Digital storytelling is recognized as a means to accelerate students’ oral, visual and written communication skills by using exercises to express what they know and understand to others (Crane, 2008). Furthermore, digital storytelling can enhance students’ learning by allowing them to “construct their own learning” and encouraging them to “become critical viewers of media” (Howell and Howell, 2003: 40). Digital stories used in educational settings are not restricted to one type of story; rather diverse stories representing personal experiences, honoring someone or something, for purposes of education, or other purposes can be constructed to aid the above mentioned learning goals (McLellan, 2006).
The storytelling process is not just beneficial to enable new methods of learning, it also incorporates technology into the curriculum and gives the student practical skills using technology that they might not have encountered in traditional schools before. Web 2.0 is having a “profound impact on how people … are conducting business, finding entertainment and participating in social relationships” (Robin, 2008: 221-222). Digital storytelling is in a good position to help teachers use technology in their classrooms effectively (Robin, 2008). Shuyan and Hong (2010) also acknowledge these increased applications of learning strategies through digital storytelling by creating engagement, encouraging reflection, fostering project-based learning and effectively including technology in instruction.
If you are creating a digital storytelling project for the purposes of education, it is helpful to define your target audience and goals by asking some of the following questions:
- What age group will be learning the digital storytelling process? Different aged groups may have different interests in the technology of digital storytelling compared to the storytelling process itself.
- What technology would you like to use? Considering the technologies that may be available and familiar to your target group, you may want to consider different options for technology. Establishing technical requirements for your project are addressed in this section.
- What learning goals do you have from the project? Should the students learn about technology or is the storytelling process more important for shaping learning?
These are just a few of the questions you may want to ask yourself while planning your educational digital storytelling project. For more information on digital storytelling for educational purposes, please see some of the following resources:
Chung, S. K. (2007). Art education technology: Digital storytelling. Art Education, 60(2), 17-22.
Crane, B. (2008). Digital Storytelling Changes the Way We Write Stories. Information Searcher, 18(1), 1, 3-9, 35.
Czarnecki, Kelly. (2010). Digital Storytelling in Practice. Chicago: ALA TechSource.
Drotner, Kirsten. (2009). Boundaries and bridges: Digital storytelling in education studies and media studies. In Knut Lundby (Ed.), Digital Storytelling, Mediatized Stories: Self-representations in new media (pp. 61-84). New York: P. Lang.
Erstad, Ola and Silseth, Kenneth. (2009). Agency in digital storytelling: Challenging the educational context. In Knut Lundby (Ed.), Digital Storytelling, Mediatized Stories: Self-representations in new media (pp. 213-232). New York: P. Lang.
Howell, D., & Howell, D. (2003). What’s Your Digital Story? Library Media Connection, 22(2), 40.
Joseph, L. C. (2006). Digital Storytelling. MultiMedia & Internet@Schools, 13(4), 13-16.
Lambert, Joe. (2010). The change within – A conversation with Caleb Paull. In Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Community (3rd ed.),(pp. 125-132). Berkeley, California: Digital Diner Press.
Marrion, E. (2010). Capturing Moments in Time: Student-Produced Digital Stories. Library Media Connection,29(1), 52-53.
McLellan, H. (2007). Digital storytelling in higher education. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 19(1), 65-79.
Nelson, Mark Evan and Hull, Glynda A. (2009). Self-preservation through multimedia: A Bakhtinian perspective on digital storytelling. In Knut Lundby (Ed.), Digital Storytelling, Mediatized Stories: Self-representations in new media (pp. 123-144). New York: P. Lang.
Nyboe, Lotte and Drotner, Kirsten. (2009). Identity, aesthetics and digital narration. In Knut Lundby (Ed.),Digital Storytelling, Mediatized Stories: Self-representations in new media (pp. 161-176). New York: P. Lang.
Robin, B. R. (2008). Digital storytelling: A powerful technology tool for the 21st century classroom. Theory into Practice, 47(3), 220-228.
Sheneman, L. (2010). Digital Storytelling: How to Get the Best Results. School Library Monthly, 27(1), 40-42.
Shuyan, W., & Hong, Z. (2010). Enhancing Teaching and Learning with Digital Storytelling. International Journal of Information & Communication Technology Education, 6(2), 76-87.
Thompson, M. (2005). Digital Storytelling: Combining Literacy and Technology. Information Searcher, 15(4), 1, 3-6.
University of Houston. (2011). Educational uses of digital storytelling. Retrieved on April 28, 2011, from http://digitalstorytelling.coe.uh.edu/