I was immediately attracted to this topic and the more I researched it the more I knew this was going to be a tool my students would be able to use not only in class but also out in the field!
I began by looking at the components of what went into creating a digital story. The first video I watched, 7 Elements of Digital Storytelling, showed me what went into a good digital story. The article also explains the ins and outs of digital stories as well.
As early childhood educators we teach our students how to use learning stories to communicate activities and learning that the children have been involved in to the parents. We do it old school. We either use poster board and photos we have had developed at a business that provides this service. Then we create the board; pasting pictures, adding typed or hand written descriptions sharing what the children were involved in as well as what and how they were learning. We end it with where we are going to take the learning to next. This is then posted on the wall in a place where parents come in to try to ensure they see it. The other way these stories are created is through the computer. It is all done on 1 page and it is printed. Then, like the poster board version, it is posted in the centre for parents to hopefully stop and read.
As an instructor I would love to see the students create a digital story of the activities and their own learning. We would then scaffold that practice to creating digital storys of the learning their children in their centres are engaged in.
There are so many different tools out there for them to use. As I researched the different ones I found several I would encourage them to look into. I really liked Smilebox. It is easy to use and there are tutorials on you tube. The students can use photos, pictures, add text or voice as well as music.
Ece’s are always looking for new ways to get the parents’ attention and communicate with them about their children and all they are involved in as well as their development. It is hard to get parents to slow down at the end of the day to read anything on the wall. They just want to get their children and get home. Everyone is tired. With this in mind, as a parent if I was to receive a digital story about my child I would stop everything and watch it. I would then probably share it with all my family and friends. Now that is a lot better then a quick look at the poster on the wall as I am hurrying home to make supper and get everyone ready for bed!