The Benefits of Digital Storytelling for Teachers and Students

The Benefits of Digital Storytelling for Teachers and Students

We are familiar with traditional storytelling, but digital storytelling is a rather new concept. Digital storytelling allows you to share your life story, an incident, an episode or an event, through digital media production. It may involve digital images,

 videos, voice over, text and animation. These are stored as electronic files and may be recorded on CDs, DVDs, tape or film. You can present an idea, run a campaign or simply tell a story through this interesting method.

What if teachers could capitalize on student interest in these quick and quirky video clips as a way to help students connect with curriculum?

It can be done by ordinary people, and you need not be a professional to tell your ‘story’ digitally. All you have to do is to use simple digital tools to create a story. The elements of digital storytelling once known can have a great imact. The positive side of digital stories is that these stories are far more interesting, engaging and emotionally charged. They have an immediate and long-lasting impact. There are many categories of these stories such as narrative computer games, web based stories, eLearning tutorials, and short-films. It may also be defined as film-making. Nowadays, it is widely practiced by advertisers and entrepreneurs. Both commercial and non-profit entities use it to convey their messages.

Growing up with unprecedented access to technology has changed the way young people, "digital natives," communicate, interact, process information, and learn.

With the advancement of digital tools, the practice of digital storytelling has become prevalent. There are various tools that are used for digital storytelling and these include iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, digicams, and digital voice recorders. Some of the modern tools include Xtranormal, and GlogsterEDU. You can share your digital stories on many video portals on the Internet such as YouTube, NetFlix, Vimeo or your own LMSs.

Since ancient times storytelling has been a favorite pastime of humans. Previously words were used to create effects and visualization, whereas we have advanced techniques available nowadays, such as special effects, animations on digital screen, sound, images and videos. Harry Potter movies are a brilliant example of it. British author J K Rowling created a fantasy series known as the “Harry Potter” series of novels for kids. It has drama, magic, fun, thrill, imagination, and witchcraft. Warner Bros of Hollywood decided to make the movie series based on this novel. Special effects were used in these movies and all the movies turned out to be super hit at the box-office.      

Digital stories are also used to improve student's learning through multimedia in the modern classrooms. These stories have still and moving images, sound and text. These stories are the expressive medium that can explain even the most intricate topics in depth, integrating it with the rest of the curriculum. These multimedia movies are shown with the help of a computer and a projector usually, or in the modern world, it can be shared on each student's device through the internet. It makes classroom learning much more practical and easy.

Encarta Encyclopedia from Microsoft is one such example, which covers a large number of topics that are explained through text, videos, voiceover and images. This encyclopedia is a great tool of learning for kids and adults alike. Even the most complex scientific facts and theories can be explained through multimedia and videos in a very comprehensible manner. Before I end, here' are some tips and steps for you to guide you for great digital storytelling.

What has your experience been in using digital storytelling with kids?

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