The art of telling stories is an important teaching skill. Telling stories with the help of pictures is not only interesting and entertaining for the audience but also assist in teaching students about important concepts, attitudes, human experiences and cultural values. The advent of technology gave birth to the idea of combining the art of telling stories with a variety of multimedia such as computer-based images, audio narrations, music and video clips. This practice of using technology for telling stories is commonly termed as Digital Story Telling.
A commonly used phrase is “a picture is worth a thousand words”. If this is true, then one can imagine the importance and worth of a video. Digital story telling activity can be used in classrooms to support engagement, attention and interest of the ‘NET Generation’.
Types of Digital Storytelling
Digital stories can be categorized into three major groups
Personal stories and narrative are often the source of personal discovery, introspection and significant incidents in one’s life. Watch this video by Maxine Tan about her personal reflection on stress and education.
Stories designed to inform or instruct
This type of digital story is used to inform the viewer on a particular concept and convey instructional material in many different areas of education. Watch the following video by Andrea Arias, about uses of three dimensional printer and how they can be used in class.
Third type of digital stories are the ones that examine and recount events from the past by using historical photographs, newspaper headlines, speeches or other available materials to produce a story that adds meaning to historical events. Watch slaves reshape Virginia with the African views and values of the slave population by Krystal Scott.
Steps in Digital Story Telling
There are eight steps in Digital Storytelling process which help students achieve various important skills.
Educational uses of Digital Story telling
The digital story telling can be used in educational institutes by teachers, students or management.
Powerful Instructional Tool for Teachers
Educators can create their own stories and display them in class as a way to present new curriculum related material. Using an engaging digital story in class can help capture students’ attention and spark their interest in exploring new ideas. It can especially be helpful to present abstract ideas or concepts that require some visual stimulus. Gathering all images, audios and videos in a short narration can help save time and provide an exposure to a wide variety of material.
Short digital stories are a powerful instruction tool as it can help students retain information and assist in comprehension of difficult material.
Effective Learning Tool For Students
Students can be taught to create their own stories. According to Robin (2006), when students participate in the various steps of designing, creating and presenting their own digital stories, they are developing a range of following important skills
In order to present the story, students need not only to search for relevant information but also analyze and synthesize the information for authenticity and relevance to the topic.
A prerequisite for creating a video is to construct the narrative – the script, which requires the student to formulate a point of view and select appropriate tone, words and grammar.
In order to preparing a five minute video for a class project students have to manage the large amount of material or data on any subject. Digital story telling experience help students learn organization skills by managing the scope of the project, the materials used and the time it takes to complete the project within the given time frame.
Producing a digital story requires the students to learn and use a variety of tools, such as digital cameras, scanners, microphones and multimedia authoring software and search engines.
Students have to decide and practice the best ways to present their stories in a meaningful way such as using eye catching images, sound effects and avoiding practices that introduce boredom such as providing too much text or transition effect in the video.
Depending upon the nature of the story, students may decide on how to find appropriate sources to interview and determine questions to ask, thus learning interviewing skills.
A group assignment may help students learn interpersonal skills and fosters collaboration by working with others, expressing opinions and deciding and delegating individual roles for group members.
The digital storytelling process help students become problem solvers by making important decisions at all stages of the project, from inception to completion.
Assessment and Digital Citizenship Skills:
Student created digital stories can be published online to gain feedback from other fellow students. This practice provides an opportunity for students to critique their own work and other students’ work, which can not only promote social learning but also help students understand the netiquettes.
Story Telling Tool For Management
Management can create stories about the organization and display them on their website for parents and other audience. Also, stories of efforts put forth by hardworking staff can be used in training sessions for motivating and inspiring others.
Digital Storytelling Resources and apps
There are a variety of tools and apps that can be used to create an effective digital story. Have a look at my “Digital Storytelling Tools, Apps and Resources Board” in Pinterest, to get started.
– Robin, B. (2016). The Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling Website
University of Houston College of Education