I am beginning this blog with this digital story about Gingerbob – because though it is the newest one it also includes background info about the older digital stories about his character. As part of the assignment for this weekly blog – I felt I should create a “new” digital story- and since Gingerbob was nearby – I asked him to perform one more time for my camera….
I had created the first story about Gingerbob several years ago. It was an assignment to build a multimedia presentation that had an educational focus. My goal was to create an entertaining and interactive experience for children that would allow them to explore the process of decision making. I was not completely successful at getting the slides to transition smoothly with the resources available to me at the time. So, when the assignment for this weekly blog included a digital story creation – I eagerly pulled out the old files and started cleaning them up and loading them into a newer version of PowerPoint.
Gingerbob’s story evolved from a combination of concern over copyright – and fond memories of playing the Candyland game. I remembered its sugary scenery and playful theme. We had a tradition of decorating gingerbread houses each holiday season – so I had a wealth of images that worked for some of the scenes. Gingerbob was a pillow-like toy that had found his way into our seasonal decorations. He was perfect for the main role. I started with PowerPoint by building the slides with the pictures and text. Once the slides were ready – I inserted links on each page that allowed the user to move through the story at their own rate of speed. Some of the pages had choices that allowed the reader to decide about an issue. If the choice was incorrect – then they could go back and try again. I then saved all of the slides as images in PowerPoint. Then came the tedious job of getting them in some format that would work on the internet.
This original project took many – many hours – and it was a little quirky – and fairly successful. – But, when I had a chance to try some of the new technology available in Google sites and Google docs – I found the experience much more rewarding! And since I had the content ready to go – I was able to concentrate on the action and presentation of the story.
This above was the interactive presentation – but, also there is a link to a short video that flips through the slides and gives an overview of the presentation. This was done in PhotoStory. I found the music on musopen.org.
Gingerbob’s second epic feature was about his darker side. I worked on “Gingerbob’s Life” while I tried to avoid doing my research paper for a course several semesters ago. I eventually got the research paper done – and, the story was fun.
There are so many great things about digital storytelling and its role in education. Events come alive and there is a richness that engages the senses of a learner in a different way then reading text. Here is a video that tells the story of the “Orphan Trains” that I made for a course – thank goodness we had a train garden in our back yard –