It’s been awhile since I’ve been live simply because this technology learning is overwhelming and challenging and I find that it is a bit of a time sink – once  I get started on something I move very slowly through it and often without much progress.  This week’s activity was no exception.  I’m a true believer in storytelling and the concept of digital storytelling is not new to me.  Beginning – Middle – End – include components of a good story, you know the drill –  plot, character development, problem, resolution, upload a few images and voila!  Digital story complete.  If only it were that simple.  Sadly, I have not had many opportunities to write stories with a class or teach story writing and only have an idea of the steps necessary to actually write one – never mind create digitally.  So – no time like the present.  Like everything else this school year, it’s time, again, to get out of my comfort zone and start playing.  

I decided to try and tell the story of what is happening in my Social Skills group at school.  Because I am swamped with work these days, I’m trying to be efficient and anything I create here, I want to be able to use at school.  My plan is to share this “digital story” with my group at the start of our next lesson this week and am looking forward to their input and possible changes I may need to make.  To be honest, I am quite uncertain as to the “legalities” of sharing these images on this wordpress site – I imagine that I need parent consent (which I have) to use pictures and videos of my students throughout my learning in this course, but I’m not sure if I need more than that.  If any of you have insight regarding this issue – I’d love to hear from you because posting things online makes me nervous with regards to digital footprints and such.  

I used a program called “Thinglink”.  It was recommended to me by a behaviour consultant from the ministry who works with students on the autism spectrum.  She is someone I highly respect, so took her advice and jumped right in (full 35$ fee and all!).  Much to my dismay, after spending the money, the program is not user friendly and it has taken me quite some time to get anything done.  It had the “sales” features of a great digital storytelling/educational resource and I wanted to have something that I would use often and know well.  I think it will take me a good long time to figure this one out the way I want to know it, but now that I’ve spent the money, I guess I have some motivation.  Mostly I was disappointed because it was not easy to embed the videos that I created to go with the images and the link you have here is void of any video.  My hope is to keep building on it, and it might show up in my “exemplars” assignment if I can figure it out.  From what I can tell so far, I can only add videos from YouTube or other online sources, and cannot add my own.  Again, my fear in publishing any of my students work to YouTube exists and I’m not sure that is the right avenue to getting my videos into the platform.  

I most likely should have used Photo Story (also available on my computer) and worked with that program but I ended up with “Thinglink” so have a look and let me know your thoughts.


4 Comments on Week 7: Activity 1

  1. Kerrie says:

    Hi Nic,
    I tried clicking on the image to open it in a new tab and I don’t know if it is just my computer (some other images wont’ open either) but I am getting an error message. Hopefully Keith might try your link too and be able to provide some feedback. I’ll monitor and look forward to seeing it once its available.

  2. Nicole Stewart says:

    Hi Kerrie,

    Thanks for trying to have a look at it. I checked and it opens for me but that might be because I’m the user for the image in Thinglink. I shared the image with the boys today and they were quite thrilled with it. They liked the comments and agreed that I got it right (apart for Shane – who claims that he finds social thinking easy – um, I’d have to disagree but I promised him I’d change it). I’m still disappointed with the product and feel a bit mad that I spent the money to purchase the rights to use it. It’s not user friendly and easy – something I need! I still want to figure out how to embed video into it as well, so you might end up seeing more of the same as time unfolds. I’ll keep you posted 😉

  3. Sasha says:

    Hi Nic. I can’t open the image either.

  4. Nic says:

    Hmm – I see it on my page. I wonder what settings I need to play with to make it work for everyone else. I’m wondering if it won’t open because it is a web 2.0 tool and if you post it for all to see it goes “viral”. I kept it private because it is images of students in my school and I don’t think I should be posting pics of them for the world to see. Can someone comment on this and let me know if I’m on the right track here. If this tool is indeed web 2.0 for all to see and play with (like YouTube) then it definitely is not a great tool in the context I work in. Sasha – can you please have a look at our SD 22 Moodle block for Kona and go into the book I made to see if it opens there? Thanks for your help!

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