George Lucas Educational Foundation

A Wonderful Example of Multimedia Writing/ Technology Integration/ Collaborative Work

A Wonderful Example of Multimedia Writing/ Technology Integration/ Collaborative Work

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I thought I would share some details about a recent project I undertook with my Year 8 students, which I thought was wonderfully successful! The unit of work was called 'Bookworm' and it was a combination of Technology and Applied Sciences and English. It ran for about 10 weeks or so. The idea was quite simple; students would undertake a novel study of a novel that they selected from a range, then they would use this novel as a starting point to launch themselves into the creation of a digital story. This story would take the The novel study was actually quite traditional, but I think this blend of old (a paper copy of a novel!) and new (an online digital story)was part of what made the project so successful. Students read their novel, and discussed things like plot, character and themes in small-group seminars. They also completed a bunch of different activities, some online and some offline. This culminated in an online video review of their novel. Having completed the novel, students then created a prologue to their novel, using hand-drawn images, which were scanned in, edited on the computer, and adding sound effects and narration. Students went through a process of scripting, storyboarding and designing solutions to reach the final product. These completed digital stories were then shown, at a short film festival, to an audience of Year 6 students, who voted for the best one. It was a huge success; I've never seen so many Francis Ford Coppolas or Quentin Tarantinos in action!

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Erika Saunders's picture
Erika Saunders
6th-8th Special Ed, LS & Mentally Gifted teacher

[quote]Here's a link to 1 story:[/quote]

I LOVE this idea and the example was wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing this. I would really love to hear about any other ideas you have. I'm always looking for new and exciting ways to have students interact with the books they read.


Sonya's picture

My son, Tim, has Aspbergers and this is one way for him to connect to the reading. He is a bright, hands-on learner, and this type of instruction allows him a chance to read and work on his own terms. I wish all schools had such programs, especially for our special needs and gifted students, and those who fall into both categories.

Carolyn Barr's picture

I'll be teaching a course called introduction to the short story at my community college in a few weeks. I think this idea is a fantastic way to make the stories come alive for the students, as they are asked to apply what they've learned in a real way. If anyone has any ideas for how to use this with adults, I'd be interested in seeing them.Loved the example story in the video

Beth Ann Johnson's picture

I know that the integration of reading, writing, and technology naturally encourages improvement in reading level, writing ability, and vocabulary in a natural setting, among other things, but I need to prove this to my husband. My daughter (about to enter the eighth grade) is very right-brained (visual-spatial) and creative, but hates to read. She tests very, very high in the non-verbal area of the basic intelligence test, but average in verbal areas. However, she would love to create a digital story with classmates or friends as you have described. Her reading level is way below where it should be at her grade level and age, but technology activities like this would allow her to blossom. I commend you on your efforts!!!

I am pushing quite hard for her to attend a school in which this type of technology integration is in place, but I do not have much support from my husband, even though I have a Masters in Education and I am planning to teach online using many of these practices in the Fall. Can you point me to any specific research/information that shows that the integration of technology leads to improvement in reading/vocabulary/writing development? I am searching frantically, but any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you and keep up the good work!!!

Dave Cornelius's picture
Dave Cornelius
EDream Designer and professional development trainer.

The elements I have found most important in any multimedia endeavor are integration across disciplines and availability to an authentic audience.

I love your ideas. I would recommend having your students write a short (maybe only a scene or two) script, have the drama department stage it, have your media students film and edit it then post it on a public web site.

Yes, middle school students can do it although I more commonly find it in high school.

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