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.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.