This week’s theme in class seems to be Digital Storytelling, so I wanted to share this anecdote with everyone. Three years ago when our school was first deemed as a “Classrooms for the Future” School, we were introduced to a lot of new technology, including classroom laptops and digital cameras. While attending a seminar of “Digital Storytelling” I was inspired to use the cameras and the program called “Photostory” to have students create a project along the lines of a Digital Story. I worked with our CFF coach to design a relevant lesson where students would find images online that match up to the theme of the project, or go out and take photos themselves. The students then had to construct a 3 minute presentation or “story” with music, narration, add-ons…ect. A rubric was provided for students, and we began the process of creation. I had a week slotted to complete this project, more than enough time I believed! As it turns out, the project took almost 3 weeks!!
From the beginning the lesson was plagued with daily malfunctions. Cameras not working, laptops freezing up, slow network connections, lost files, the program simply not working or allowing students to upload their content….for 12 straight days I got an amazing aerobic workout as I trotted from group to group troubleshooting and fixing problem after problem. In the end, the final products were amazing and the students stated they enjoyed the experience and the lesson. The problem at hand was, losing 12 days of instruction of content….was it worth it? The students were on task, creating a hands-on product and working in cooperation. These are all great attributes to a working classroom. So, in my mind, it was worth it, and after the lesson was over, I “tweeked” the lesson and made tutorial sheets for the students concerning the program. Of course, the most valuable lesson for me after this initial run was, whenever an educator is implementing new tactics and new technology into his/her classroom, patience is a must, and even the best laid plans can go down the drain.