Lessons Come Alive With Digital Storytelling

Digital storytelling enters the classroom.

When conveying any topic, it is always better understood when it is communicated through the use of multiple senses. Many students have expressed their discontent with education as “boring” because they sit and listen to a person lecture for six hours everyday; this is a legitimate concern that educators have been attempting to address through the implementation of multi-genre and multi-sensory activities and the inclusion of technology in their lessons. One of the most popular methods of incorporating these elements in to a lesson is through the use of digital storytelling in the classroom.

What is digital storytelling?

Digital storytelling is a computer-based model for presenting lessons that focuses on the use of text, graphics, videos, music, recorded narration, and such to present information. Just as a story provides mental pictures when it is being told, digital stories project those images outside of the mind and help learners grasp materials more effectively. When given a choice, students nine out of ten students preferred the digital storytelling lesson to a traditional lecture.

Easy steps for teachers to take.

For an educator, this is a scary concept to be introduced to, especially if you are not a product of the technology-savvy generation. Do not worry, there is help available and chances are, you already have the programs installed on your computer that will make for effective digital stories.

The first step you need to consider when using digital storytelling in the classroom, is whether it will be ideal for implementing a digital story in place of a tradition lecture? Consider the elements and themes that you want to communicate. If there are any interesting connections that you can make between an element of a lesson and a song or a movie clip, then it is probably a good one. For example, if you are trying to help students understand what good leadership in the midst of adversity looks like because one of the characters in the novel you are reading demonstrates it, then take a clip from a movie such as Remember the Titans. In this movie, you would be able to not only show leadership from one character but from several.

If movie clips are too much for you, photographs will have a similar equally powerful effect. If you are teaching about the history of the Iron Curtain, then do a quick Internet search for pictures from the Iron Curtain. You will get hundreds of results. Insert these pictures into a powerpoint presentation and record a narration over the pictures. This will also allow you to monitor student response and give them visuals to go with the information that they are receiving. You will be surprised by the difference that it makes.

Popular programs to create digital storytelling in the classroom.

Most classroom computers come equipped with basic Microsoft Programs such as PowerPoint. It is amazing the quality of digital storytelling you do with this program, but there are other options available to those who look to make technology based lessons a part of their every day curriculum. Do your own research, but here are the ones most popular among teachers because of their ease of use.

Windows Movie Maker- Movie Maker is an easy to you movie maker that has templates that anyone can learn how to use. It is known its simple drag-and-drop function that allows you to draw movies, pictures, music from your files into the video file with just a few clicks of the mouse. This is a great program to teach students how to use digital storytelling in the classroom.

If you have Mac, you already have everything that you need to create a great digital story. The iMovie program is second to known in its ease of use and quality. You computer comes equipped with tutorial videos that will give step by step instructions. Anyone can use this program.

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