Monday, April 20, 2009

"In a Flash" Digital Stories

This short digital story was my first attempt at the "In a Flash" format I discovered in the BBC Capture Wales digital storytelling guide. The idea is to use one photo - and take one photo of it in the narrator's hand and one photo of them holding it and looking at the camera.

I tried this out as a model for groups of Japanese study tour students with a pre-intermediate level of English. The idea was that they would use this to develop their own digital "In a flash" story based on a special event, experience, person, place or object.

The time I spent with each group varied, but on average I had about 4 one and a half hour sessions with them (6 hours), in addition to the final screening (1.5 hours). The software we used was Photostory 3 (free Microsoft movie making software). Photostory 3 doesn't have the same scope as Movie Maker, but for simple, short-term enterprises, it is easier to use.

Some examples of student work will be posted here if and when permission is granted.


Anonymous said...

It's a nice idea, and certainly would make the language memorable and personalised. I'd be interested to know how you managed to push their language and make sure they are learning something new for that whole 6 hour period. Do you use worksheets with suggested language, correc their scripts individually etc?

kirsty said...

Hi there Japanexplained,

Thank you for your comments and questions. I will set out the basic steps I usually take here, so you can see how we work with language.

1. I start by showing them the photo itself (in this case the one of my wedding) and asking them to predict the following information: Who is in the photo? Where and when was it taken? What was happening before, during and after the photo? Why is it special?

2. We watch the story a couple of times - using the above prompts for listening comprehension.

3. Depending on the size of the group - we then form a circle as a class or in smaller groups. The students then take turns talking about their special photo using the above questions as a guide and responding to the further questions of the group.

4. I give the students a copy of my script as a model and then they write their own. I collect this and give them feedback - usually using a correction code so they can edit their own work.

5. The students do practice recordings of their voiceovers and I give them audio feedback on their pronunciation.

6. All the instruction on how to use the movie making software is also in the target language - English.

7. Their final voice recordings are also done with a teacher - I had a colleague who was also working with the study tour group help with this, while I remained in the classroom assisting students with their movies. Another alternative is for students to record their final voiceovers by themselves - but in a room with a lot of people, the recording would pick up quite a bit of background noise.

I hope this gives you a clearer idea of the process. Your further comments are very welcome.



kajdo said...

still happy that i was a part of it!