Benefits of Digital Storytelling for Students in the Classroom

Digital storytelling offers multiple benefits for students in the classroom. Some of these benefits include fostering creativity, encouraging teamwork and helping students improve their technological skills.

For example, one study by Miller found that in every class engaged in digital storytelling, a student acted like a tutor and helped peers with the technical aspects of the assignment. Other findings suggest that students who create a story also improve their writing and communication skills.

Improves Writing Skills

Educators often find that digital storytelling helps students develop their writing skills. This is because a digital story requires students to write a script, choose images and edit video, as well as record audio and create title screens. It can be a challenge for even the most proficient students to master all these new technology tools, but it is also an opportunity to build their digital literacy and information literacy skills.

For English language learners, recording their voice over and over again for the narration of their digital story may help them improve fluency. They can also rehearse their stories in front of classmates to work on their pronunciation and intonation.

Research has found that creating digital stories improves students’ visual memory capacity and written composition. It also makes them more literate in new literacies, which may encourage reluctant writers to complete a more traditional writing assignment. Students’ attraction to new technologies is another motivating factor in this process.

Helps Students Communicate

Developing a digital story requires learners to use a variety of technological tools to create and edit content. For example, they may need to learn new software, choose imagery and video clips, record voice-over narration, make titles, add music and control flow and transitions.

A key aspect of the digital storytelling process is to encourage students to express themselves creatively. In doing so, they can develop their own sense of style and artistic flair, which will be useful for them in future studies.

Students can also use digital storytelling to show what they have learned in different subjects. For example, they could make a story to explain how a scientific concept works. For instance, they could show the water cycle or photosynthesis using images and text.

In doing so, they will improve their communication skills as they work together to share ideas and concepts with each other. This is especially important in a classroom environment where some students may be more proficient with technology than others.

Encourages Collaboration

When students work on digital storytelling projects, they learn to collaborate with their peers. They also develop the ability to listen and learn from their audience, which will help them as they transition into the workforce. They may be asked to present their stories in front of a group, which helps them build confidence and self-esteem.

In addition, they are encouraged to take risks and be creative with their ideas. They are also required to think about the purpose of their story and how they want it to be perceived by the audience. This encourages them to rely on their creativity and imagination rather than the limitations of the technology tools they are using.

A common concern for teachers is that digital storytelling will require them to spend a lot of time teaching students how to use the various technology tools. However, a well-designed project will be intuitive and students should be able to master the technology quickly.

Promotes Interaction

Digital stories combine a narrative (fiction, non fiction, personal or general) with digital media such as imagery, video and sound. They can be simple like a power point or more elaborate. They are designed to portray a message, whether it is emotional or intellectual, in a compelling way that engages the viewer both emotionally and cognitively.

The process of creating a digital story is highly interactive and requires many different skills such as imagining the narrative, selecting images that will accompany the narration, recording audio and more. It also provides the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of technology tools and programs which is beneficial for student technological literacy. Although some students may require some help with the initial tasks and software, they are able to complete their work on their own. This gives them ownership of their own learning and promotes motivation. This is especially important for students who are new to the school environment, such as recent immigrants.

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