Friday, 20 June 2014

Reflection and digital storytelling - an international collaboration

During a recent holiday to Ibiza I met up with a friend, Gemma Tur, for montaditos, beers and a bit of a brainstorm about a collaborative project.

We found common ground in an idea to have our respective students working on a digital storytelling project with the aim being to compare their experiences of, and learning from, the process.

Gemma's students are trainee primary school teachers whilst mine are budding health and social care workers. Our plan has two stages: at the start of the course to have the students produce a reflection on what it means to be a professional, what are their professional values and their hopes about their future career. Gemma has previously done a similar exercise with her current students. (See her blog) We hope to use something fairly simple like ThingLink to get them started. (An idea I picked up from Linda CasteƱada when I visited her class in Murcia).

Stage Two will be at the end of the module where a more comprehensive multi media artefact will be created to reflect on learning from across their studies as part of a portfolio assessment.

To get us started I have been doing some reading around the subject of digital storytelling and the value of reflection - Jenny Moon's book has been particularly helpful: Jennifer A Moon  1999 (2004) Reflection in Learning and Professional Development -Theory and Practice;  as has Alterio and McDrury (2002) Learning Through Storytelling in Higher Education.

I've also been thinking about the whole issue of representation - why is is useful to use symbols to represent words/thoughts? How does this aid reflection and creativity?

Creative insights often occur by making unusual connections: seeing analogies between ideas that have not previously been related. All of our existing ideas have creative possibilities. Creative insights occur when they are combined in unexpected ways or applied to questions or issues with which they are not normally associated.....thinking on several planes at once.  
  Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds 2011

And are there useful ways in which we can talk about this as a way of learning?
An interesting video about researching this subject can be found on the Digiexplanations site (although this deals mainly with science subjects it still has a lot of relevant points to make.

I'll blog more on this topic as the project takes shape....

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