Digital Storytelling with an Elegant Twist — Meet Cowbird
The reading and telling of stories has always been a personal passion. Stories, of course, are our most basic yet engaging way to pass knowledge and information to one another.
There’s that old adage, the picture is worth a thousand words, and every picture tells a story. When we combine the words with the images, we increase the power of our tale.
Digital Storytelling, a teaching strategy that continues to improve with the tools that are developed is a proven instructional method, and there are countless ways to approach it.
A tool that I recently came across has captured my fascination.
Cowbird, a curious title, is a growing community of storytellers concentrating on sharing personal stories of emotional authenticity. These personal stories are as varied and plentiful as their tellers, and it is quite easy to lose considerable time as you journey from moment to moment.
Some participants simply journal their lives, others bring their unique perspective to major news events. Others are artistic, poetic, and abstract.
The stories present your image full-screen, simple and clear text, and without much else to clutter the screen. The result is a clear and concise page that naturally draws you in, and actually removes the sense that you are working with technology at all.
And in terms of community, Cowbird has many elements in place to allow you to find other authors and subjects of interest. There are other features that are not even explained, encouraging exploration (you will get happily lost and then found). You can share out stories, subscribe to authors, vote for stories…it’s fully Web 2.0.
With all these possibilities, my thoughts go back to some of my most favorite assignments from elementary school – the ones where I was asked to provide and image and write a story below it. To then see it posted on the wall with my classmates’ work…I remember those fondly.
Cowbird could be a wonderful tool to bring to your students. And it’s free.