and I worked using Photo Story 3 to compile the story. In this one instance, I learned what my son learned, he recounted a recent school trip and detailed his knowledge about composting, growing vegetables, plants and his relationships with friends. I sent the story to his teacher, school and family who replied with great enthusiasm. His teacher made links with what they had been doing at school and what he had articulated. My father an avid gardener committed to extending this learning with his grandson and taught him more about gardening and composting. If this impromptu experience could have such an impact on my son, then what are the benefits of Digital Storytelling in Education.

After 4 years, my short answer is: A whole lot! And today as I write this I know without a doubt that I have learned much more than I ever expected, and vouch completely for Digital Storytelling for Education. Watch this space for more posts about my upcoming journey.