Our middle school hosted our first every digital story academy awards ceremony this month. This event was developed as a way to showcase and promote the wonderful digital stories and multimedia projects our students are creating in their classes.
I first introduced digital storytelling in the district two years ago. Teachers attended professional development courses that focused not only on the technology, but the pedagogy and planning that are necessary to implement this form of assessment in classrooms. Since then we have students in grades k-12 developing digital stories individually, in groups and as whole class projects.
For our academy awards ceremony we focused on the work of our middle school students. We had wonderful examples of stories developed in many of our core subject areas. We assembled a team of teachers who reviewed the work that had been developed. From that we created categories. (next year we plan on providing the teachers and students with the categories at the beginning of the year so they can develop projects that fit the categories and their curriculum). The categories we came up with are:
1. Best Personal Narrative
2. Best Adapted Screenplay
3. Best Historical Children's Story
4. Best Educational Video
5. Best Foreign Film
6. Best Public Service Announcement
7. Best Cinematography
8. Best Stop Motion Animation
For the event we ordered small academy awards for the winners, key chains for the nominees, a red carpet and a large blog up Oscar. We had a popcorn maker and juice for the students. The event was a huge success. It was very powerful to see the reaction of the students as we recognized their work. Next year we plan on offering this at a district level. Stay tuned for more information!