Monday, September 14, 2009

Digital Storytelling

Digital story telling improves the effectiveness of storytelling by incorporating valuable technical skills, high levels of student engagement, expanding the audience for student stories and enhancing critical thinking, expository writing and media literacy skills in students (Ohler, 2006). An example of it could implemented into a unit on bullying. Following is a small segment of a unit that (it has been made for year 7 students) has been designed around the Engagement Theory by Kearsley and Shneiderman (1998).

Have the principle present in the class (hook to the unit). Show learners a variety of recent media articles on the horrific, and inclining amount of bullying and fights in schools, with the most recent, the death of a year 9 boy in New South Wales. As bullying is a large problem at the school these learners are currently at, have the principle state that similar cases have been happening within their school and he is relying on them to help him prevent this behaviour. This specifically fits into the RELATE component of the Learning Engagement Theory.

Learners would then be divided into small groups of three (learning collaboratively), and given a scenario which they were to portray and deal with through a digital story whilst incorporating feeling and emotion in the audience, and putting across the important message intended (CREATE). In this they may use photos, music and text; however, they must keep it effective and engaging to the audience. These will be shown, one per week, on assembly as a means to stop bullying in the school. This fulfils the DONATE aspect of the Engagement Theory.


Reference List

Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1998). Engagement Theory:A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved September 1, 2009 from

Ohler, J. (2006). Educational Leadership. The World of Digital Storytelling, 63(4) 44-47. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development: Virginia.

Student Centred Technologies: Blogs

Given that a class was available to participate in a learning experience involving blogs, I would divide learners into small groups and then have them set up a blog in which they would be required to use for many, if not all science experiments.
The unit that this blog idea would be based around is from the essential learning, Life and Living; specifically about how fungi grows (science experiement). Learners would first brainstorm about where fungi grows, and ask questions detailing what they would like to learn more about. Declarative and procedural knowledge would be built. Groups will then do an experiment trying to grow their own fungi. Each group will keep their experiment in a different environment or use a different food, and the variations will be used to help make predictions about which one may grow fungi faster and why.

Click here to see the science experiment.

Each group will take a photo of their experiment, and post it to their blog. Along with this they will record the purpose of the experiment, and their predictions. Each day, the learners will (as a group) be required to take a photo, and blog any changes made to the experiment and a possible justification. Included in this will be variations such as weather changes (e.g. perhaps a very humid day excelled the growth of the fungi)and the type of fungi (s) they think may be growing.

Learners must also read and comment on other groups blogs, posting their thoughts and predictions to cohorts pages.


Fogel, R. (1999). The Mushroom Club: Try Growing Your Own Molds in a Moist Chamber!!! Retrieved September 1, 2009 from