Alberta Stories: Bringing digital storytelling to Alberta’s classrooms

October 01, 2014

The ATB Financial Alberta Stories Roadcase program brings digital storytelling into the classroom as students collect, record, and share stories of our musical heritage with other students across Alberta.

How do you envision a twenty-first century learning environment? What skills do young learners need to be successful in the future? How can we combine technology and curriculum in engaging project-based learning? These are questions the NMC education team is exploring as we plan develop innovative educational experiences. One such experience is launching this fall, the ATB Financial Alberta Stories Roadcase.

NMC’s Roadcase program allows schools to experience our collection through travelling kits that include lesson plans and materials to support a broad range of curriculum connections. The Alberta Stories Roadcase is one such kit that provides Alberta schools with resources and technology to collect oral histories and field recordings of music in their communities. The work they create will feed into a digital storytelling project produced and shared by NMC in ongoing exhibitions.

Digital storytelling is a short narrative, often in the first-person, created by combining recorded voice, soundscapes, music, and still and moving images. It is an exciting movement in education with much pedagogical support for its impact on student learning. Students are interviewers, journalists, sound engineers, filmmakers and storytellers. Whether documenting their accordion-playing grandmother, the history of their church organ, or their own school band—the Alberta Stories program has a strong connection to Alberta’s curriculum of studies and emphasizes on twenty-first century learning including digital literacy, active citizenship, research and critical thinking skills.

“This is not just an opportunity to use technology in the classroom. This project develops life skills students must have to be successful in the twenty-first century. Technology does not always cooperate 100% of the time. If something goes wrong, students need to know how to solve the problem and not give up.” – Grade 5 teacher, Calgary

Alberta Stories empowers students to explore the question: “How does music and sound shape our community?” This is a big question to tackle, so the activities included in the educator’s guide break down the question into smaller inquiries. Teachers can work through the activities one by one, or they can pick and choose as they see fit. Students may work in groups or individually. What’s most important is that teachers are comfortable working with their students to create the project, the story shares the love and understanding of music in Alberta’s communities with NMC, and students have fun!

Alberta Stories includes:

  • Bilingual teacher’s guide with lesson plans, worksheets, and helpful tips
  • Audio recorders and headphones
  • iPads equipped with applications, software, and special video cases

NMC is now accepting bookings for the 2014–15 school year. If you are interested in bringing Alberta Stories to your classroom, book today!

About the Author

Marcy Belva

Marcy has been at NMC since November 2015 as the School Programs Administrator. Her passions include museum education, crafting, animals, and science. She is currently trying to become a comic book nerd, despite being in her late 20's.



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300-851 4 Street SE
Calgary, AB T2G 1P2
T 403.543.5115
TF 1.800.213.9750


300-851 4 Street SE
Calgary, AB T2G 1P2
T 403.543.5115
TF 1.800.213.9750

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