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The Power of Story
Transcript of The Power of Story
The Power of Story
Los Altos, California
7 elementary schools
2 junior high schools
consistently achieves a
high state ranking
Revolutionizing learning and empowering
teachers and students through creative
problem-solving and collaboration.
One Strategy: Digital Storytelling
A Story Beginning
Why do we tell stories?
What makes a good story?
Brain Science - neural circuitary
is designed to crave story.
"We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories."
-Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal
"Non-stories may provide information, but stories
have a unique power to move people's hearts, minds,
feet, and wallets in the storyteller's direction."
"...stories emotionally transport the audience so they don't even realize they're receiving a hidden message. They only know after the story is told that they've heard and felt the teller's call to action."
-Peter Guber, Tell to Win
Digital Media Literacy - teach Story Thinking
Performance Based Assessments -
think TED Talks
Engages students with story (brain craves)
Access is the only barrier to broadcasting
Digital Stories are......
Good, clear expository writing
Traditional, oral storytelling
Games, interactive, and participatory - audience is both story listener and story creator
Include original artwork and music
Trending in today's business world:
Using story to persuade/sell
Using story to report data
Using story to present information
Resources: Tell to Win by Peter Gruber
Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins by
"Digital storytelling is the best weapon for media creatives. There are three ways in which digital storytelling is different from analogue storytelling. It creates a brand story, and doesn’t just provide product information. Also, it allows marketers to pull in people, rather than pushing merely consumers. Thirdly, it creates significant word of mouth."
- Thomas Kin, Creative Director, Global Creative Team, Cheil Worldwide
Students must become savvy writers and designers, creating digital stories that take advantage of, rather than suffer from, the visually stunning effects today’s tools provide.
Less is more mantra.
Crafted properly, stories don’t sell
– they simply tell and teach by example.
Early attempts tied to
literature and language
SHIFT: New Direction
Must be memorable
Must be brief
Must be different and worth repeating
Look at culture instead of trends
Analyze a brand and define story elements.
Create a new story for a current brand.
Create a new product/service along with
Create a brand for a scientific element, an historical object, a character
Create your own resume
"All About Me" evolving into ePortfolios
Create a resume for a famous figure
Create a job description for a future company
Graphic visual representations of information,
data, or knowledge.
Math/Science - Data Analysis
History - Events and People, Timelines
Literature - Story Elements
Project Based Learning tool
"Committing a bad story to digital media
is like giving a bad guitar player
a bigger amplifier." -Jason Ohler
Things to Consider:
Access to Equipment
Set clear goals (give them an audience).
Assess the story.
Assess all of the artifacts used to create the digital story, especially the written work.
Assess student planning and process (storyboards and story maps)
Assess their content understanding.
Assess media grammar - students should be able to explain their choices and defend their work.
Assess student teamwork.
Assess their performance.
Have students self-assess their projects.
Not enough time for content
Letting tech tool get in the way
Students need story elements
Movie Editing Tools
How do you add emotion, create tension
with only sound?
(NPR's Snap Judgement)
Audacity - open source
Access to images, copyright or self created
Focus on content and balance
shows the flow of story
reflects the story core
beginning (call to adventure),
middle (transformation), and end
(solving the problem).
make sure the sequence of events
in the story make sense
they show the flow of story
Understanding of visual thinking
Choice of content
Choice of genre
Choice of tech tool
Choice of audience
Recognized Narrative Systems
for Engaging Content
Slaying the Dragon
Call to Adventure
Invitation for Rebirth
Journey and Return
@WWII Tweets from 1941 (non-fiction real time storytelling)
Character tweets from literature
Fake Facebook page for historical characters, Youtube channel, Spotify playlist
Combine branding and resume building through Linked In profile
Teaching Story Thinking