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Literacy, ELL, and Digital Storytelling

Writing the script was different because we had to separate it between what was my partner going to say and what was I gonna say, and what language is it going to say, the feeling that we had to put to that line, and how was that line supposed to go, and what was the tone of voice that you had to have in that line. -- Israel, student involved in the project

In 2007, two Bay Area Writing Project teacher-consultants, Yumi Matsui and Clifford Lee, collaborated with the Pearson Foundation to document their semester-long, project-based learning unit focused on immigration. The video details the American Immigration Digital Storytelling Project from the beginning stages through to the end when the students show their work at Exhibition Night, in front of families, peers, and teachers.

In this project, students created digital stories portraying the immigration experience of a family member or friend. The writing process did not just include traditional paper-based writing, but relied upon interviews and transcripts, discussions and revision with group members, writing voiceover scripts, and composing images and audio that presented ideas, moods, themes, and meaning in a succinct, honest, and powerful presentation.  Throughout the process, the students were thinking about their audiences who would be watching and listening at the final screening.

Discussions About This Resource

christina's picture

Prompted by this video of this American Immigration Project in an Oakland California High School from 2007, participants in the Because Digital Writing Matters workshop at the EduCon 2.3 Conference will be exploring today what it looks like when writing classrooms incorporate digital literacy. What words, traits and actions do you notice and feel most important when you watch this video?

Elyse Eidman-Aadahl's picture

I've seen this video many times, but watching it in the (online) company of folks in the f2f session at #educon raises different issues in my mind.  Watching the set of traits and actions that were posted in a google doc as people watched the video illustrates how rich long term, well designed projects have a wide range of learning and performance opportunities embedded in them. (I hope they post it!) This I believe.  But a question in my mind for my own practice is how to create the reflective, metacognitive opportunities around these practices to amplify the learning around these traits...so that they are not merely there as learning opportunities but we are intentional about developing them.  And how do I juggle, track, manage these opportunities (in my own planning) so that I am finding the important range of things to address and amplify.

I hope the people in the session post their ideas from the google doc.