Mom, I want to be a musketeer – The video

 

moschettieri

 

Here you can find the video I produced for my storytelling. Enjoy it!

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My storyboard

 

A photo of me when i was a child NARRATION: When I was a child, every carnival, my mom used to ask to my grand mother to sew me

EFFECTS: 

TRANSITION: 

principessa NARRATION: a princess costume to wear at the kindergarten’s carnival week.

EFFECTS:

TRANSITION:

idontwant NARRATION: But when I was 5 years old I really didn’t want to wear a female dress

and I told my mom that I wanted to wear as one of the three musketeers.

EFFECTS:

TRANSITION:

moschettieri NARRATION: and I told my mom that I wanted to wear as one of the three musketeers.


EFFECTS:

TRANSITION:

girl-smiling-5-1429138 NARRATION: When I arrived at the kindergarten I was super enthusiastic with my costume.

EFFECTS:

TRANSITION:

 entrata-asilo NARRATION: I entered and went around, showing my beautiful dress to everybody.

EFFECTS:

TRANSITION:

 Black screen NARRATION: 

But nobody was as enthusiast as I was.

EFFECTS:

TRANSITION:  

 blabla NARRATION: I remember that girls made some joke on my costume;

EFFECTS:

TRANSITION:

bbvsgg NARRATION: boys didn’t want to play with me because I was a girl even if I was wearing a masculine costume;

EFFECTS:

TRANSITION: 

angry-professor NARRATION: and also my teacher told me that my costume wasn’t a feminine one and that in the next days I should have changed it.

EFFECTS:TRANSITION:
 sadness NARRATION: At the end of the day I was really sad but I was sure that at home I could have found a trusted alley, my mum

EFFECTS:

TRANSITION:

“I told you that it wasn’t a good idea, I told you to dress up like a girl” NARRATION: I went home and I told her what happened to find some support but she just said: “I told you that it wasn’t a good idea, I told you to dress up like a girl”

EFFECTS:

TRANSITION:

 

photo of me crying (I have a lot!) NARRATION: At these words I burst into tears and I went to bed resigned to wear an old princess costume next day. 

EFFECTS:

TRANSITION:

 crying NARRATION: In the morning I woke up sadly, I took my milk, wash my face and go to the dress room with a very angry mood because I could not do what I really felt like to do! 
EFFECTS:

TRANSITION:

peter-pan NARRATION: But when I opened the door, Surprise! I found my old brother’ Peter Pan costume on the chair and my mother saying:

EFFECTS:

TRANSITION:

 “As the teacher told you, I prepare for you a new dress!”.  “As the teacher told you, I prepare for you a new dress!”.
 

little-girl-1432907

NARRATION: I remember that immediately all my sadness walked away, I dressed up super quickly, put my best smile on and run with my mom to the kindergarten even prouder than the day before 

and sure that I wasn’t wrong:

EFFECTS:

TRANSITION:

 mother-10516_960_720 NARRATION: my mum was my best alley!

EFFECTS:

I am a musketeer!

When I was a child, every carnival, my mom asked to my grand mother to sew me a princess costume to wear at the kindergarten’s carnival week but when I was 5 years old I really didn’t want to wear a female dress and I told my mom that I wanted to wear as one of the four musketeers.

When I arrived at the kindergarten I was super enthusiast with my costume. I entered and went around, showing my beautiful dress to everybody. But nobody was enthusiast as I was.

I remember that girls made some joke on my costume; boys didn’t want to play with me because I was a girl even if I was wearing a masculine costume; and also my teacher told me that my costume wasn’t a feminine one and that in the next days I should have changed it.

At the end of the day I was really sad but I was sure that at home I could have found a trusted alley, my mum. I went home and I told her what happened to find some support but she just said: “I told you that it wasn’t a good idea, I told you to wear like a girl”. At these words I burst into tears and I went to bed resigned to wear an old princess costume next day.

In the morning I woke up sadly, I took my milk, wash my face and go to the dress room with a very angry mood because I could not do what I really felt like to do! But when I opened the door I found my old brother’ Peter Pan costume on the chair and my mother saying: “As the teacher told you, I prepare for you a new dress!”.

I remember that immediately all my sadness walked away, I dressed up super quickly, put on my best smile and run with my mom to the kindergarten even prouder than the day before and sure that I wasn’t wrong: my mum was my best alley!

What about storytelling? Some impressions and what I learned today

Storytelling has become what can be defined a buzzword of our time.

It is used in very different private and public domains, starting from the communication field, passing by business world and politics.

When I think about this word my mind goes to one of that video in which you can see someone’ hand sketching out on a white board what an out-field word is telling or to a TEDx’ style conversation.

In my opinion storytelling can be defined both as a method and a practice that tries to organize in systemic and attractive way the activity to report some contents to the public.

This attempt to re-organize thoughts and contents can be devoted to commercial, political or educational scopes but even if storytelling can be used to achieve different objectives, all storytellings lie upon commons features.

If we think that storytelling is nothing more then telling stories (I am sorry for this word play but this was quite useful to go through the topic analysis) we can understand the importance that many researchers and influencers are giving to the different narrative’ phases. These can be called “pity, fear, catharsis” – using an aristotelian categorization – or simply “suffering, struggle, overcome” or, as suggested by Kurt Vonnegut, they can be illustrated with graphs. Then again, Freytag explains us how we can theorize a universal structure of stories, based on the idea of a “dramatic arc” or “coming climax”.

Freytag theorization leads us to another crucial element of storytelling, that is the empathy or emotional connection that it has to convey.

If it is always more common to listen researchers – as Paul Zak – linking the creation of emotions to chemical processes, in my opinion this is not the only perspective from witch we can study the relationship between storytelling and emotional dynamics. A particular role is played also by the capacity of the narrator to create a sense of community and participation in the audience. Another important element is the capacity to keep engaged public by adding interesting or unexpected element in the narration.

Far from saying that writing stories and manage storytelling processes are easy tasks, the willingness to influence in a positive way the world or to get back in people who get you down is not enough to say the effectiveness of narrative tools, especially in a world always faster and full of contents. It is crucial to feel the gap by connecting emotionally, to entertain people.

And if it is true that when other’s emotion are at stake there can be some controversial effect, what is also true that bringing emotions in stories is inevitable since stories defines us.

 

 

A TEDx conversation with Antan Agarwal

What does it mean Massive Open Online Courses? (not only, but also) Million of people having free access to high level education offered also by very famous Universities.

This could be all alone an already highly impressive statement. Anyway, what fascinates me most of MOOCs, is the fact that they are offered thanks to the application of the huge technology revolution we are experiencing to one of the most classical and daily aspect of our lives.

As Antant Agarwal reminds us, education hasn’t changed a lot in the last 500 years. Anyway, in one moment, printed books, dashboards, etc. had an impact on the fruition of education. We can think about these elements as technologies that changed education and imagine how ongoing progress can actually transform education’ quality, access, scale.

Agarwal suggest that we “cannot really reengineering education” but that we should “completely re-imagining it”. It is to say that, instead of thinking only about offering online classe, we can imagine to offer online exercises, gamified laboratories, peer interaction, forum to discuss without having to pay too much attention to physical proximity.

Some organizations (e.g. Ed-x) and some Universities (e.g. MIT) are strongly committed to pursue this objective and are experiencing good results, especially around the issue of accessibility to education. Anyway, we should not only focus on “the numbers of education” while trying to find a good justification to innovation in education systems. Indeed, taking another perspective on MOOCs, we could focus on the crucial issue of communication in the internet era and on the generational change of education’ public. The so called millennials generation or digital native’ generations, is naturally prepared to technology and this should be considered while thinking about the future of our education systems. Agarwal suggests to “embrace technology, embrace millennials” and, for example, think about the importance of video, of having the possibility to listen to other people teaching them something directly from their bedroom.

If these were the only ingredients of Agarwal’s recipe for the future of education, I would have been really scared, since I am a big fun of human-human interaction, empathy and in-depth relationships inspiring me.

Anyway, Agrawal gives a great importance also to “physical” elements of education, putting at the center of his dissertation interactive laboratories and better thought face-to-face education moments focused on collaboration between students and also between students and professors.

After some pilots actions, Agrawal can suggest some key ideas – also taken from the most classical learning theories – that we could pursue in a more committed way in education systems thanks to new technologies:

  1. Active learning, meaning that students do not only listen passively to a teacher but have some “classic” learning moments flanked by interactive exercises (a sort of “ultimate Socratization” of education, or simply “teaching by asking questions”).
  2. Self-pacing, meaning that thanks to new technologies student could focus on their own necessities in a easier way, listening twice if they could not understand well or if they found a passage of the lesson particularly interesting.
  3. Instant feedback, meaning that students can actually see immediately if they are right or no becoming much more engaged in their own learning process and also receiving immediate satisfaction from their work.
  4. Gamification applied in online labs to engage better student in learning stimulating also creativity and design skills.
  5. Peer learning, meaning that you can use discussion forum and Facebook-like interaction to help students in their learning and changing the classical scheme trough which only teachers teach.

My best learning experience

As in my attempt to define what learning is, when I think more deeply about my learning experiences, I can realize that most of them combines elements of the three theories.

This is particularly true when I move from my first years of school and focus on what has been the best learning experience in my life, that I identify with the one that taught me how to study and systemically use knowledge. This happened in high school, thanks to my history’s professor and his teaching methods. As in every Italian high school, history lessons were organised in a chronological way and used to focus mainly on historical episodes and their causes, developments and consequences. Anyway, my professor chose for us a book that was not organised in a chronological way but “per topics”. For example, you could find an entire century analysed from an economic and innovation perspective, focusing on the evolution of culture or looking at social consequences of historical episode. My history professor never gave us any instruction on how to study for tests and interviews and on how to link his lessons to the contents of the book. The first time I tried to prepare a test, I studied an incredible amount of pages, trying to cover all the part of the book that could have been linked to the topics exposed during the lesson but, since I could not remember all the data collected in the book and I could not elaborate systemically what I read, I failed badly. It was one of the first time in which my gold memory was not enough to be good at school. After that episode I tried many times to improve my performance, integrating lessons with movies and articles, linking history to economic and social elements and discussing my doubts with some of my colleagues. After some time, I could understand what was I demanded to do and why it was extremely useful to go through that process of creation of linkages, changes of perspective, critic and discussion, not only for succeed in a test.

I can say that my best learning experience can be sought as a long-term process in which elements from the three different theories found a good equilibrium and was systemically present.

In fact, starting with a constructive approach to the necessity of the students to experience a new method of study and always fostering the discussion between students, my professor triggered in me a process that can be referred to the cognitive theory of learning. In particular, by using different research material he imposed me to stop and think about what I was learning and how I was doing it. Moreover, my first failure has been a very strong element that motivated me to improve and to find alone my own way through the learning process, without expecting someone to give me the exact contents to use. Thanks to this effort I became aware of how my knowledge could improve and be refined thanks to an individual elaboration and reasoning but also by using different material offered by my professor as newspapers, supplementary work-sheets, movies, songs. Anyway, even if I went through a process with strong cognitive elements, I think that there have been some behavioral contents in my learning process that was crucial to me and to the development of my own knowledge. In particular, I can track in my experience the constant presence of gradual challenges offered by my professor and linked to the Italian school system, to evaluate my performance. Definitely, this long term process, in which positive and negative feedbacks were always present, allowed me to elaborate always more refined skills and was fundamental to be aware of my own knowledge and to assess it.