While reflecting on the process of creating the short digital story, it occured to me once again how important creativity is in ELA classrooms. Using technologies like moviemaker or even podcasts not only allows an author freedom of expression by way of providing a greater range of mediums, these technologies more easily lead authors to find their “voice”.
Even if podcasting and movie making was not an ption when it came to final assessable papers, the usage of these things lessons, mini-lessons, and group projects would go far in promoting student involvement in the material that is being studied. Novels that, let’s face it, are dry, dry, dry could have new life breathed into them. I find that to be a pretty exciting concept.
I know that there would be some resistance to this. You would hear arguments about access, and in certain cases that could be legitimate. You would hear arguments that stated something about the frivolity of using projects like this. I would counter that, however, by bringing up an anecdote. At one point, I observed a class that was writing what they called “I am from” poems. It was a grueling experience. It was supposed to be personal and from the heart and also show an understanding of poetic structure. It did niether. I think that was pretty frivolous. The same lesson could hae been taught using either of the two tools (podcast/moviemaker) and the end result would have been much more personal for one thing, and much more fun and engaging for another. I have a feeling that there would have been a great deal more success in terms of teaching structure as well.
Another idea that occured to me was how great moviemaker would be for teaching classes. Rather than using a boring lecture to present lessons and mini-lessons, using a short video as a visual aide would be a great idea to spice up a lesson. Also, having some video lessons stockpiled for days of absence could really help out a sub as well. (Especially if you are concerned that the sub won’t be able to teach the way that you would prefer!)