Digital storytelling about immigrant heritage is a way to access a shared past and present, however distinct the individual stories are, develop reading and writing skills, and most importantly, build empathy while thoroughly engaging students. It can, however, be challenging to teach for a number of reasons: 1) uncertainty in the writing process when there may be unknown variables in immigration experiences 2) fears of technology 3) relevancy within what may be a restrictive curriculum.
Writing is the most important aspect to any digital story project. What follows are tips excerpted from Kelley’s blog Walk the Walk and copied with his permission here to help teachers anticipate and meet some of the challenges in implementing this project as well as to showcase its valuable rewards. To view the tips in detail, read 8 Tips for How to Teach a Digital Storytelling on Immigration and From Writing the Page to Pressing Play: More Tips on Teaching Digital Stories on Immigration.
Tips for Teaching Digital Stories on Immigration
1 Brainstorm with Students
2 Encourage Talk at Home
3 Bring in Good Writers and Writing
4 Demonstrate Research Skills and Reflection
5 Analyze Historical and Cultural Context with Students
6 Model Writing a Short Narrative
7 Target Areas for Revision
8 Question When Students Say "I don't have culture"
9 What to Say When Students Say "I don't know what to write about"
10 What to Say When Students Say "I can't find the right image"
11 Use Storyboards for Some But Not All
12 Test Your Digital Storytelling Software Before Working With Students
13 Provide Extra Support for Beginner Writers and Users of Technology
14 View Troubleshooting with Technology as a Learning Opportunity
15 Plan Unique Opportunities to Celebrate and Share!