Digital Storytelling

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Last updated 6 years ago

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Digital Storytelling

All Five W's and the H

Digital Storytellingin TESOL

What is Digital Storytelling?






It is important to get the right technology first. Richard Byrne (2011) has created a very convenient list of free web tools that can be used to create digital stories. As with all technology, it is important that users learn how to correctly use the tools before engaging in the process.Myna Blubrry LIttle Bird Tales JayCutAnimoto ZooBurst SimpleBooklet My EbookVoiceThread PhotoStory MovieMaker Guidance Video

".....researchers in the field of education generally use it to refer to a distinct, nonlinear narrative genre that uses new media technology to produce short, personal narratives using high quality sound and images," (Vinagradova et al, 2011, p. 175). Simply: it is a personal story combined with pictures, narrative and music using technology.

Almost anybody can create a digitalstory! Check out the video and listento these kindergarteners talk about their experience making digital stories.Follow the links to see more examples of digital storytelling inaction!From IndiaSenior English ExamThe Water Cycle A Third Grade Project High School Projectand finally, a little more information:The 7 Elements of Digital Storytelling


According to Rachid Eladlouni (2009), creating a digital story is a five step process:1. Write the story-this is often done within a group called a "story circle."2. Record the story-studens must practice pronunciation and intonation before recording.3.Create and gather the images-students can utilize any images that they feel are represenatative of their story.4.Combine the pictures and the narration-creativity is always encouraged during this part of the process.5.Review and present the finalized story- Time to share!

Right now, digital stories are found wherever the technology is available in the classroom. However, the important question is where digital storytelling is going. As technology improves and more people have access to the necessary resources, digital storytelling will provide the emotional connection necessary to connect technology to the human (Educause, 2007).


There are many reasons to include digital storytelling in the TESOL classroom:1. It is communicative in nature as the end result is to share a story with peers. it also involves peer-to-peer communication within the "story circle" or student group. 2. It is collaborative allowing students to learn from one another during the process. 3. It is task-based and requires that students truly connect understanding with meaningful language.4. It is student-centered. Creativity is encouraged and being unique is integral. The student focus should increase motivation and interest as well.5. It involves all 4 languages skills--reading, writing, speaking, and listening.Though digital storytelling is used in many non-language learning classrooms throughout the globe, these 5 reasons, among others, make digital storytelling an exceptional instrument for teaching language (Alameen, 2011).

Problems & SolutionsWe do not have the technology at our school.No problem! Many of the necessary programs are free to download. If you school is severely lacking in technology, you can do simple stories and just incorporate pictures and art. Students love a creative challenge!My students and I are not tech savvy.By placing students in groups, you can be assured that some students will be able to navigate the technology. As for you, maybe it is time to watch some tutorials. Most technology is user-friendly and technophobes are often put at ease when there is a clear and organized explanation. This goes for students as well!We just do not have the time!Digital stories do take a long time to prepare. However, for best results, the preparation times should be spread out over a month or longer in about 1 hour to 2 hour sessions. Usually, motivation pushes the students to do the work during free time. You may find that they will enjoy the process enough to do it at home.


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