Traditionally a storyboard is a sequence of drawings, often with dialogue or directions, that is used in filmmaking to visualize and organize a scene before it is filmed. Storyboards are very good for media projects where you need to prepare before you begin filming or creating content, but they can be used for lots of other things. You can essentially use a storyboard for anything where you need to move through a process or a collection of content or information.
Storyboards are great for designing a course or even just a learning activity. They allow you to work through a process step-by-step before your students have to do it. By creating a storyboard, you can see the big picture of your course and how everything connects together… or doesn’t. You ensure you haven’t overlooked potential obstacles as well as potential opportunities. Visualizing how all the pieces of a course or assignment work together can help you communicate it to your students making sure they too know how their learning is connected.
The video below walks through creating a journey map for getting a cup of coffee. Sounds simple, right? Even simple things can have many steps. How many did you think weren’t important to mention, but were actually quite critical to the end goal?
Journey Map from Stanford d.school on Vimeo.
Visible Thinking is a research-based approach to making learning visible so that it can be reflected on and built on. It emphasizes three core practices: thinking routines, the documentation of student thinking and reflective professional practice. It is the difference between teaching skills and teaching students to think creatively and critically. The use of thinking routines encourages the development of habits of observing and analyzing situations and problems. Project Zero developed thinking routines as simple structures that help students work through complex information to make it accessible and then to reflect back on what they have learned.
View the video below for an introduction to Thinking Routines. Then review the tools to find one to begin using in your classes now.
Atomic Learning has created the 12 Days of Learning, a series of articles designed to kick off resolutions to keep learning in the new year. We thought this was a great idea and have decided borrow (shamelessly steal) it and do our own. It’s Day 9 of our series and that means it’s time for digital storytelling.
Digital Storytelling is a way for students to create short stories using digital tools. These stories may include audio, video, images, and/or text. It is a way for students to demonstrate their knowledge about a subject in way other than writing a paper. The process of creating digital stories is often interdisciplinary requiring the use of research, analysis, planning, writing, media and technical skills to convey a story or content knowledge.
Getting started with digital storytelling in your classroom can seem intimidating. Fortunately, there are a lot of resources out there to help. The image below from the University of Houston’s digital storytelling site breaks the process down into steps. Visit their site for all the information on each step and check out the other resources linked below.
Digital Storytelling Resources:
University of Houston Digital Storytelling
How to Design a Digital Media Assignment
Engage – University of Wisconsin, Madison
Media Commons – Penn State
(Click on image for link to video)
Gapminder is a free software tool instructors can use to show data in a visually interactive environment. You can choose from existing data sets. The teacher in the video observes that students interacting with data in a visual format ask better questions and make better connections. Because the tool allows for dynamic animation, it helps students see changing patterns over time in a way that would normally require multiple still graphic displays. This instructor is teaching “year 8” students (upper middle school).
VoiceThread allows you to hold a discussion around images or media that are critical to the content. Using an image on each slide can help focus the discussion. You can also discuss a short video clip. Students can comment using text, voice or webcams which provides options for those with technical issues or anyone uncomfortable speaking online. The addition of audio provides a break from text-based discussions and students can use tone of voice to express emotion or nuance that might not come across in text.
In her online Art Appreciation class, instructor Michelle Pacansky uses a VoiceThread to engage her students in a discussion comparing two paintings on the same subject by two different artists. Students make use of the “doodle” tool to draw on the slide and point out the parts of the painting they are talking about.