“Shifts in students’ learning style will prompt a shift to active construction of knowledge through mediated immersion.”-Chris Dede
The theory of constructivist-based learning, according to Dr. Seymour Papert, “is grounded in the idea that people learn by actively constructing new knowledge, rather than having information ‘poured’ into their heads.”
Moreover, constructionism asserts that people learn with particular effectiveness when they are engaged in constructing personally meaningful artifacts (such as computer programs, animations, 3D modeling, creating spatial environments in virtual reality or building robots).”
Technologies like virtual reality, especially for Gen Z students’, provides avenues that allow them to engage in a social, collaborative, and active learning environment.
Virtual reality, especially when combined with powerful storytelling, allows the student to participate in the story, develop empathy to experiences outside their current realm of understanding and allows them to be fully immersed in their own exploration and learning.
Teachers can bring VR stories into the classroom in many different ways for meaningful learning experiences. Imagine a scavenger hunt where students narrate a story based on what they find. Or consider using objects they see to identify vocabulary words or recognize letters. Students should have purpose in their viewing and it should directly connect to standards.
Similar to the new movie, Ready Player One, they provide an intense experience where the viewer feels like they are in the center of the story.
Using a mobile device or tablet, the student can start the story and look around the scene based on their interest, rather than the cameras focus. New apps such as Baobab VR have continued to appear with more interactions and engagement.
A creative way to have your students create their own virtual stories is using the app Roundme. Upload your 360 image and add directional sound, links and content. Upload portals to walk the viewer into multiple scenes and then easily share the stories by link to the story.
Storyfab, turns our students into the directors of the show
A new AR book, SpyQuest, has moved the immersive experience a big step forward as it helps define the story by bringing the images to life. Through the camera lens on a device, the stories make students the agents in an adventure into the world of espionage. The augmented reality experiences on the images use the accompanying app to scan the scene and provide further insight into the story.
Digital storytelling uses video, audio, social media, blogging and other tools to convey ideas and information effectively. The emphasis is on empowering students to create authentic products that they can share with others beyond the classroom walls, and to allow for audience interaction and feedback.
why should we inspire students to be digital storytellers?
Requires critical thinking: Creating an interdisciplinary product from scratch requires high level thinking skills like evaluating evidence, editing and curation, and production timelines. Digital stories often use multiple skills like writing, public speaking, photography, design and collaboration in a single project which makes them ideal for practicing skills learned other units or classes.
Authentic projects have impact: Creating real-world, impactful products that students share with an audience beyond the classroom is one of the best ways to enhance motivation and increase quality.
Places focus on writing: A picture is worth a thousand words, and video is 30 photos a second. It has its own grammar and style, but concepts of content, structure, tone and audience impact are just as important in multimedia as they are for an essay. Scripts, voiceovers and interview questions emphasize traditional writing skills and are the backbone of all multimedia projects.
Develops digital citizens: What to post online, when and how are all important questions for our students to learn to answer. Require them to comment on others’ work and develop etiquette for online posts and feedback. Rather than being afraid of the internet, embrace it to teach digital citizenship.
Students can add to digital portfolios: All student work can be compiled into a digital portfolio that they can use to promote themselves for jobs/internships
How to Educate Digital Storytellers
1. Focus on content, not the tools
2. Take it to the next “SAMR level.” The SAMR model is a way to gauge how deeply and effectively you use technology (Salvador Dali)
A study that looked at reader engagement across articles that contained charts and infographics vs. articles that were text-only found that those with graphical storytelling, or what I like to call data storytelling, had up to 34 percent more comments and shares and a 300 percent improvement on the depth of scroll down the page.
Using storytelling techniques to present data not only makes it more visually appealing but also enables easy spotting of key trends, seamless results-tracking, and quick goal-monitoring.
Here are things that can help you build a bridge from your current methods to effective data storytelling–
Choose a topic by identifying your target audience, the goal of your visual, what you would like to achieve.
Organize your data by thinking about what you want to convey and then get rid of anything that doesn’t help you tell that story.
Spend time making your visualization look sharp by keeping it simple, using color and interactivity.
A few bonus tips to make your data visualizations really pop–
Don’t use more than two graphs at a time so as not to confuse participants.
Stick with one color per graph; making things multicolored will cause data to look jumbled.
Give context to your concept. Introduce your idea slowly and tell the story of what you want your data to reveal instead of assuming everyone in the room is on the same page.
Try using interactive data storytelling techniques to support your data.
more on digital storytelling in this IMS blog
Project Hikari: Tales of the Wedding Rings lets you walk into a manga and become part of the story.
Japanese company Square Enix is looking to broaden the VR storytelling conversation by bringing 3 genres together into one incredible VR experience with Project Hikari: Tales of the Wedding Rings,
“We wanted to do something differently with this technology—we wanted to take VR into a different kind of direction,” Sou told VRScout in an interview. “We asked ourselves: how do we make content that is really unique, and something only our company can do?”
The team realized that manga could provide a creative new avenue of immersive story. Their approach was to create a style that blends animation and comic—giving you the ability to move in and out of panels. Sometimes you can see a range of still panels, others you’re engulfed in the animation of one scene.
I worried that the linear narrative of the manga might interfere with the immersion of VR, or that voiceover narration would keep me from discovering aspects of the story myself.
That worry was completely eliminated almost immediately the moment I put the headset on and the experience began. The Square Enix team was very creative with how they used narration along with the animation within the panels to bring the experience to life. I loved this VR take on the manga, and found Tales of the Wedding Rings to be an incredible experience that honored both mediums.
It’s a cross-section of a lot of different mediums because you have VR, manga (comics), and animation
More data doesn’t automatically lead to better decisions. A shortage of skilled data scientists has hindered progress towards translation of information into actionable business insights. In addition, traditionally dense spreadsheets and linear slideshows are ineffective to present discoveries when dealing with Big Data’s dynamic nature. We need to evolve how we capture, analyze and communicate data.
Large-scale visualization platforms have several advantages over traditional presentation methods. They blur the line between the presenter and audience to increase the level of interactivity and collaboration. They also offer simultaneous views of both macro and micro perspectives, multi-user collaboration and real-time data interaction, and a limitless number of visualization possibilities – critical capabilities for rapidly understanding today’s large data sets.
Visualization walls enable presenters to target people’s preferred learning methods, thus creating a more effective communication tool. The human brain has an amazing ability to quickly glean insights from patterns – and great visualizations make for more efficient storytellers.
Grant: Visualizing Digital Scholarship in Libraries and Learning Spaces
Award amount: $40,000
Funder: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Lead institution: North Carolina State University Libraries
Due date: 13 August 2017
Notification date: 15 September 2017
NC State University, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, invites proposals from institutions interested in participating in a new project for Visualizing Digital Scholarship in Libraries and Learning Spaces. The grant aims to 1) build a community of practice of scholars and librarians who work in large-scale multimedia to help visually immersive scholarly work enter the research lifecycle; and 2) overcome technical and resource barriers that limit the number of scholars and libraries who may produce digital scholarship for visualization environments and the impact of generated knowledge. Libraries and museums have made significant strides in pioneering the use of large-scale visualization technologies for research and learning. However, the utilization, scale, and impact of visualization environments and the scholarship created within them have not reached their fullest potential. A logical next step in the provision of technology-rich, visual academic spaces is to develop best practices and collaborative frameworks that can benefit individual institutions by building economies of scale among collaborators.
The project contains four major elements:
An initial meeting and priority setting workshop that brings together librarians, scholars, and technologists working in large-scale, library and museum-based visualization environments.
Scholars-in-residence at NC State over a multi-year period who pursue open source creative projects, working in collaboration with our librarians and faculty, with the potential to address the articulated limitations.
Funding for modest, competitive block grants to other institutions working on similar challenges for creating, disseminating, validating, and preserving digital scholarship created in and for large-scale visual environments.
A culminating symposium that brings together representatives from the scholars-in-residence and block grant recipient institutions to share and assess results, organize ways of preserving and disseminating digital products produced, and build on the methods, templates, and tools developed for future projects.
This call solicits proposals for block grants from library or museum systems that have visualization installations. Block grant recipients can utilize funds for ideas ranging from creating open source scholarly content for visualization environments to developing tools and templates to enhance sharing of visualization work. An advisory panel will select four institutions to receive awards of up to $40,000. Block grant recipients will also participate in the initial priority setting workshop and the culminating symposium. Participating in a block grant proposal does not disqualify an individual from later applying for one of the grant-supported scholar-in-residence appointments.
Applicants will provide a statement of work that describes the contributions that their organization will make toward the goals of the grant. Applicants will also provide a budget and budget justification.
Activities that can be funded through block grants include, but are not limited to:
Commissioning work by a visualization expert
Hosting a visiting scholar, artist, or technologist residency
Software development or adaptation
Development of templates and methodologies for sharing and scaling content utilizing open source software
Student or staff labor for content or software development or adaptation
Curricula and reusable learning objects for digital scholarship and visualization courses
Travel (if necessary) to the initial project meeting and culminating workshop
User research on universal design for visualization spaces
Funding for operational expenditures, such as equipment, is not allowed for any grant participant.
Send an application to firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of the day on 13 August 2017 that includes the following:
Statement of work (no more than 1000 words) of the project idea your organization plans to develop, its relationship to the overall goals of the grant, and the challenges to be addressed.
List the names and contact information for each of the participants in the funded project, including a brief description of their current role, background, expertise, interests, and what they can contribute.
Budget table with projected expenditures.
Budget narrative detailing the proposed expenditures
Selection and Notification Process
An advisory panel made up of scholars, librarians, and technologists with experience and expertise in large-scale visualization and/or visual scholarship will review and rank proposals. The project leaders are especially keen to receive proposals that develop best practices and collaborative frameworks that can benefit individual institutions by building a community of practice and economies of scale among collaborators.
Awardees will be selected based on:
the ability of their proposal to successfully address one or both of the identified problems;
the creativity of the proposed activities;
relevant demonstrated experience partnering with scholars or students on visualization projects;
whether the proposal is extensible;
feasibility of the work within the proposed time-frame and budget;
whether the project work improves or expands access to large-scale visual environments for users; and
the participant’s ability to expand content development and sharing among the network of institutions with large-scale visual environments.
Awardees will be required to send a representative to an initial meeting of the project cohort in Fall 2017.