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The Current
Published
Jan 23 2014

#make4DLDay: What's Your Story?

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On February 5, thousands of educators will take part in the third annual Digital Learning Day, a nationwide celebration of common-sense, effective applications of digital learning that support educators, improve learning, and provide options for students to achieve at their highest potential. NWP Digital Is is partnering through the Educator Innovator Initiative with the Afterschool Alliance, and Edutopia who share a common belief that this shift should reflect connected learning principles: interest-driven, production-centered learning opportunities for youth, in school and out. These principles allow youth to collaborate with peers and mentors in person and via the web as they become producers of digital artifacts and not simply consumers.

To that end, we are inviting teachers, afterschool leaders and educators everywhere to celebrate Digital Learning Day by accepting the #make4DLDay challenge, a set of digital storytelling activities that allow youth and adults to be makers for Digital Learning Day.

Both the maker education and digital learning movements are grounded in the belief that kids learn best by doing. From cardboard and clay to circuits and computers, kids can use a variety of analogue and digital tools to tell their story. The #make4DLDay challenge is about sharing ideas among educators and experimenting with modern ways of engaging youth in storytelling as a teaching and learning strategy.

Accepting the #make4DLDay challenge is easy – here’s how:

  1. Choose your level. We’ve got multiple activities for educators with varying levels of experience using digital tools. Choose your level based on the tools most readily accessible to you.
  2. Pick a relevant topic. Digital storytelling can be applied to almost any topic, from geography to STEM. Design your activity around a topic of interest to your students.
  3. Share your work. On Feb 5, share your photos, videos and links to students’ work with other innovative educators by using the hashtag #make4DLDay.

Level 1: Tell a Story with Paper Cut-Outs

This activity works great for educators with limited access to technology. Students can produce a “digital story” by making a series of paper cut-outs (or clay figures) which can be photographed or filmed with interesting props and backdrops. When they are done, the photographs can be uploaded to a computer to create a digital slideshow. Students can take turns narrating their slideshow individually or in groups. Here are a few examples of finished products:

Level 2: Tell a Story with Prezi

Prezi is an easy and free online tool that allows you to combine multiple types of media into animated slideshows. They’re highly interactive and very useful for digital storytelling. Whether fiction or non-fiction, Prezi offers a fun way for students to tell stories and educate their peers on a variety of topics. Check out these examples for inspiration:

Level 3: Tell a Story with Stop-Motion Video

If you’re a little more comfortable using technology, stop-motion video software can help your students take digital storytelling to the next level. You can find tons of useful resources and free tools to help you get started in this #clmooc resource. You can also watch a few of our favorites here:

If you’re new to digital storytelling, #make4DLDay is a great way to learn-by-doing and see how educators around the world are using technology to inspire learning. If you’re experienced with digital storytelling, sharing your projects with other educators is a great way to help others that are just getting started.

And don’t forget - post to here and via social media and tag with #make4dlday! We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

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