I had the pleasure of speaking at the APPI conference, which took place in the stunning city of Lisbon, last month. I am thrilled to offer a glimpse into my recent teacher training session, titled “Journey to the (He)art of Multimodal Storytelling: Student-Produced Videos.” This workshop aimed to simplify the journey of planning and organizing a digital storytelling project, ensuring an enjoyable and rewarding experience for learners.
I chose to start the workshop with some engaging experiments meant to set the tone for an enlightening learning experience. As the session unfolded, I invited attendees on a carefully planned 3-stop itinerary that aimed to dispel myths, deconstruct the digital storytelling process, and demonstrate the impact of learner-generated digital stories.
At the first stop, we debunked common misconceptions and myths surrounding digital literacies, the digital native myth, allowing teachers to gain a deeper understanding of the digital landscape and its potential for empowering learners as prosumers in a multimodal world. These insights provided a solid foundation for the subsequent stops along the journey.
During the second stop, I guided participants through the digital storytelling process. With the hope to equip teachers with the base knowledge and tools necessary to integrate this powerful educational approach into their own teaching practice, I deconstructed the Digital Media Literacies Framework (Reyna and Meyer 2018) and, based on my experience and research, I outlined the five essential stages when implementing student-produced video projects.
The final stop was, according to attendees’ feedback, an inspiring showcase of a learner-generated science digital story. Witnessing the tangible results of incorporating digital storytelling into the curriculum sparked a sense of excitement. The presentation offered practical suggestions for integrating student-produced digital stories into lesson plans. Furthermore, participants were presented with a call to action and a challenge, encouraging them to implement this innovative approach within their own classrooms.
I felt grateful for the opportunity to share my passion for digital storytelling with such dedicated and enthusiastic educators. I valued their enthusiasm, uplifting feedback and eagerness to further explore the possibilities presented during our time together. As many of the participants have expressed a keen interest in accessing the PDF slides from the session, they are now available for download.
I encourage you to make the most of these resources as you embark on your own digital storytelling adventures with your students. I am highly interested to develop my research in this area, so feel free to share your experience and connect. Together, let’s continue to embrace innovative approaches that enrich our teaching practice and inspire our students. Stay tuned for future workshops and resources aimed at nurturing creativity and fostering digital literacy skills.
Last but not least, personally, for me, APPI 2023, The (He)art of Teaching EFL, was another unforgettable learning adventure in an incredibly vibrant city.
The lively streets, the charming architecture, and the vibrant culture made every moment in the city feel magical. From the colourful tiles adorning the buildings to the breathtaking views from the hilltops and the Tower of Belem, Lisbon has truly captivated my imagination!
And speaking of memorable experiences, we had the most incredible tuk-tuk ride in Sintra! Sintra is a realm straight out of a fairytale and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This enchanting town, where Portuguese royalty used to spend their leisure time, offered the perfect escape from reality. No wonder Lord Byron found inspiration here!
Some final words to attempt to capture my experience? Stunning places, inspiring people and thought-provoking sessions! The breathtaking beauty of the palaces with antique azulejos (tiles), the winding roads, the ride through the emerald-green mountains, the panoramic views, the tapestry of architectural marvels woven into the lush and verdant landscapes, and the profound vibrations of history that seemed to resonate through the air, all these elements combined to create an indelible atmosphere that still fills my heart with everlasting wonder and energy.
OECD/Rebecca Eynon (2020), “The myth of the digital native: Why it persists and the harm it inflicts”, in Burns, T. and F. Gottschalk (eds.), Education in the Digital Age: Healthy and Happy Children, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/2dac420b-en.
Robin, B. R. (2008). Digital storytelling: A powerful technology tool for the 21st century classroom. Theory into practice, 47(3), 220-228.
Kearney, M., & Schuck, S. (2005, June). Students in the director’s seat: Teaching and learning with student-generated video. In EdMedia+ Innovate Learning (pp. 2864-2871). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Kearney, M., & Schuck, S. (2006). Spotlight on authentic learning: Student developed digital video projects. In Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 22(2).
Mavridi, S., & Xerri, D. (Eds.). (2020). English for 21st century skills. Newbury: Express Publishing.