I was recently walking around a computer lab assisting students with their projects, and I ran across several students who made me stop in my tracks to ask what they were doing! They were dragging different scenes, characters, shapes, props, text call-outs, and more and just dropping it onto a storyboard! They were then able to customize nearly everything they wanted, including the layout of the storyboards, the title of a particular scene, write a full description or synopsis of what was happening, change the color of the sky, make the scene black and white, decide which objects would be in front of or behind one another (layering) and much more. This program is called Storyboard That and after seeing it in action, I had to learn more!
Students were given a digital/visual storytelling assignment, and while there was some flexibility and student choice involved, students were ultimately studying the literary elements in The Monsters are Due on Maple Street, by Rod Serling. They could create a Plot Diagram with the parts of a plot (Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution) or they could depict the key themes in the story, or create a character map or depict the literary conflict or many other options, and then they were to use Storyboard That to visually represent it.
While this was one specific content area, Storyboard That is certainly not limited to just this content! It is meant to be a digital alternative to any activity where you use storyboards in class! These students were incredibly engaged in this assignment and I was truly fascinated by their creativity. This is such an innovative use of technology to enhance and reinforce the literacy skills of your students! Why not give it a try?!
The DMPS Instructional Technology Coordinators share updates, articles, ideas & observations here.