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Digital storytelling enhances K-12 classrooms

Digital storytelling uses various types of media to illustrate academic concepts in an engaging way for today’s students

digital-storytellingWith initiatives like the Common Core emphasizing creative thinking, many teachers are looking at unique ways to deliver information. Bernard Robin, Ph.D., saw that an age-old technique could be the perfect tool to combine human knowledge and experience.

“Everybody likes a good story, and it’s a very interesting and appealing way to transfer information from one person to another,” said Robin, associate professor of learning, design, and technology at the University of Houston. “It made sense to bring together all the tools we have access to in order to gain understanding and facilitate classroom discussions.”

Digital storytelling uses various types of media to tell stories or illustrate academic concepts in a way that is engaging and stimulating for today’s students. The concept has been around since the late 1980s, but several programs have recently started to use digital storytelling in the classroom to illustrate concepts and create cultural connections.

Robin’s website provides examples, information, and advice on using digital storytelling to teach all subject areas from music to math.

“My hope is that educators will see this website, look at the tutorials, follow the links, and do it themselves,” said Robin.

He said teachers shouldn’t worry if they don’t know everything about technology. Instead, they should empower students to be able to use media resources to demonstrate their knowledge.

“Young people today are very technologically and media savvy, and they respond well to things on the screen and to creating things to show understanding and knowledge,” said Robin.

(Next page: Digital storytelling in practice)

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