Digital storytelling at its most basic core is the practice of using computer-based tools to tell stories.
There are a variety of other terms used to describe this practice, such as digital documentaries, computer-based narratives, digital essays, electronic memoirs, interactive storytelling, etc.; but in general, all of them revolve around the idea of combining the art of telling stories with a variety of multimedia, including graphics, audio, video, and Web publishing.
This is a great way for teachers to encourage the creative use of technology in learning. The process can be used with almost any subject, and with the abundance of apps and tools available; and suitable for every classroom.
Why should you introduce digital storytelling in your class?
There are four major benefits of digital storytelling:
1. It becomes a source of encouragement for artistic students
Having digital storytelling session can help artistically inclined use their talents and passions to get creative. Even student musicians, actors, cartoonists, photographers, graphic artists, rappers and singers can contribute their skill sets to their group’s digital stories.
Their passion for the artistic aspect of this project might also motivate them to learn new skills to ensure they succeed. For example, a student who can showcase act on a script written by her own self within a digital story about peer pressure might be more inclined to study video editing, work with the video recorders to connect the story arc with her act, and collaborate with the director so the staging and lighting fit her performance.
2. It gives English learners a new way to communicate
English learners can effectively communicate their stories through digital media as it allows them to articulate their thoughts. They can practice, record, listen to themselves and rerecord if required.
Digital storytelling also shows students struggling with the language that each one has a story to tell; but portrayal of a story could be different. One can simply, narrate a story or take help of their talents, technology or go for teamwork.
Besides these, beginning, intermediate and advanced English learners can help each other in putting forth their voices.
3. It turns tech-savvy students into teachers
Digital story-telling allows students with knowledge of tools like iMovie, GoAnimate, iMotionHD or Adobe Photoshop to help other classmates. Those students actually become a teacher to students unfamiliar with any of the mentioned apps.
This activity not only boosts their confidence, but it also helps everyone progress collectively.
4. It creates a peer-centered learning environment
Whilst your objectives will be a central point in the digital storytelling process, this project can help create a powerful learning environment in your classroom. Digital storytelling mixes different media and skills; and creates a powerful exchange of information.
In this process, students work together, learn from each other and recognize the value of storytelling as an art form. Not only this, they also learn from their peers by developing awareness as well as empathy based on the digital stories they choose to create and share with each other and online.