Behind the Screens

Hlubinka, M. "Behind the Screens"


Too often, learners in constructionist learning environments stop too early in their design process. They imagine what is possible and then realize their vision, but they don't reflect on the results"that is, they don't take a step back from their work to get a deeper understanding of how and why they do what they do. Without reflection learners miss out on many important opportunities to improve their creations, discover new things, and share their ideas with others. In this thesis I describe and discuss Behind the Screens, a workshop which I developed to foster the practice of reflection among young people engaged in a constructionist learning environment. Over three months, twenty teenagers aged 12 to 18 at two Computer Clubhouse afterschool centers constructed digital videos about themselves or their "learning stories." I describe the set of tools, activities, and contexts used, and I examine the successes and challenges the workshops presented. Through analysis of the resulting stories, individual interviews, and transcripts of workshop discussions, I propose strategies for spreading the use of digital storytelling for reflective practice to other constructionist environments, especially among adolescents. More broadly, I also consider the role of mentoring and its relationship to the activities of the Clubhouse. I conclude with design suggestions for new software tools, activities, and contexts for creating, editing, and sharing digital video stories.These support the development of a culture of reflection among constructionist learners by promoting the creation of short digital video pieces produced by and for these youth.

Related Content