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Revision Date: 11/14/2008
Literacy and Digital Storytelling
Lathem /Summer 2009
Page 1
Developing Literacy Through Digital Storytelling
July 6-July 31, 2009
Sandy Lathem, Ed.C. (slathem@uvm.edu)
University of Vermont
533 Waterman Building
Course Description:

Comprehensive literacy development includes more than reading, writing, and mathematics. 21st century
literacy additionally includes communication that manipulates a diverse mix of visual, auditory, oral and multi-
sensory media. These new forms of communication require a visual and technological literacy that builds upon
traditional linguistic development. Digital storytelling, a relatively new art form, provides educators with an
instructional method that brings together this comprehensive definition of literacy. In this course, you will learn
how to combine writing process strategies with multimedia technologies to expand your student\u2019s total literacy
development. In addition to learning new strategies to encourage student writing across the curriculum, you will
also learn the technological and visual literacy skills you and your students need to develop memoirs, personal
narratives, or oral history projects in a digital story format. Participants will create a digital story that can be used
as a model for classroom use.

Note: This course involves both face-to-face and online lessons and discussions that culminate with a
presentation fair showcasing the digital stories developed during the course.
Goals:The goal of this course is to prepare Vermont educators to meet state and national educational
standards as follows:
Literacy Standards
Teachers will have a clear understanding of writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and critiquing
to produce final drafts of written products.
Teachers will experience the creation of a narrative story by:

Organizing and relating a story line plot/series of events by\u2026
Creating a clear and coherent (logically consistent) story line
Using transition words/phrases to establish clear chronology and enhance meaning
Establishing context, problem/conflict/challenge, and resolution, and maintaining point of view

Demonstrating use of narrative strategies by\u2026

Using relevant and descriptive details and sensory language to advance the story line
Using dialogue to advance action
Developing characters through description, speech and actions
Using voice appropriate to purpose
Maintaining focus

National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S 2007)
1. Creativity and Innovation
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative
products and processes using technology. Students:
a. apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes
Revision Date: 11/14/2008
Literacy Through Digital Storytelling
Lathem /Summer 2009
Page 2
b. create original works as a means of personal or group expression.

2. Communication and Collaboration
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a
distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students:

a. interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital
environments and media.
b. communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and
formats.
c. develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
d. contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.
National Educational Standards for Teachers (NETS-T 2008)
1. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity

Teachers use their knowledge of subject matter, teaching and learning, and technology to facilitate experiences that advance student learning, creativity, and innovation in both face-to-face and virtual environments. Teachers:

a. promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking and inventiveness
c. promote student reflection using collaborative tools to reveal and clarify students\u2019 conceptual
understanding and thinking, planning, and creative processes

2. Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
Teachers design, develop, and evaluate authentic learning experiences and assessments
incorporating contemporary tools and resources to maximize content learning in context and to
develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes identified in the NETS\u2022S. Teachers:
a. design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to
promote student learning and creativity

b. develop technology-enriched learning environments that enable all students to pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in setting their own educational goals, managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress

c. customize and personalize learning activities to address students\u2019 diverse learning styles, working
strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources
d. provide students with multiple and varied formative and summative assessments aligned with
content and technology standards and use resulting data to inform learning and teaching
Essential Questions:

How does a digital story enable students to become better writers and readers?
What literacy skills are developed by creating digital stories?
How does technology support visual literacy and higher order thinking skills?

Understanding:
Participants will understand \u2026

Importance of visual and multimedia literacy for today\u2019s students
Application of memoir and personal narrative to student prior knowledge
Narrative and persuasive writing
Logistical implications of creating digital stories with students

Revision Date: 11/14/2008
Literacy Through Digital Storytelling
Lathem /Summer 2009
Page 3
Learning theory research concerning literacy instruction and use of technology to support student learning
Learning Outcomes:
Participants will know \u2026
Instructional strategies to develop personal narratives or memoirs with K-12 students
Computer software tools to create multimedia products
Writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and critiquing to produce final drafts of written
products.
Participants will be able to \u2026

write a personal narrative/memoir
create a digital story using a variety of software products (iMovie, Movie Maker, and Photo Story 3)
manipulate digital images (using Adobe Photo Elements or Windows Photo Editor)
manipulate audio files (using iTunes or Windows Media Player or Audacity)
create compressed movies to disseminate in a variety of formats ( Quicktime, Windows Movie, etc.)

General Course Information:

The following are necessary for successful completion of this course:
Active participation in online lessons and class discussions of readings and literature
Completion of readings
Completion of assignments

Typically, students should expect to devote six-nine hours per week in reviewing online lessons and resources, reading required texts and articles offline, creating and completing assignments, and participating in discussions. Discussion postings should reflect student\u2019s understanding and transfer of concepts contained in lessons and readings.

Attendance Expectations:
Attendance at all face-to-face sessions
Online participation in Blackboard each week to complete assignments and post discussion messages.
Students are expected to visit the Blackboard site at least four times per week.
Active participation in all class discussions of readings and literature.
Religious Observances:

The official policy for excused absences for religious holidays: Students have the right to practice the religion of their choice. Each semester students should submit in writing to their instructors by the end of the second full week of classes their documented religious holiday schedule for the semester. Faculty must permit students who miss work for the purpose of religious observance to make up this work.

Contributions in Class:

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