While several of the Revelations resonate with me, two of them strike me square in the gut:
Revelation #12: "Students need to become heroes of their own learning stories as well as of the stories they tell with their own lives." I agree that stories are essential to our survival and our well-being. I cannot count the number of times over the course of my 20 years as an educator that a student was upset, out of control, frustrated, whatever: When they were provided an opportunity to articulate why -- either in a conversation, a conference, an essay, a poem, or an angry outburst -- a story was revealed, and the student felt better. Something was released in the telling, and their behavior changed. Sometimes the telling of the story resulted in tears, other times in laughter, other times still it created even more frustration. No matter, though: The telling mattered and changed them. The section in the text about how "Stories Help Us Survive" (pgs. 9-10) prompted plenty of underlining and margin notes for me. I love this thought, in particular: "Stories allow us to take snippets of life and put them together in ways that make it possible for us to learn and remember new things. They give communities coherence and our lives meaning. They make order out of what would otherwise be the ongoing chaos of life and help each of us create a sense of personal identity..." (p. 9).
From the same section of the text, and similar in theme is Revelation #13: "Stories help us remember." I spent several summers leading summer institutes for the Alaska State Writing Consortium. During those multi-week gatherings of teachers from across the state, we would write (and write and write and write). Every single time, I was struck by how much all of us would remember as a result of the writing...as a result of the story-telling. Whether they were stories about our lives as educators, childhood tales, poems about lost loves, or philosophical rants about what is good and bad in the world, the very act of telling a story would help us to remember. I had to pause a number of times while reading Section One of the text because the emphasis on story, in general, would pull me sideways into memories of so many different things. Thoughts of old black and white photographs of my grandparents would derail my focus when reading sections related to the selection and use of images in a digital story; flashes of my children's elementary school artwork came to mind as I read of Hannah's digital story about the fox; Canon in D drifted into my memory while reading comments about the power of music in a digital story...or the impact of the lack of music, in other cases. Stories do help us remember, and the very act of reading about stories took me forever because it caused me to remember so much.
Without a doubt, a favorite line from the sections detailing the 20 Revelations was this one: "One of the most powerful stories a teacher can have students tell is the story of their future selves, in which they become heroes of the lives they want to live" (p. 10).
Ohler, J. (2013). Digital Storytelling in the Classroom: New Media Pathways to Literacy, Learning, and Creativity. Second Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.