Ever since my English class at Foran High School won an Edublogs award in 2009, I have waited for another opportunity for Foran students to gain recognition for their work. Well, a project came along that exemplifies this opportunity and I am happy to nominate my Composition classes for their work on the Descriptive Digital Essay Project.
Over 50 students developed descriptive essays that would show an emotion through visual and acoustic means beyond the normal, traditional paper. While some used Prezi as a platform for a variety of media, some also used tools like Google Sites, Dream Weaver, Projekt, StoryBird, PowToon, and Voice Thread to demonstrate their ideas.
The task was to begin describing an emotion in written form, but then allow the writing to “pop” on the Internet by turning words into expressive examples of videos, images, cartoons, drawings, voice overs and music. Students learned that good description comes from showing and not telling, and taking written text to another dimension helped them do this quite well.
The writing process took up a large portion of class time in producing these essays, with the final step– publishing, the ultimate goal. The results of this project were a resounding success and classes were able to accomplish something few at our school had ever done– they made something that was published for the world to observe.
By producing their own work, from scripting, shooting and editing videos, adding effects and sound, and making podcasts that allowed the viewer to hear and not just read the content, they avoided copying other people’s work, and took complete ownership of their self-made creations and felt a real sense of accomplishment.
The assignment is posted on my Edublogs Composition page.
While the projects are published on each student’s Descriptive Writing Edublogs page, an index of all of the digital essays is linked in a Google document for easier browsing.