What is Digital Storytelling?

 

" The cooperative learning process of debate, discussion, and
reflection that students engage in as they work together to storyboard,
shoot, and edit their digital stories is critical to the learning process. "
(http://digitalstorytelling.coe.uh.edu/)

 

Simply put, digital stories are multimedia movies that combine photographs, video, animation, sound, music, text, and often a narrative voice. Digital stories may be used as an expressive medium within the classroom to integrate subject matter with extant knowledge and skills from across the curriculum. Students can work individually or collaboratively to produce their own digital stories. Once completed, these stories are easily be uploaded to the internet and can be made available to an international audience, depending on the topic and purpose of the project.

 

The aspects of digital storytelling - pictures, music, and narration - reinforce ideas and appeal to different learning types. Teachers can use it to introduce projects, themes, or any content area, and can also let their students make their own digital stories and then share them. Teachers can create digital stories to help facilitate class discussions, as an anticipatory set for a new topic, or to help students gain a better understanding of more abstract concepts. These stories can become an integral part of any lesson in many subject areas. Students can also create their own digital stories and the benefits that they can receive from it can be quite plentiful. Through the creation of these stories students are required to take ownership of the material they are presenting. They have to analyze and synthesize information as well. All of this supports higher level thinking. Students are able to give themselves a voice through expressing their own thoughts and ideas.

 

When students are able participate in the multiple steps of designing, creating and presenting their own digital stories, they can build several literacy skills. These include the following:

  • Research skills: finding and analysing information,

  • Writing skills: developing a script,

  • Organisation skills: managing the scope of the project within a time constraint. Technology skills: using a variety of tools, such as digital cameras and multimedia authoring software,

  • Presentation skills: presentating of the story to an audience.

Students also gain interview, interpersonal, problem-solving and assessment skills through completing their digital story and learning to receive and give constructive criticism.

 

The educational goals for teachers using digital storytelling are to generate interest, attention and motivation for students of the "digital generation" in classrooms. Including digital storytelling into the classroom is a way to incorporate multimedia into the school curriculum and, together with social networking, to increase global participation, collaboration, and communication skills. Moreover, digital storytelling incorporates teaching technology skills such as information literacy, visual literacy, global awareness, communication and technology literacy.