Monday, March 25, 2013

An example of digital storytelling

       I have created an example of digital storytelling by calling my digital story: Colorful Seasons by Kayla Douglas For the learning objectives that could be met, by using this tool, students will be able to use digital technology through making a story using technology tools.  With the use of the computer and being creative with making up their own stories, students will be able to independently or collaboratively make a story using their imagination and sharing it with other classmates.  If I were to use this technology tool in my own classroom, the objectives for the students would be: Students will be able to actively participate using digital technology tools to create a story.  Students will be able to use other resources to help them create their digital story by using a book they have read in class or by using their own pictures from home, by using "family" as a topic of choice.  I would most likely leave the topic up to the students, or take a vote on what we would create our digital stories based on and narrow the choices to a common theme or topic.

Let's Explore Digital Storytelling

   Photo from flickr  

       Digital storytelling is the practice of using computer-based tools to tell stories.  A great resource website that describes digital storytelling is called, The Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling.  This site has helped me learn more about digital storytelling and why it is useful in education.  I also encountered digital storytelling in my undergraduate classes in an education technology class that I took.  According to the resource website, "other terms used to describe this practice, such as digital documentaries , computer-based narratives, digital essays, electronic memoirs, interactive storytelling, etc." are helpful to new educators who are willing to learn about digital storytelling and using it in the classroom.  From a personal point of view, I really enjoyed working on a digital storytelling project with a partner in my undergraduate classes at SUNY Cortland and it helped us share a story to students in a technological and innovative way.  Digital storytelling is a great interactive tool to use as an educational resource because it connects educators with their students in a new digital way with storytelling and keeping up with technology.
        Most of the digital stories last anywhere from two minutes to ten minutes in length of time.  This particular resource, The Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling is an excellent source of information for educators because it also includes educational materials such as: lesson plans, evaluation and assessment, copyright and educational fair use, digital storytelling workshop resources, and digital storytelling E-books.  I wanted to explore these resources myself, so I viewed each one and they led to me to some informational links that would help with my teaching.  They were very useful guides to help use digital storytelling in the classroom in different ways!  I really enjoyed using this resource website and I will most likely be using this source in my classroom with my students in the future.  It is important that we keep up with technology in the classrooms everyday and connect with our students in a digital manner.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Curfew

      Serious games are important to know and understand when it comes to L2 learning.  The definition of serious games is they they are games that are simulations of real-world events or processes designed for the purpose of solving a problem.  They are also known as "games for change".  I chose to view and play the game called, The Curfew.  I personally played this game once, and I tried to access the entire game.  It is really interactive and neat to play.  I enjoyed trying to solve the mystery of the main part of the game.  Each person in the game had their own story to tell, which was really interesting.  My language learning objectives for this game would be important to use in the classroom.  These objectives would include the following: The student will be able to access the internet at their home computer or a computer outside of the classroom.  They will listen and click on the various prompts on the site of this game and carefully pay attention to the games' rules and objective to solve it.  The student will be able to earn points for their hard work throughout the game and are able to save the game and go back to it at a later time, if they do not finish the mission.  In order to assess these learning objectives, it is important for me as the educator to assign the students to play these serious games, choose a game and if they are able to write up a one-page reflection about the game.  The reflection can include their thoughts/feelings about the game and this is a great way to assess the learning objectives that were mentioned above.  It is very important to consider if the student found the game to fun and engaging.  Personally, I really enjoyed playing this game and it was very interesting how it involves the player throughout the entire game and it felt very real.

Gamification is Educational

      Before completing this week's module, I was not aware of the term, gamification.  Gamification is a term used where it involves the use of "game design thinking" to the non-game applications online with the use of a computer.  Gamification is Educational and useful to Language LearningThis is a great way to keep our students engaged and have fun with game-like ideas to use in the classroom.  Gamification can also play an important role with language learning and/or second language development.  Keeping the students well-engaged with their learning helps them focus more on the "having fun" then tedious "busy work" with language learning.  It is a way for students to be interactive with learning new terms and become more explorative with game design thinking.  These games are a great way to increase a student's higher-level thinking skills and with their problem solving abilities.  I looked and played two games from Larry Ferlazzo's blog post and list of games.  The two I chose to discuss in my post here are the following games: The Sound Factory and Polleke's Blue Room.  I personally played these games a couple of times and tried to master the first level.  However, I had a little difficulty with mastering the level.  It is very important to also read the instructions carefully before you start playing the game.  I wanted to try two of these games instead of just one, in order to see if there were any differences between the two or similarities.  I found both of them interesting!

       My language learning objectives for these games are very important to discuss in this particular post.  First, I would tell my students to go to the website, and I would provide them with the link to the specific websites of the games.  It is also good to give the student(s) various choices for them to choose from.  Then, I will ask the student to read the instructions to the game before playing the actual game in order to understand what to expect, while they play the game.  It is also important for the students to write down any questions they might have in their class notebook about the game.  It would be great if there was a vocabulary sheet that the student can begin to make as they play the game and then after playing the game, they can look up the word's meaning.  These questions can be brought back to me as the educator to help them with any difficulty they might have with the game.  It is also important to have the student remember what game they play and to have feedback about the game by reflecting about it afterwards.  This reflection can be written or typed after they play the game, and this part of the assignment can help with the second language learning.  It is the most important aspect of this activity for the student to be actively engaged throughout it's entirety.  By playing these games and looking at the specific sentences and words, the student will become actively engaged in the gaming activity.  It is a fun and interactive way to help with the student's learning.

      The role/activity of the educator is to help guide the students' learning in this particular activity.  As the educator, it is important to be available for the students to answer any questions they might have about the activity.  Also, it is important to monitor the activity of the students' work on the games and the internet itself.  Making sure the students are safe with the computer-use and helping them every step of the way is very important with the guidance we provide as the educator.  I would most definitely would like to use a "walk through" step-by-step instructional part of helping the students understand the games and how to play them.  I think using images for the games is important because visual images helps students learn in an engaging and stimulating way.  Images are pleasing to the eye and will capture the students' attention during this activity.  I would like to make sure the objectives are met properly and to the best possible ways they can be met.  It is important to know and comprehend this knowledge of using interactive games educationally with our students.