This story caught my eye because I of my thematic approach to this summer. I'm looking at change, transformation and risk-taking. This is one of the first creations by a student which links up with that idea directly and which addresses fear of risk-taking in an original way and with an original voice. It is notably short but none-the-less engaging.
Because this is a student production, it seemed useful to use a rubric created by a student to assess it. I opted to use this one described by Jason Ohler on his site:
For the first element of story flow, I would say that our student definitely did a very good job of creating a narrative about a topic which was focused, and which made sense. While some would say that this topic was a bit juvenile, I could easily see my middle school students identifying with it. Many students at this age are working with larger ideas of identity and their place in this world. I thought the topic was both appropriate to that as well as a great starting place for using digital storytelling without being intimidating for the student.
The student's craftsmanship was evident. I did like the mix of still photos and the video. As she described what she thought children were like, the transition from still photos to video was effective and picked up the chaos of what she assumed small children were. Additionally, the music background was effective and did not feel like it overshadowed her telling of her story. I felt that overall it all worked together.
This is clearly an original story told in this student's voice. She told it carefully and paid particular care to her voice tone and inflection. You could hear the sadness as she described her feelings of being lost. In the next moment you can hear her enthusiasm for really enjoying her time with the smaller children and her real excitement about the time she spent with them. "They are hilarious!" I can almost here the exclamation at the end of that sentence in her own exclamation.
This video clearly shows the student's effort and time. It is well developed. While it is short, the story is told with an effective economy. It is easy to listen to primarily because she took the time to tell it effortlessly. This works for the teller and the listener in this case. The topic suits her and it is clear that her volunteer time has changed her and that she has enjoyed taking this risk.
This is my first critique of a student's story and I think I need to search out more examples from younger digital story tellers to help flesh out my own thoughts regarding the use of digital story telling in the classroom.