Digital storytelling has become the modernized expression of ancient art of telling stories. In the education world, allowing students to use digital outlets to tell stories can be of great benefit. According to Regina Royer and Patricia Richards, professors at Salisbury University in Maryland, using digital storytelling will “not only engage students in developing technology literacy, writing skills and specific curricular content, but also improve their reading comprehension” (Richards & Royer, 2008). Digital storytelling aligns with all 16 of the recommended strategies for reading comprehension set forth by the National Reading Panel, part of President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act. These strategies include mental imagery, active listening, reciprocal teaching, sequencing, and summarizing. Having these abilities as a student would make learning easier, retention higher, and motivation increase. In their article Learning Connections: Digital Storytelling, Richards & Royer outline the steps in creating a digital story. First the student must select and research a chosen topic, next they must reflect on that topic and write a narration script. After completing the second step, students move on to selecting and inserting images, recording the narration, and adding sound and music. After completing these steps, the student views their creations, makes any edits, and saves their digital story. All that’s left is to share their masterpiece with their teacher and/or peers. (Richards & Royer, 2008). While these steps may seem simple, completing all these actions might be met with confusion and struggle. For those who need the help and extra resources, ISTE now provides a Special Interest Group for digital storytelling (SIGDS). Lead by renowned digital storytelling master Bernajean Porter, SIGDS provides a wiki page full of resources to help students get started with their projects. These resources include story prompts, free webinar archives, and examples are available using this link.
Below are a few other links that may b helpful for starting, completing, and sharing your digital story as well as viewing stories made by others.
This is a site for teachers that explains how to integrate digital storytelling into the classroom.
And this is a place where students and teachers can find other IST digital stories made by their peers.
I think that incorporating this technology into the classroom would help students achieve technological goals set forward in TPE 14. Using technological resources like digital storytelling allows students to use their imagination and get creative, allows students to share their findings with others, and increases retention rate and reading level. I feel like this is an important resource that I will use as a project for my students. Pertaining to history, I will ask my students to pick a small event they find interesting and tell it from a first person point of view. I think that this will make my students retain information, get creative with writing a story, and will also teach their peers about smaller events that make up a larger historical event.
Ragan-Fore, J. (2009) Share your digital stories in Learning and Leading with Technology. June/July 2009 (page 48).
Richards, P. & Royer, R. (2008) Learning Connections: Digital Storytelling in Learning and Leading with Technology. November 2008 (pages 29-30).