Digital Storytelling as an Effective Instructional Tool for Teachers
There are numerous ways that Digital Storytelling can be used in education. One of the first decisions to be made when deciding to use this tool in the curriculum is whether an instructor will create the Digital Stories or have their students do it. Some educators may decide to create their own stories and show them to their students as a way to present new material. An engaging, multimedia-rich digital story can sever as an anticipatory set or hook to capture the attention of students and increasing their interest in exploring new ideas.
Teacher-created digital stories may also be used to enhance current lessons within a larger unit, as a way to facilitate discussion about the topics presented a story and as a way of making abstract or conceptual content more understandable. While many educators still lack a cohesive plan for integrating multimedia into their instruction, a growing number of teachers are interested in exploring ways to engage their students by including images, audio and video elements in their instruction. Research has shown that the use of multimedia in teaching helps students retain new information as well as aids in the comprehension of difficult material. And Digital Storytelling can provide educators with a powerful tool to use in their classrooms.
Digital Storytelling as an Effective Learning Tool for Students
Digital Storytelling can also be a potent tool for students who are taught to create their own stories. After viewing example digital stories created by their teachers or other story developers, students may be given assignments in which they are first asked to research a topic and then choose a particular point of view. This type of activity can generate interest, attention and motivation for the "digital generation" students in today’s classrooms. The process can capitalize on the creative talents of students as they begin to research and tell stories of their own as they learn to use the library and the Internet to research rich, deep content while analyzing and synthesizing a wide range of content. In addition, students who participate in the creation of digital stories may develop enhanced communications skills by learning to organize their ideas, ask questions, express opinions, and construct narratives. It also can help students as they learn to create stories for an audience, and present their ideas and knowledge in an individual and meaningful way.
In addition, when digital stories are published online, students have the opportunity to share their work with their peers and gain valuable experience in critiquing their own and other students’ work, which can promote gains in emotional intelligence and social learning. Digital Storytelling appeals to students with diverse learning styles and can also foster collaboration when students are able to work in groups, and provides value in enhancing the student experience through personal ownership and accomplishment.