8 steps in the digital storytelling process as illustrated in edtechteacher.org

The Power of Storytelling across the Curriculum: The Role of Digital Storytelling

In our Learning through Stories program that we conduct across schools in Bangalore, we use different tools to tell a story – books, oral storytelling and most important of all, digital storytelling.

Digital Storytelling is a very powerful method of teaching and learning that uses the narrative, digital pictures, animation, audio and video to create a digital media that talks about, narrates, explains and above all tells a an engaging story that the digital storyteller wanted to convey.

Steps in digital storytelling Here’s what digital storytelling requires a storyteller (the student, the teacher or both together) to do. This illustration from edtechteacher.org explains eight important steps in digital storytelling.

8 steps in the digital storytelling process as illustrated in edtechteacher.org

Steps in the digital storytelling process

Benefits of using digital storytelling in the classroom

Creating a digital story requires the students to apply thought and reasoning in order to tell their point of view about a topic. It urges them to use their imagination and get creative. Digital storytelling compels the students to thoroughly probe, explore, question and examine a topic before they can develop it into a digital story.

The power of storytelling in the curriculum

At the center of a digital production is the story – the script of the film. When a class gets down to write a script for a digital story, they are actually constructing several different stories – all based on individual perspectives and viewpoints. This means that the students are dwelling deep into the topic, getting a good grasp of it, understanding it before putting forth their arguments or taking a stand about the topic.

Bottom-line: using storytelling in the classroom improves reading and writing skills, augments visual comprehension, guarantees better retention and recall of the concept, promotes logical thinking and boosts imagination.

University of Illinois’ Community Informatics Initiative website, prairienet.org explains the power of stories in the curriculum:

“Children who are exposed to storytelling learn the process of creating and sharing an effective story. Students learning digital storytelling learn how to express and share emotions with their audience in the 21st century…In order for their story to be effective students must be able to express their emotion using and piecing together video, pictures and sound.

This learning process can help them express their feelings, views and creativity using new modes of communication…In order to develop a story, the child must first understand who he or she is creating the story for, developing their ability to empathize with others and improving their conflict resolution skills.”

How do we do it – the Ever After edge

In our Learning through Stories program that we conduct for the Amaatra Academy, Bangalore, we teach their Social Sciences curriculum for grades 6 to 9. We liberally use stories from folktales, myths, books and films to teach about the Mughal Empire, French Revolution, Early Humans, Democracy and so on.

One such lesson was on King Akbar for 7th graders. One of the topics that we touched upon and discussed was his heroic conquests, accomplishments and his greatness. As assignment, we asked the students to reflect back on the story of Akbar and explain what greatness meant to them. This is what one student had to say:

Ever After's Learning through Stories  program in school impact

Such profound thoughts and all prompted by a story! Now you know why storytelling can be such a powerful tool in learning and teaching. The class is currently working on a digital story project on Water. We’ll upload those stories soon!

To know more about Ever After’s story-based services and program, go to www.ever-after.co.in or email us to info@ever-after.co.in. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest news and resources about using storytelling in education. We also invite you to join our Facebook Group – #learningthroughstories (#Learning through Stories). And don’t forget to subscribe to our monthly newsletter. Just drop us a mail telling us that you’d like to subscribe and we’ll make sure you get all of our next issues.

 

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Connected Learning and Storytelling

Making Learning Applicable in the Digital Age: Combining Connected Learning and Traditional Storytelling

Connected Learning is something that I am deeply passionate about and firmly believe in. Simply put, Connected Learning is making learning applicable and education useful in the digital age by using the power of technology and digital resources in learning and teaching.

Here is a video from the Connected Learning Alliance that explains how Connected Learning is all about making learning relevant.

Learning and teaching using the Connected Learning method:

Children today are becoming increasingly connected to the online world. They are on social networking sites, they are forming online communities which they use as a platform to discuss topics of their interest. They create multiple online identities, share and seek online content with amazing ease and keen interest.

Given this situation, how can we do make learning useful and relevant for our children in the digital age?

As parents and educators here’s what we can do –

First, based on your child or students’ interest show them where and how to harness the vast resources of correct online information. Give them access to informative and age appropriate websites, books, journals, videos etc.

Next, show them how to research a topic of their interest – either from their curriculum (Chemistry, Language Arts) or something that they are simply passionate about (Astronomy, Cooking).

Then guide them, teach them and show them how they can use multiple forms of information – text, pictures, videos, and narratives to create their own digital content. This digital content is the final product or a digital documentation of their understanding and learnings about an issue, a topic of interest and importance to them. It is a digital story visualized, produced and created by the learner

What’s more, digital content produced this way can also be shared with friends and fans across the globe. Isn’t this a wonderful way to learn and spread knowledge in this digital age?

Connected Learning and Storytelling:

I believe, for Connected Learning to be truly an effective learning and teaching method for students and teachers alike, we must first understand what lies at the crux of Connected Learning: Individual perspectives and storytelling. Connected Learning requires all the elements of Storytelling to weave together little chunks of information to form a larger narrative that is crafted entirely based on the learner’s perspective.

At Ever After, we have an after-school program based on Connected Learning called the Digital Storyteller. This program has been designed for the curious, inquiring minds of 12-15 year olds with a penchant for wanting to know explore complex topics, learn more and investigate things their way. The Digital Storyteller infuses modern technology with traditional storytelling to teach kids the nuances of creating a digital story complete with a plot, narrative, visuals and music. The Digital Storyteller program strengthens visual literacy, writing skills, improves analytical thinking and develops the all essential 21st century skills.

So, if you are a parent or an educator who like us believes that traditional storytelling combined with the latest digital technology is the best way to simply complex topics, infuse excitement into dull, dry lessons and all in all make education and learning truly fun then get in touch with us by writing to us at info@ever-after.co.in. Or, you could go to our website to know more about our work and the services that we offer.

For a quick view of our various story-based after-school programs, click here.