Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Digital Storytelling

I checked out a few of the links that Candance sent to us but the one I connected with the most was the Mom's brag vlog. This interested me because it is very similar to what I am doing for my digital writing project - a personal blog.

In her blog, Erin Nealy documents her daughters' lives using video (hence the vlog!). This definitely makes the blog more interactive and more interesting to watch. Even though I wasn't too interested in the lives of people I don't know (!!) I can see how it would be great for family and friends.

We also talked in class about how great it is to capture the "firsts" in life. Candance made the video of Oliver's first words - how wonderful to have that on video as opposed to just writing about it! PLUS what a great "gift" for family and friends who are far away and miss some of these moments.

I have enjoyed using my blog as a sort of journal documenting my experience being pregnant. I do however keep in mind some positives/negatives we discussed in class:

- length of the entry: I want to keep a journal of what is going on in my life at this point but I also don't want to "overwrite". I still struggle with how much information I want to a)put on-line and b)send out to friends (not wanting to overwhelm them).

Ex: in the vlog (link above) I watched the "Big News" clip where the parents tell their girls they will be going to a Hannah Montana concert. The idea is cute but the video kind of goes on and on...

- pictures: At this point my personal blog is pretty much pictures of my stomach! I don't want the blog to seem too self-centered (the only other pictures I have put on are the ultrasound pics). Though I find pictures grab my attention more and make me want to read the text that follows.

- having an audience: I enjoy using my personal blog as a journal because 1)I can type much faster and it therefore it is more efficient for me to type than write and 2)I can add pictures (which is harder to do on paper). However, if it were just my personal journal I could ramble on and on...and on...but now that I have an audience I keep the following in mind when writing: what might interest my followers, what I want to remember and what is appropriate. (Ryan didn't love that I put a picture of the pregnancy test on!).

At this point I wouldn't have a lot of moments that I would want to capture w/video but as I said above I can definitely see adding them once our little one is here. That means I might need to invest in some new technology...!!!

Classroom adaptations:
In the past I have had students make a Photostory of their 4th grade year. I haven't tried yet but I am interested to know if Photostory allows you to add video (or if it is strictly pictures).

Challenges to using Photostory: I need to do a lot of the leg work ie taking pictures (throughout the year!), compressing and saving the pictures so students can access them and then teaching how to use Photostory (this is actually the easiest part).

It would be fun to incorporate video into the digital recap of the year but that means 1)remembering to take videos during the year and 2)finding recording devices that I - and possibly the students - can use.


  1. I think you'll just get a "feel" for your personal blog as you keep writing. And I think friends and family probably can't get enough of the details of your pregnancy (and eventually your baby's everyday moments)! I think the coolest thing about blogging is that you can go back months later, even years later, and those moments will feel both fresh and nostalgic at the same time. It's a little time capsule of your life :)

  2. It wasn't until the triplets hit fourth grade that I realized I had better do the end of the year CD for my students. M. couldn't be the only sib without one! I'm actually fairly good at taking photos or getting parents to do so, but I wondered why it was my chore at the end of the year with tests and grades and report cards and late work and all, to spend hours putting together a photo essay. If I were to have a classroom again, I would want to come up with a format that put some of the responsibility on the children. Think what stories they could tell with a voice thread , or even getting small groups to work on each field trip and other photo ops to 'tell' the story of the event. IF our computers were upgraded so that they didn't take all day to load, would it be possible for students to learn and utilize 21st century skills?