Digital storytelling holds a lot of promise for classroom application and it gets the students using technology and applying critical thinking skills while researching a topic. Digital storytelling can also make technology and student work relevant for the student: they can show off their videos to an audience!
Making student work relevant makes it more effective. The diversity of digital storytelling can make it relevant for so many different students. For example, a student interested in films or film making can create a film based on the topic at hand. Not only is it something the student is interested in, but it can lead to the student thinking about film making as a career option.
Not only are we engaging our students in the topic (whether it is the French Revolution, International Relations, or a novel that the students read in class), but we are possibly engaging them in thinking about careers, their audience (if their work is posted on a blog or shared on the internet) and what kind of story they are sharing.
The students are also engaged in the creative process while following 8 Steps to Great Digital Storytelling and they are creating something, rather than just taking in information and regurgitating it via an essay or test.
Ideas for digital storytelling projects
- video compliation
- song (written and recorded)
- music video
- your imagination is the limit!
I can see myself integrating digital storytelling in my (future) social studies classroom. Students could compile a biography of an important historical figure, re-enact a historical event, or create a video similar to the one found on my digital portfolio for EDU 370.
Researching a particular historical figure could give the students a different historical perspective than what he or she was taught previously. It is important to understand perspective while studying history. Cause and effect are also important factors that can be incorporated in digital storytelling. The students can (perhaps) learn what caused a person to act the way he or she did, when he or she did. Both cause and effect and perspective are related. A person may perceive an event differently than another and that may cause him or her to act upon that perception of the event differently. Creating a digital story can bring this historical figure to life for my students. They can get to know their person in-depth and not as a blurb in the history textbook. Students can find out how their person felt, what they thought and what they did. Digital storytelling also enables the students to create something for a “real” audience. They are not just writing a paper for only me to read, their peers see their stories and react. I believe that this engages the student more fully than just writing and creating for the teacher and for a grade.
Until next time, keep learning!