CAIS Technology Conference Workshop, June 28, 2006: Making Digital Poems and Stories Presented by Bill Sullivan

Workshop Outline Mindset for Technology Digital Samples Story Prompts
Seven Elements & Storyboarding Classroom Management I-Movie Directions Search Tips
Links & Ideas Copyright Information Links for Dialogue Great Source

Workshop Description: Making Digital Poems and Stories
This hands-on workshop introduces the computer skills and demonstrates a resilient mindset to help teachers integrate and navigate digital poetry/storytelling into any classroom (K-12). Whether you are a beginner with the iMovie software or an experienced pro, you will have fun exploring the process discovering the ingredients of a digital story. Participants will go through the steps of creating a digital poem/story so that they can role model the procedures. Using a supplied storyboard, participants will brainstorm and outline their digital story/poem. We will then create text and record an audio track. After importing the audio, we will then walk through the software steps that will blend other media (music soundtrack, still images, video, etc) and blossom the original story text into a digital movie. Throughout the process, we will reflect on classroom management methods to keep students focused; we'll also explore how to create assignments that mix curriculum with personal and meaningful material. By the end of the day, participants will leave with their own story produced during the workshop; we will burn participants' stories and poems onto a personal CD-Rom for them to take home. We will also discuss the future of digital portfolios.

Click here for a Word copy of the welcoming one page handout

return to top

Outline of the Workshop:

Morning Session:
a) General introduction; view examples of digital stories; discuss the Seven Elements of the digital story, according to the Center for Digital Storytelling;

b) Reflect on the mindset that will help technology projects in a classroom setting; complement this discussion with some explicit classroom methods and classroom atmosphere goals.
c) Brainstorming, using prompts, writing and putting the story through the storyboard process;
d) Recording Voice Over and gathering still images.

Afternoon Session:
e) Producing digital project in the I-Movie Timeline; using the Palette to blend audio, additional digital files, transitions, and special effects;
f) Showing the projects and being mindful of future classroom management methods;
g) Review the process and discuss the possibilities. return to top

NB: Although not a requirement, it may be more meaningful for participants to bring along a draft of a story (one typed page in length), favorite CDs for soundtrack, meaningful digital photos, possibly some digital movie clips, or other multimedia files. We will also provide and explore story prompts to inspire spontaneous development.

return to top

Some digital samples from my students from the 2005-06 academic year:

Prompts for today's workshop:


return to top

Adjusting Students' (and adults') Mindsets When Using Technology in the Classroom

Adjusting Mindsets; explain and discuss:

return to top

Classroom Management:

return to top

Seven Elements of a Digital Storytelling

The Center for Digital Storytelling set an interesting criteria that incorporates the aspects of multimedia. Because multimedia presents so many different ways to present a story, as useful guideline such as this one will help channel and focus students' energies and ambitions.

They have synthesized these seven elements as a way to channel diverse backgrounds and approach the digital storytelling process with a good general guideline. I have had students make I-movies, and I will now begin criteria conversations with these seven elements. The fun begins when you open the floor to students to create the class standards before the project begins.

In the interest of time and convenience, click here for a boiled down version of CDS' seven elements:

  1. Point of View
  2. Dramatic Question
  3. Emotional Content
  4. Gift of Your Voice
  5. Power of Soundtrack
  6. Economy
  7. Pacing

Brainstorming and Outlining a Digital Story

Click here for a great storyboard outline (pdf file) designed by John Lambert.

return to top

Directions for I-Movie. Before we begin, it is good to sit back and evaluate some I-Movie skills and techniques that you probably already possess. We will be operating moves in a click and drag environment. We will also be working with the Palette and Timeline, so it is important that you understand those features as well as the concepts of importing (images, sound, etc) and Sharing (sometimes referred to as export in previous versions of I-Movie).

return to top

NB Links and Ideas to prompt reflections and conversations:

General discussion on incorporating technology in a meaningful way; how do these cartoons illuminate insights from Monday night's Keynote's presentation?

General Discussion on Digital Storytelling:

Other Multimedia Links:

return to top

Search Tips: try these links on the web to gather multimedia images, files, etc, for your digital story:

return to top

Copyright Information:

return to top

Great Source: I began collecting much of the above information from John Lambert, Dana Atchley, Nina Mullen, The Center for Digital Storytelling: They have a great web page in which they present the fundamental steps with the metaphor of a cookbook and display a great movie example as a type of recipe as a goal for the showing the multimedia potentials. This center and subsequent Digital Storytelling Association has been at the core of the digital movement for some time.

Bill Sullivan; last updated June 28, 2006 return to top