Sappho: Summer Solstice Sign-Up

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#Burgeron106

It’s June 21 and the Summer Solstice. The Digital Storytelling 106 summer program ‘Virtual Burgeron Trailer Reunion’ has begun.

I have been preparing on the web for this day by writing, creating images, video, and sound  along with my DS106 collaborators whom I met online about a year ago. We have been using this Word Press site to collaborate as well as using 140 character Twitter exchanges and postings to our DS106 Google+ Community. There have been some back-channel emails, but for the most part, the process of collaboration for this summer course has been open.

I was introduced to Digital Storytelling while taking another open online program called #Etmooc run by Alec Couros @ The University of Regina, Canada. Etmooc was my very first experience with open education practices, and I have been hooked ever since. For almost two years now, I have been learning from others on the web through these open platforms. My learning curve was steep at the beginning and my comfort level and knowledge of open education practices limited, but my conviction that digital literacy skills form an essential part of 21st century learning has guided my weekly struggles with the new tools freely available on the web.

I have bumped into Digital Storytelling in several real locations as well. At an International Journal of the Arts and Sciences Conference in Florence, Italy in 2013, a Digital Storytelling project was profiled as a means for telling the indigenous stories of Canada. Also in Barcelona, Spain at The Computer Assisted Education Conference 2014 I again crossed paths with Digital Storytelling used as a means of assisting the professional training of those choosing palliative care as a career. See this video called “The Lady and the Reaper’ produced for such training. Most recently, when I broadcast the news of this summer program at my university, I was asked about applications of Digital Storytelling for students in various fields of study such as Chemistry, English, and Criminology as well as for students requiring special accommodation in classroom based teaching.

Most of the digital skills I have developed to date have been guided in the open and in a self-directed manner, not in a physical classroom or with one ‘teacher’- rather, learning has occurred through multiple collaborations on the web. I credit the DS106 Daily Creates which come to my work email each day as inspiring me to challenge my digital skills. Although I am confined to using an LMS for teaching my online courses at my university because of our province’s privacy laws, I am still able to apply many of the digital skills I am learning to my courses in order to assist my students with their own understanding of digital literacy skills and digital citizenship.

Nana Lou asked us to blog about our work. On this Summer Solstice, if you have signed up to be part of the Burgeron Family Reunion, take a minute to think about how digital storytelling will have applications in your life.

 

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