El Paso Independent School District is getting ready to share its story. Five middle schools in the district are part of the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools’ (VILS) third cohort. This year, these schools are embarking on an exciting and challenging journey. Educators from across the district have been planning and preparing for months. They’re not only focused on leveraging new technology to enhance learning in the classroom and at home, but also the storytelling process. Storytelling provides an opportunity to share each school’s story and to help students express themselves.
Student device rollout isn’t for a few more weeks, but teachers have already had their tablets for several months. For the storytellers, this has been a great opportunity to focus on how they’ll document and share their school’s story. El Paso has five VILS sites, each with its own campus storyteller, and all are coordinated by a lead district storyteller. With this structure, it’s important for the storytellers to connect and make sure their focus is clear and unified. The storytellers regularly meet as a group to work through a shared strategy for storytelling in El Paso.
This collaboration time before students receive their devices is critical. Teachers get a head start on learning how to use and incorporate technology, and are able to plan strategies for learning and storytelling. By the time the student rollout event arrives, the storytellers will have a documentation strategy and a team of students to help capture the excitement of the day. After rollout, the student storytelling team will be critical in helping each El Paso storyteller (and storytellers across all our VILS sites) capture and share evidence of learning and stories from the school community.