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Workshop 1

  • Duration: 3 hours (two 1.5 hr sessions)
  • Participants: 9 students and 2 school instructors, 2 IDRC Facilitators
  • Devices: School Macbooks
  • Workshop Activity Guide

Workshop 2

  • Duration: 3 hours (two 1.5 hr sessions)
  • Participants: 17 students and 2 school instructors, 2 IDRC Facilitators
  • Devices: School Chromebooks
  • Workshop Activity Guide

Workshop 3

  • Duration: 3 hours (two 1.5 hr sessions)
  • Participants: 10 students and 3 school instructors, 2 IDRC Facilitators
  • Devices: School iMacs
  • Workshop Activity Guide

All three workshops used the following structure and activities:

  • Part one: activities were aimed at helping students self-reflect on personal learning experiences and finding stories they wanted to share with the world.

  • Part two: we demonstrated the Digital StoryTelling Tool and helped them build their stories in the builder tool on the StoryTelling website. Between the two sessions, students were encouraged to do some homework and take photos,videos or other creative output to add to their digital stories.

All Part One sessions began with a warm-up activity called “Web of Strings” that seemed to be joyful experience for most of the students. However, we noticed that some aspects of this activity may be exclusionary or uncomfortable for participants. For example, in larger groups and with shorter strings, students needed to be physically closer together, even touching shoulder-to-shoulder. The sound from the participants seemed amplified within the tighter circles as well. It is likely that a physically tighter group would not be a comfortable experience for sensory sensitivities. Also, participants using mobility devices such as walkers or wheelchairs may not be able to equally participate in this activity as they would require more space. This activity might have also had cultural implications for students who don’t feel comfortable being too close to the opposite sex for an extended period of time.

All participants in these workshops were ESL (English as a Second Language) students, some had a good command of English and some had a basic knowledge of English. Thus, as we reviewed the stories prior to participants publishing or committing them to the StoryTelling site, we noticed a variety of spelling and grammatical errors that sometimes obscured the meaning of a sentence—or example, using ‘Her’ instead of ‘Here’. A spell check feature in the StoryTelling tool could ease this problem. Editing stories before participants publish them on the site was a in-the-moment and case-by-case decision that had to be made by the ESL instructors and facilitators based on each student’s preferences. We remained respectful of the participants’ original stories, while making sure their message was not miscommunicated. We tried to help students to edit major spelling and grammatical errors, however, we didn’t fix minor spelling mistakes, typos and punctuation as long as they didn’t impact the meaning of their stories.

Some students requested one-on-one grammatical or sentence structure guidance. Facilitators obliged with collaborative guidance when time permitted.


Agenda for workshop activities for each dayA group of studnets trying to move the ball with stringsStudents in workshop 1 filling out their web of learningStudents in workshop 2 filling out their web of learningStudents in workshop 3 filling out their web of learning




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