Amazingly Good Digital Storytelling

As an optional assignment (worth more points than the original assignment), I offered my British literature students the opportunity to create a digital story–audio and video and text–instead of just presenting their ideas while, after, or before we listened to a piece of music chosen to match a particular character.

I had 7 students out of 21 who did the digital story. They were amazingly well done. Excellent job.

And, for the students whose presentations I was able to hear (time constraints were tighter than I expected), the students who did the original assignment alone also did a wonderful job.

If the whole class had done digital storytelling I would have been jumping up and down with joy at how well the work was done. But I will tell you right now that the folks who did those digital stories ROCKED!

The original assignment is Hrothgar’s Playlist.

Students did music playlists and images and text for:
the wife from The Wife’s Lament –amazingly well done and a very difficult idea
Imogen from Cymbeline
Posthumus from Cymbeline x2
Beowulf from Beowulf
Chanticleer from The Canterbury Tales–amazingly well done with beautiful images
Judith from Judith–great use of text to explain how parts of the song were related to the tale

The first student to do a non-expanded assignment did Grendel from Beowulf. It was very well done.

Another student did the Shepherd from Marlowe’s “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love”–I would never have thought of doing the shepherd as my character, but she did it and it went well.

This assignment was designed to have the students do a couple of things:
Have them think through the character’s actions and experiences and try to relate those to modern times and music. (It’s an early Brit lit class.)
Have them do an oral presentation.
Have them apply something they (most of them) know well–music–to something less familiar–literature.
Have them engage the subject matter with technology, either familiar (iTunes and/or Youtube) or less familiar (iMovies, Final Cut Pro).
Give them a chance to show their creativity.
Give them a chance to indulge themselves in the conceptual elements as presented in this class (play, design, meaning, narrative, empathy, big picture, and innovation–modified from Daniel H. Pink’s A Whole New Mind).

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