Remembering the Collaborative ABC Project

Has it really been almost three years since Bonnie and I invited teachers and educators to join us on a collaborative digital storytelling project? I realized that last night when I was doing some work on another project and stumbled across the website of all of the videos we created for that project.

The Collaborative ABC Movie Project began because I wanted to learn how to dig into the concept of digital storytelling; Bonnie wanted to expand her knowledge of the work by tapping into the collaborative nature of the Web; and others came along with us for the ride.

The structure of the project was an ABC book. We randomly doled out letters to about 15 “friends” from various online networks (including the National Writing Project) who were game to give digital storytelling a try. Most of them, like me, had never created a digital story before but could see the potential for learning. We wanted to nurture ourselves as learners first, as we mulled over the possibilities for the classroom. Our friends were assigned letters and asked to construct a short digital story around that letter. How they did it, and what they did it ab0ut, was entirely up them. We only asked that they share the video on either Google Video or YouTube, and add it into a video site (no longer around because it got swallowed up by Yahoo) called Jumpcut. (Actually, Google Video doesn’t quite exist anymore either, but the videos are still there if you know where to look.)

We used Jumpcut because it allowed you to string videos together under various themes. So Bonnie and I took the 26 videos and made one large piece, and then smaller pieces that developed around themes that emerged from people’s work. It was fascinating to be part of that adventure and I learned as much from creating a digital story as I did about overseeing a collaborative project of folks I didn’t really know.

Bonnie captured our experiences nicely in a … digital story.

And during a presentation we created for the K12 Online Conference a few years ago, we created this voicethread for anyone to add their own letter-inspired story to the collaborative mix. The thread is still open and the invitation is still there for you. What story will you tell?

You can view all of the stories at the Collaborative ABC Movie Website.

Peace (in the adventures),

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