The Northwest Territories Educators' Conference took place in Yellowknife last week and we were honoured to return, presenting three Digital Storytelling Workshops to 75 teachers from across NWT. The conference is quite the event, with over 900 delegates flying in from across the Territory in 21 chartered airplanes. Because of the logistics (and the expense!), this conference is only held every three years.
We began each workshop by screening several Digital Stories created by NWT youth over the past year, demonstrating how technically quite simple these projects can be while still conveying a compelling message through such a relevant and empowering activity. These Digital Stories are inspiring and informative, allowing young people to grapple with issues of identity, challenges in their lives and their communities, and goals for their futures.
Following the screening, we demonstrated the basics of digital storytelling using simple PC, Mac & iPad software. Our aim was to provide educators with a powerful tool to incorporate digital literacy and media education into their classrooms, while also helping students find their own unique voice and tell their own stories.
Here's what some of our workshop participants had to say about their experience:
"[Digital storytelling is] a perfect fit for my media class. The process or skills needed are attainable and the equipment is basically already in our school. The end product has so much potential for meaningful student self-expression and positive feedback."
"I appreciate how students will be able to create their own works to explore their identity, experiences and community and share elements of that with others."
"[Through digital storytelling] every child has the opportunity to create a project that is important to them and [...] they can be proud of their accomplishment."
"These workshops are invaluable. I hope to see you in our schools soon."
We have participated in teacher conferences across Canada over the years, but the NWTTA Educators' Conference is truly an inspiring experience. We are grateful for the incredible opportunity to learn from the keynote speakers -- including Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner Dr. Marie Wilson and author Richard Van Camp -- in addition to meeting so many teachers who are excited to introduce digital storytelling to their own students! Spoiler alert: it looks like Behchokǫ̀, NWT will be the next community we bring our new Digital Storytelling Workshop to. :)
If you are interested in learning how to incorporate digital storytelling into your classroom, contact us today. We would be happy to help you get off on the right foot!