Learning with Digital Stories-My Portfolio

This portfolio highlights the work I created for my final graduate course, Learning with Digital Stories, at the University of Colorado Denver. My story begins with hesitation and ends with excitement.

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  1. How and why is it important for you to tell stories?
  2. I have to admit, I did not have the best attitude coming into this course. I wasn't completely sure how a technology course, specifically one about digital storytelling, was going to help me become a better educator. However, it was an online course that allowed me to complete the requirements for an Education and Human Development, Teaching in Diverse Contexts Masters. The online part was the most important considering I had moved from Colorado back to Massachusetts. I chose a theme of teaching diverse learners hoping it would help me relate this course to teaching, which helped make the course seem more valuable. Allowing students to explore a topic they are interested in is always a good idea. Plus, anyone who has ever told a story before knows that to make it good passion need to be present.
  3. Receiving my first course email from our professor, Remi Holden, did not help to ease my concerns, if anything I was beginning to feel worse. I was going to be blogging? Using Twitter? Exploring DS106? What did I get myself into I thought and began to blog about...
  4. I began telling my story with hesitation:
  5. After reading our syllabus over what felt like 100 times, and reviewing our class blog I began grasping the idea that I was going to have to learn by doing, and just jump into the deep end. Twitter helped me realize I wasn't alone in my confusion and I also quickly began to understand that my peers were going to be my best resource.
  6. Once I realized I wasn't the only one overwhelmed I decided it was time to try and create. However, learning how to connect my DS106 works to my storytelling theme took some time.
  7. DS106 Assignment Bank:

  8. My first creation was a visual assignment where I explored what was in my school bag. I realized how this one picture really told the story of my life at that moment. Not only did this assignment tell the story of what was happening at my life during that point it also was the beginning of my journey into digital storytelling. It demonstrates how new I was to the technology we have been using.
  9. I began to realize with the help of our readings that the content of my creations didn't always have to directly relate to teaching. Sometimes the creation itself related to my theme of teaching diverse learners. I began to see that the DS106 Assignment Bank was rich with tools that I could use with my students. During week 4 I chose an assignment I could bring into an elementary school classroom to support different types of learners.
  10. I continued this theme of choosing assignments that I could remix in order to support student learning using different modes of expression.
  11. My story was evolving and I began to see how important it was to share stories. I started realizing how the content of these assignments wasn't the only thing that I could relate to my storytelling theme, but the mechanics of the assignments could also be connected. This realization came with the help of my peers. Reading others stories helped me with my own. I began to discover that sharing stories is a great way for people to connect and help each other. These selected assignments demonstrate how my stories and the connections they had to my focal theme really advanced over the weeks.

  12. Digital Storytelling Critiques:

  13. Looking back to my first story critique I remember feeling unqualified to be critiquing any type of digital story, but the Jason Ohler assessment traits helped guide my analysis. The first two critiques I chose to share below were both assessed using these assessment traits. Throughout the eight weeks I really came to love viewing my peers digital story critiques. I found such great resources from their stories and the stories they were sharing. Once again demonstrating to me the power of sharing stories with others.
  14. My first critique really helped me focus in on my education theme, as did my second critique. Even though the videos were really different from each other both told a strong story that made me reflect on my own storytelling and bringing storytelling into the classroom.
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