What’s The Story: An out of the box learning style

Part 1:

Self Direction:

  1. Pursue Refined Questions

When I first started WTS, I had no idea what story I wanted to do! I had ideas about topics that I cared about, but I was clueless as to what story I wanted to spend an entire school year looking into. I would have put myself at a getting started in pursuing refined questions for sure! It wasn’t until we started to get into groups that I started to find a topic that I was interested in. By the middle of the year I was at making progress, and it wasn’t until we started to film and find characters at which I finally made it to got it, and then proficient. In the future I hope to become better at finding a meaningful story faster. I took my group a long time to find the exact story that we wanted to purse, and I want to take less time in the future.

  1. Manage Learning

When I first started WTS I was below getting started. I took me awhile to learn everyone’s names and figure out the ways my group could effectively communicate. My group took a while to figure out how to use the proper technology and communicate with each other when we weren’t at meetups. But by the time we started shooting, we had slack and google drive figured out. I made it to got it right around when we finished shooting, and how I believe I am at proficient because I have found a love for learning outside of school! I am applying to a page program in Washington D.C. where I will be able to learn in school, but also be immersed in the workings of the government. I have found how much fun it can be to learn outside of school.

  1. Feedback

When I came into WTS I was at a making progress for feedback. I was willing to listen to others feedback and apply it to my work, but I struggled to solicit and utilize specific feedback. When working with Geoff especially, I found how useful it is to really listen to others feedback, and not just hear it. I also got better at giving feedback to others because I used to be scared to hurt their feelings and end up not say anything. Now I am proficient because I have a deeper understanding of how important feedback is, and I like to listen and try to apply all the feedback I get to make my group project the best it can be. In the future I am going to try to continue to listen, and not just hear others feedback.

Responsible and Involved Citizenship:

  1. Informed Action

When we were put in groups, my group was unsure of the audience we wanted to connect to, and we weren’t even sure what our topic was. We took awhile to get to making progress because it took us so long to meld all our babies. It wasn’t until one of the final meetups at CVU that we all agreed on out mission statement, and we finally made it to got it. By this point we were in the middle of filming so we really needed to get that mission statement solidified. In the future I would like to figure out a mission statement first, because it would make the whole process a lot easier. After WTS I plan to take what I have learned and apply it to other parts in my life, such as school. I will know the main idea and my goal before going into a big project.

  1. Moral and Empathetic Imperative

I came into WTS with a good understanding of empathy towards others ideas, so for that I would rate myself at making progress. During the course of WTS I got a lot better at being empathetic for people if they really wanted their idea to be incorporated in the story. Also, my topic required a lot of empathy because we were talking to people who had had a very tough upbringing. I learned to appreciate that my family has enough money to send me to summer programs and stuff like that. I think that I am proficient at this skill because this summer I am planning to attend the climate reality leadership corps training. This will help me become more informed and make me do at least 10 things to help the climate every year. This is how I will continue to improve my skills in the future.

  1. Teamwork

It took my team a while to learn how to work together well. It wasn’t until we started shooting and even maybe when we started editing that we got better at saying something if a team member wasn’t doing their fair share of work. I feel that I have become a strong team member because when I started at WTS, I was not meeting deadlines. I figured out how to get a lot of work done and not let my team down. Now that I know how to be a good team member I use this when I am working on group projects in school and during dance. I will continue with this, and continue working to strengthen my team working skills.

Informed and Integrative Thinking:

  1. Interpret, Analyze, Evaluate, and Synthesise Information

I came into WTS with a making progress in this skill, and quickly made it to got it. I had had to use this skill a lot in school so I was very good at getting information from many sources. I believe that I stayed at got it for the entirety of WTS because my group didn’t use a lot of information. In the future I would like to build this skill to proficient.

  1. Systems Thinking

My group started at making progress with this skill. We had a bunch of parts, and we quickly made it to got it when we started interviewing. Now I believe that I am at proficient with this skill because I now use systems thinking in school, such as when I’m part of a group project; I know how to identify the parts and split them up so all the work gets done. In the future I plan to continue with this skill by using it in other aspects of my life.

  1. Claim and Evidence

When I first came into WTS, I was pretty good at making claims, but I found it challenging to meld all out babies into one claim, and therefore I had to work harder than usual. When our group finally found a claim for income inequality, it wasn’t that hard to find data to back it up. What makes us proficient at this skill is we now know how to critique our claim. Our group looked into having a counter argument for our documentary. Unfortunately the person was not available for the interview but if he was in our documentary we were going to acknowledge his point, but also persuade the viewer to look at our point of view. I will take this new learning of how to make an effective claim to my English class in school. Hopefully I will be able to better develop this skill.

Clear and Effective Communication:

  1. Active Listener

When I first started WTS I was at making progress for active listening. I could listen to others and understand what they were saying, but sometimes I didn’t use strategies that fit the situation, such as taking notes when I was having a one on one conversation with someone. Now I know how to actively listen to others and not necessarily have to take notes every time. I now use these skills when having conversations with my teachers at school, and during job interviews. I will continue to practice this skill by listening and not just hearing others.

  1. Purpose, Audience, and Organization

During WTS I was really able to improve this skill. I started at getting started but soon made it to making progress. By the time my group presented at the GIN conference, I was at got it with this skill. We created a game so our student audience wouldn’t have to just sit through a presentation for 40 minutes, and this really helped our success of the presentation. When designing the website I brought these skills to proficient because I had to look at the design, and make sure it would be accessible to teachers and students, because that is who our audience is. In the future I want to further this skill, but I’m not sure where yet.

  1. Storytelling

When I started WTS, my storytelling skills were at getting started. But, I started to watch documentaries while WTS progressed and started to make my way up to making progress and then got it. I used my storytelling knowledge acquired by watching documentaries and learning about in WTS to create a successful presentation with my group at GIN, and help my group figure out how our documentary should be formatted. Now, looking at the real world, I pick up on how companies and others use storytelling. In the future I want to make this skill better, but I’m not sure how yet.

Part 2:

What’s The Story is a school course like no other. Instead of being taught and assessed and taught and assessed, kids are encouraged to learn on their own. Participants of What’s The Story learn how to overcome problems by themselves or with a little help from their mentor. What’s The Story has an out of the box teaching style that I have come to love.

One major thing that I learned during the course of What’s The Story is how to effectively manage my time. I was already pretty good at this skill, but what I wasn’t good at was getting work done when I didn’t have a constant reminder to do it. Even though I am really busy, I am very good at procrastinating. When I don’t have constant deadlines I struggle at managing my time so I can get everything done, and usually the things that don’t have as close of a deadline get pushed back farther and farther until it becomes really hard for me to get them done. At the beginning of What’s The Story I had a hard time getting blog posts done in a timely manner. I often ended up submitting them late and then feeling really bad about it. Eventually it become so stressful for me that I decided I needed to make a change. I started giving more time to submitting blog posts and writing myself reminders to get stuff done. By doing this I was able to get a lot better at managing my time so I could get everything done and also not stressing about it so much. When my group started filming I started getting even better at this. It started to become mandatory for me to be accountable to my group. This led me to have a lot more motivation to get work done. Also, because we had to get characters and shoot so much footage, if I wasn’t accountable the stuff that I was in charge of just wasn’t going to get done. I feel that now What’s The Story is almost over I have carried this into other aspects of my life, and it has helped me become a lot less stressed and procrastinate less.

Another thing that I learned from What’s The Story is how to become friends with people I have never met before. Before this program started I never really had the chance to meet a lot of people outside of my town. I had my friends who I hung out with in school, and the friends I hung out with at dance, and there wasn’t much more than that. I really like What’s The Story because I got to meet people whose path I originally never would have crossed. When I started What’s The Story I didn’t know anyone, and it was scary at first to have to walk into a room not knowing anyone and be expected to make friends. But as time went on I started to really get to know people. The skill of making friends with people I have never met before has always scared me a little, but now because of What’s The Story I am more comfortable just going up to people and starting to talk to them. Overall What’s The Story was an amazing experience, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants an out of the box learning situation.

Alaena Hunt

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