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"The Blue Star" by Rex A. Tanimoto

http://www.bluestarstories.com/

Photo to Movie User Profile - Rex A. Tanimoto

Rex creates beautiful stories for children and English language learners using Photo to Movie. We took a few minutes to find out more about Rex.

LQ Graphics: What kind of work do you do?

Rex: I teach creative writing and digital storytelling to students studying English at a university in Japan.

LQ: What is your background?

Rex: I received my Bachelor's and Master's degrees in curriculum and instructions in the U.S. I have published and helped produce numerous storytelling textbooks and interactive CD-ROMs for learners of English. My areas of interests are in instructional technology, creative writing, and digital audio recording. I am a member of the National Storytelling Network, Japan Association of Language Teachers, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and the International Society for Technology in Education.

LQ: How do you use Photo to Movie?

Rex: I use it in combination with background music and sound effects for pre- and post-writing exercises together with my multimedia projects and presentations.

LQ: How has Photo to Movie benefited you in your work?

Rex: Photo to Movie accomplishes what storytellers do best: it captures and holds the audience's attention and concentration, making teaching materials more appealing to the eye and senses. My students are also using Photo to Movie for their digital storytelling projects. They tend to be much more motivated in completing their assignments with Photo to Movie.

LQ: What feature(s) in Photo to Movie do you use most often?

Rex: In addition to adding motion to my stories, I import audio, recorded narrations, sound effects and background music. I also use the text feature.

LQ: Do you think storytelling has an effect on learning?

Rex: Yes, absolutely! Ever since I started teaching, I began looking for ways to get students excited about learning and using English. The turning point in my teaching career came when I discovered the wealth of learning that was taking place whenever I told stories to my students. Please visit my homepage at http://bluestarstories.com/ and click on "Storytelling & Learning" to view my students' comments about storytelling.

LQ: Do you think visual storytelling can have the same effect as oral storytelling?

Rex: With the exception of children, teenagers and adults develop a fear of talking in front of an audience. With visual, or digital storytelling, there is no fear factor that impedes the desire to communicate, since the presentation is produced rather than performed live. In addition, digital storytelling goes beyond verbal and non-verbal delivery skills. It stimulates the use of inventive thinking. Digital storytellers are authors of their own stories. They use technology to explore ways to engage and entertain their audience.

LQ: Any final thoughts?

Rex: Thank you very much for the invitation to appear in your newsletter. Photo to Movie is a big hit with my students, both high achievers and reluctant learners alike. The majority of my students had never written a story in English before. They are also faced with another challenge of using technology to produce their stories. After their Photo to Movie story debut, they can't wait to write and produce more stories. Photo to Movie gave my students confidence and the passion to share their stories with others.

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