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Using Digital Storytelling as PBL to Transform Student Learning

Explore and create

Explore and create : Creation lab

Wednesday, December 2, 4:30–6:00 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Michael Hernandez  
After scrapping his 20-year-old curriculum in the face of changing demographics and rapid tech evolution, the presenter developed new ways to foster passionate learning in his classroom. In this workshop, participants develop their own project-based learning framework based on digital storytelling within a collaborative, student-centered classroom.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Principals/head teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: iOS
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Bring digital or analog tools to take notes and do planning during the workshop
Topic: Project-, problem- & challenge-based learning
Grade level: 6-12
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
  • Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.
Additional detail: Session recorded for video-on-demand

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Taking the challenge of a static, standardized test-driven education system, this session helps participants rethink their teaching methods to incorporate digital storytelling as a framework for project-based learning. Participants will leave the session with a revised unit plan, and have a better understanding of how to do the same with the rest of their curriculum.


Intro (5 min)
The challenge (10 min)
The solution (examples) (10 min)
What is ‘digital storytelling’ and how is it PBL? (10 min)
Case studies (10 min)
Unit plan development (30 min)
Workshop share out/feedback (15 min)

Supporting research

Five Tips for integrating critical thinking into education. (Psyshology today)

Will design thinking strategies benefit students? (Stanford)

More [+]


Michael Hernandez, Mira Costa High School

Michael is an award-winning teacher, author and consultant in Los Angeles whose work focuses on media literacy, digital storytelling and innovation in learning. He is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Adobe Education Leader, Google for Education Certified Innovator and PBS Digital Innovator. Twitter: @cinehead Instagram: @changing.the.narrative

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