Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tuesday Tech Tip: Colorado Digital Storytelling Project (with WeVideo)

September 1, 2015, marks the official launch date of the Colorado Digital Storytelling Project.  Designed to give Colorado students an opportunity to create video products that build content, literacy, and digital skills, participants across the state will be using the premium version of  WeVideo as a platform to create, collaborate, and publish their creative projects.

Here in our district, 4th grade students will be joining the project, along with other grade levels who have opted in.  But, in addition to CCSD, classrooms and students from other locations around the state will also be involved, like students from Poudre RE-1, Roaring Fork SD, Denver Public Schools, Littleton Public Schools, Jefferson County Public Schools, Mesa Valley, Douglas County School District, Peetz Plateau School District, and Elizabeth School District.  And others are welcome to join, even past the start date.

Sample Project Ideas for #ColoDSP
The project is focused on letting kids tell digital stories in ways that are meaningful for them and what they are learning, and the parameters are very flexible.  Student videos can be anything that combines the art of telling stories with multimedia, like documentaries, memoirs, narratives, research projects, dramatic presentations, etc.  Expectations for teachers joining the project are:

  1. Create at least 1 shared class project (hopefully many more!) during the 2015-2016 school year that is tied to a lesson or unit being studied in class (this can collaborative or independent work).  Student videos will be created and collected as part of the teacher "project."  Project ideas that anyone can use (like seen on the right) can be found here.
  2. Share class videos within the class or school group to let students see each others' work in a non-public venue (like within the private WeVideo Gallery, in an LMS, or in Google Drive).
  3. Submit a brief reflection at the end of the school year, sharing what you learned and (more importantly) what your students learned as a result of using digital storytelling in the classroom.
Finally, we will be inviting teachers to submit an exemplary video (or videos) to be part of the Colorado Digital Storytelling Film Festival at the end of the school year.  Some of these may even be shared at ISTE 2016 here in Denver or highlighted by WeVideo as outstanding examples of student creations.  (Submission of exemplary videos is optional.)

Any teacher, school, or even district can join the Colorado Digital Storytelling Project by filling out the Google Form. Current cost for particpants (per user) is $1.75 for the year.  This cost covers the license for the Premium version of WeVideo (fully COPPA-compliant), which includes user management, live collaboration, green screen effects, increased storage, shared media libraries, private Gallery space, and the opportunity to take part in the film festival.  

WeVideo has some exciting enhancements planned for management and its overall look this month, and we're looking forward to sharing more about that.  So, be looking for more information in the coming weeks, and follow the hashtag #ColoDSP on social media.  In the meantime, be thinking how your students could use digital stories in your classroom.   Even if you aren't part of the official project, we'd encourage you to check out WeVideo and explore the possibilities on your own.

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