Foundation for a Digital Storytelling Program

Effective digital storytelling projects begin with effective staff development. Digital storytelling projects are big and messy, and require a thorough understanding of the process, the roadblocks, and techniques necessary for success. Consider beginning a digital storytelling program in your school or district by first developing a pilot program.

  1. Start small. Select individuals for this pilot group who have a range of technology experience and who are risk-takers.
  2. Select individuals who are “connected†within your school. A successful professional development experience will be communicated to other teachers quickly and increase the demand for additional staff development.
  3. Use the pilot experience to make sure that all the technology works properly before any type of general rollout.
  4. Be honest. This is new. Inform the pilot group that there will be some challenges and that you will, with their help, work to overcome them.
  5. Develop your own training documents. After a successful pilot, add a second group. Before the start of the second group, modify your documents so that you are working with second-generation training materials. This will ensure that effective documentation will be ready when there is a general rollout.
  6. Build capacity. Pilot groups are a wonderful source of potential professional developers. Consider using members of the pilot groups to do additional professional development.

By the end of the pilot group, there will be a core group of trained teachers, a library of digital stories for use in other professional development events, effective training materials, and an opportunity to address and remedy any technology issue. The value of such pilot programs is that they can set the stage for system wide staff development.

Submitted by:David S. Jakes
Instructional Technology Coordinator
Community High School District 99
Downers Grove IL 60516

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