From Health Professional to Film Producer in One Easy Workshop: Creating Digital Stories
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Session presented on Thursday, July 21, 2016: Digital storytelling is an innovative method of capturing an audience emotionally by telling tales from the heart and soul. It consists of a short, four- to-six minute multi-media presentation which is narrated in the first person. Digital storytelling introduces the storyteller to multiple literacies such as writing, listening, narrating, publishing, presenting, language, acting and communication skills. Various types of multi-media and technological skills are also learned. The digital storytelling project can be used in many different situations to assist the student master the curriculum content. According to Hung, Hwang and Huang (2012) project based learning in a real-world environment makes it easier for the student to learn. In a study done by Ivala, Chigona, Gachago and Condy (2012) findings showed that the use of digital storytelling boosted the level of engagement of the students and led to a higher grasp of the subject content. Gachago, Ivala, Barnes, Gill, Felix-Minnaar and Morkel (2014) argue that increasing access to freely available software encourages the use of digital storytelling in poorly resourced communities. The need for a facilitated digital storytelling workshop arose when the staff of a Health Sciences Faculty decided that a digital storytelling project would capture the experiences of their final year students who were involved in an interdisciplinary collaborative project. This presentation will describe how a group of twelve health science facilitators were introduced to the basic principles of Digital Storytelling, writing skills and multiple technological skills that are needed to produce a digital story. During the course of the six-hour workshop the participants are prepared by first completing a short free writing exercise on a predetermined topic to help stimulate creativity and get the ideas flowing. A post free writing reflective exercise is completed. The participants are then required to write a narrative script of no more than five-hundred words based on the free writing topic using fourteen preselected images. A storyboard is developed with the narrative script being applied to each image with notations for required animations or transmissions. The next step entails putting the digital story together using one of the freely available software programme such as Photostory3. The participants upload their images, record their narration and import their background music. The final step is proudly sharing their stories. The student's digital storytelling project is evaluated according to a rubric which is given to the students at the beginning of the project to guide them. The digital stories are graded with the rubric by the facilitators as well as peer marking by the students. The technology associated with Digital storytelling is intimidating and frightening to the uninitiated. There is a great need to hold a facilitators workshop to allow facilitators to master the technology in order to be able guide the students to produce digital stories that will be remembered.