21st Century Skills
When digital storytelling is used by students, it provides a strong foundation in many different types of literacy, including information literacy, visual literacy, technological literacy, and media literacy. Summarizing the work of several researchers in this field, Brown, Bryan and Brown labeled these multiple skills that are aligned with technology as “Twenty-First Century Literacy,” which they described as the combination of:
Digital Literacy -the ability to communicate with an ever-expanding community to discuss issues, gather information, and seek help;
Global Literacy -the capacity to read, interpret, respond, and contextualize messages from a global perspective;
Visual Literacy -the ability to understand, produce, and communicate through visual images;
Technology Literacy -the ability to use computers and other technology to improve learning, productivity, and performance;
Information Literacy -the ability to find, evaluate and synthesize information.
Brown, Bryan and Brown discussed the need for technology literacy this way:
In response to the new demands of the information age, teachers now integrate technology across the curriculum. Traditional literacy instruction involved the use of textbooks, skills lessons, ability groups, numerous worksheets and workbook pages, as well as writing that only the teacher read. In contrast, literacy in the 21st century requires that children not only communicate with classroom peers, but also read e-books, receive and send e-mail, locate and evaluate online information, prepare reports with presentation software, establish dialogue with learned individuals in other regions, and write for both a local and global community.
Brown, J., Bryan, J., & Brown, T. (2005). Twenty-first century literacy and technology in K-8 classrooms. Innovate, 1(3).