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EducationWe've Been Engaging Curious Minds
For 80 Years

This online workshop:

  • Is turn-key, easy to use in-class or at home
  • Allows you to pick and choose from among 100+ hands-on activities
  • Builds media literacy and digital citizenship
  • Features project-based learning
  • Integrates with several school subjects (Arts, Social Sciences, French and English, etc.)
  • Includes evaluation grids and pedagogical guides

Stories are everywhere.Give your students the tools to tell them.

This online workshop provides educators a step-by-step introduction to the fundamentals of digital storytelling, like:

  • photography
  • editing
  • research
  • writing narration
  • online ethics
  • copyright
  • distribution

Media School offers students the chance to become visual storytellers, all while acquiring new competencies that’ll help them improve their narrative skills and express their creativity!

This workshop includes 11 easy-to-follow modules that walk educators and students through the stages of creating a digital story.

  • Module 1:  What Is a Digital Story?
    Filmmaker Paul Tom will walk you through digital story elements, types of stories and the importance of a personal connection.
  • Module 2: Choosing a Topic
    Students go through the ideation process and learn what constitutes a good digital story topic.
  • Module 3: Research
    Students will discover the different types of information sources, how to analyze their credibility and how to distinguish real from fake.
  • Module 4: The Digital Story Proposal
    Students will discover how to deliver an engaging presentation and give constructive feedback to their classmates.
  • Module 5: Original Angle and Narrative Structure
    Students will learn how an original angle and narrative structure are essential in creating a digital story.
  • Module 6: Writing the Narration
    Students will learn about types of narrators and tenses, and how to write their own narration.
  • Module 7: Image Rights, Copyright and Online Ethics
    Students will learn the concepts of image rights, copyright and how to behave ethically and safely online. Also, this module will show students how to protect their privacy and personal information.
  • Module 8: Creating Photos and Videos
    Students will learn photo composition and framing and how it brings a story to life.
  • Module 9: The Art of Editing
    Students will learn how the assembly of images, narration, music and sound help build their narratives.
  • Module 10: Editing Techniques
    Students will experiment with basic editing techniques and understand the proper steps involved in this process: preparation, assembly, creating the soundtrack, and finishing touches.
  • Module 11: Publication
    Students will discover how to choose the best social media platform to stream their digital stories, or how to create events like community film festivals to screen their films with a live audience.

The Digital Storytelling Workshop and its content have been designed to fit naturally into the following three high school subjects:

  • Arts (media arts, communications technology and new media, visual/plastic arts):
    Project examples include profiling an important artist or work, creating a story out of drawings, talking about one’s life or experience from an artistic angle, or creating a self-portrait.
  • Social studies (history, geography, citizenship, contemporary studies, Indigenous studies, political and social sciences, ethics and religious culture, nutrition):
    Project examples include defending a social cause; commenting on a political situation; denouncing an injustice; describing a historical event or profiling an important person, a culture, or a place.
  • Language arts (English, French, foreign languages/second languages):
    Project examples include developing a story based on a poem, relating a significant event from one’s own life, paying tribute to someone close to you, or creating a work of short fiction.
  • Science:
    Project examples include reporting on scientific research conducted in a lab or conveying information about climate change.

The Digital Storytelling Workshop can also be integrated into other school subjects or projects, such as:

  • Special or enrichment programs:
    The Digital Storytelling Workshop could be offered to students as part of a special program in arts or filmmaking. It could also be offered to exceptional students as part of a self-study project done in parallel with their current courses.
  • Interdisciplinary projects:
    Because the Digital Storytelling Workshop involves a wide variety of skills and brings together content related to various school subjects, it is highly suitable for use in interdisciplinary projects.
  • School/media labs:
    Because it employs a project-based approach and integrates digital tools into its teachings, the Digital Storytelling Workshop can easily be included as part of a school or media lab project.
  • Career orientation projects:
    Students can present the results of an analysis of their career choice or high school path options.
  • End-of-year projects:
    For example, students could present a portfolio summarizing learnings made over the year or to introduce one’s interests to others.
  • Extracurricular activities:
    The structure of the Digital Storytelling Workshop makes it easy to pick and choose from among certain videos or more entertaining activities to build a program suitable for extracurricular use. Examples include a workshop focussed on filming or editing, or an abridged version of the workshop.
  • Projects for special needs students:
    The workshop is also highly suitable for certain students with special needs. It might be employed as part of a dropout prevention strategy or to provide mediated learning tools for students with autism spectrum disorder.

Teacher’s role

  • Little preparation is needed; teachers learn along with their students.
  • Teachers can be involved to varying degrees. Below is the suggested approach:
  1. A group viewing of the module introduction video on the interactive white board, followed by a discussion on the terms and concepts in the glossary.
  2. Students then browse the lessons individually on their computers or tablets.
  3. A group discussion is held to go over the lesson, review instructions for the ACTION, etc.

Individual or group work

  • Digital storytelling lends itself quite naturally to individual work: after all, the genre is all about telling a story from a personal point of view.
  • Group work may be a better option if the student group is large, if equipment is in short supply or the project is to be a collaboration between two or more classes.
  • When the activities are carried out as a group, one team member will be entrusted with inputting the answers into the learning notes.

Managing classroom time

  • A digital storytelling project can be completed over the course of a week, month or semester.
  • Module activities are divided into segments that can be combined to create a customized learning path corresponding to each teacher’s available time and study plan.
  • Depending on the module, completing all the activities can take between 15 minutes and two hours (120 minutes). The average amount of time needed is 50 minutes.
  • The time needed to complete the ACTION sections (the digital story production stages) varies from 15 minutes to three hours (180 minutes), for an average of 85 minutes. These can be completed in class or as homework assignments.
  • The duration of each module is indicated in the course outline and module guides.
  • If time is short, teachers can opt for the short version of each module and do only the activities essential to producing a digital story.
  • Meet Paul Tom

    Meet Paul Tom

    Director and mentor

    Telling stories about real people is what filmmaker and Media School mentor Paul Tom has been up to for the past 12 years. His projects give a voice to the voiceless and open to dialogue and encounters.

“I have learned a bunch of new techniques that have answered a lot of questions for me, on how to help students produce better videos. It has given me some new approaches to take that I would never had come up with on my own.”

Paul Brown, Teacher - Brampton, Ontario

"[Media School] includes information that… is important for student[s] of a digital age to learn... I was consistently engaged, and the concepts being repeated helped me to test my understanding and gave… deeper insights when the answers were provided. The pro tips were very clear and helpful. Easy to follow!"

Michelle Montgomery, Teacher, Toronto, Ontario

Technical requirements

Any type of computer that supports the most recent versions of the following browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Safari.

Some lessons are not compatible with touchscreens. More details about supported devices.

Please refer to the Internet connection requirements before starting the workshop in the classroom.

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