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How Digital Storytelling Can Amplify Your Students’ Voices

By Matthew Lynch — November 07, 2017 2 min read
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Digital storytelling is a fantastic way to implement technology and digital literacy into the classroom. Plus, it teaches valuable skills in a way your students will love! According to Educause Learning Initiative, “Digital storytelling is the practice of combining narrative with digital content, including images, sound, and video, to create a short movie, typically with a strong emotional component.”

Since your students are already using social media, memes, and gifs in their daily lives to tell stories, it is the perfect time to teach students how to use digital storytelling in a meaningful way. Teachers can use digital storytelling to teach students the art of storytelling while allowing students to take ownership of their stories with their own voices. Here are all of the ways that you can use digital storytelling to amplify your student’s voices.

Teaches Students the Art of Storytelling

Digital storytelling begins with having students write a script for a story. However, digital storytelling expands upon traditional storytelling by having students find digital content pieces that work to support the story’s main idea and its overall emotional tone. Students must use visual literacy, digital literacy, and technology literacy skills to make their stories come to life.

While teaching digital storytelling involves planning, your students will benefit from this opportune lesson. As Suzie Boss asserts, “Teachers who bring digital storytelling into the classroom are discovering what makes this vehicle for expression worth the effort. They watch students gain proficiency in writing and research, visual literacy, critical thinking, and collaboration.”

Allows Students to Take Ownership of Their Stories

Digital storytelling is a perfect time to allow your students to take ownership of their stories. They will be encouraged to write their own stories, as well as curate the most compelling digital content to make their stories impactful. In addition to writing the story and finding the content, students will also use technology to build their stories.

Ultimately, this will be their story from start to finish. Students get to choose the content that they believe is the most relevant, as well as the content that they like the most. Digital storytelling is fun for students, and it also gives them a sense of pride in their own creations.

Amplifies Their Personal Voices

Finally, digital storytelling amplifies their voices. It gives students an opportunity to express themselves creatively as all the digital images and sounds are unique to the individual student’s personal story. With the amount of digital content available, no two stories will ever be alike. As students work to discover themselves, digital storytelling is an effective teaching tool for self-expression and literacy.

Can you think of any additional ways that teachers can use digital storytelling to amplify their students voices?

The opinions expressed in Education Futures: Emerging Trends in K-12 are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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