There is a storyteller in every one of us and all it takes is only a tiny spark to ignite our imagination. As children we were experts in the art of telling stories – recreating incidents to friends adding our own flavours; formulating a plausible explanation for not finishing an assignment; portraying ourselves as the innocent victim and not perpetrator of the mischief.
Imagine bringing together a group of smart students for a 2 day workshop in a classroom setting and adding a touch of technology. Sounds exciting! Well that is what we did at Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan Senior Secondary School, T.Nagar, Chennai.
Nextwave Multimedia, the developers of ‘Comics Head’ a digital storytelling App, organized the ‘Digital Storytelling Workshop’ on the 4th & 5th April 2014. Mrs. Meera Shivshankar, a veteran English Teacher and a Novelist anchored the workshop. She has authored 6 English novels and a collection of short stories. The participants were 7th to 10th standard students of PSBBSS, T.Nagar School.
On day 1 the students were introduced to the fundamentals of storytelling. The importance of the 6 elements i.e. Theme, Characters, Setting, Plot, Conflict and Layout; which is necessary for constructing a story was explained in detail to the students. The students were given instructions to download ‘Comicshead’ App for the 2nd day’s session.
We started day 2 with apprehension; were the students able to download the App.? Would they find it difficult to use the App.? Will they be able to use the 6 elements of storytelling? We realized immediately at the start that our fears were misplaced. The students had downloaded and even mastered using ‘Comics Head App’. All of them had come prepared with their broad plans for the story. Our team briefly explained the various features of ‘Comics Head’, and Mrs. Meera summarized the previous days session to refresh the students memories.
The students went about pictographically giving shape to their stories. Each student presented their stories to the class and Mrs. Meera gave her assessment and suggestions for improvisation. It was exciting to see the variety of stories and the imaginative use of layouts and characters. We leave you with a few of the stories and wishing the students happy storytelling with ‘Comics Head’.