Digital Storytelling

Creativity is a crucial part of the writing process. Not only do students have stories to tell, they have ideas to express and questions to ask their audience. The writing process and the 6+1 Traits help students organize and write stories, but educational technologies like Timeline JS and Adobe Voice help students use multi-media elements to express their stories and help provide a global audience reaching beyond classroom and school building walls. Students understand and express information and ideas in so many different ways. Use digital elements to engage all learners in the writing process as they write, type, record, film, illustrate, and communicate by creating their own stories. 

Digital Storytelling Foundations

Student Engagement: Teachers work hard to motivate students to tackle the steps in the writing process while incorporating the 6+1 traits in writing workshop. Adding digital elements to the process may engage hard-to-motivate students to add ideas, reorganize content, add stronger word choice, and polish spelling and grammar through the use of pictures, captions, music, graphics, and videos. Added creative elements and a wider online audience, and taking the story beyond a paper-pencil assignment, may help engage students in the writing and publishing process.

Reflection: Digital elements make revising, editing, and publishing a piece of writing a very fluid process.  Instead of erasing, crossing out, and rewriting, students can manipulate text, graphics, videos, and soundtrack music easily, making the process much less cumbersome. Also, with an authentic audience waiting to read each student's writing, students will be more motivated to turn in their best, most edited work. This process of editing, revising, and publishing will have students reflecting on their own writing process and every decision they made along the way. As they make changes to their digital story, they will ask and answer their own questions about what is most effective in conveying the theme of their work. 

Digital Literacy: Storytelling is a part of literacy instruction at all grade levels. Telling a story requires students to identify a topic and main idea/message, organize a plot in sequence, include conflict and resolution, express ideas through strong word choice, choose a narrative voice, and incorporate a theme throughout the piece.  Adding digital elements to the process only enhances a student's ability to incorporate all of the steps in the writing process and the 6+1 traits of Writing while expressing themselves creatively. Many students are motivated to work with the color schemes, music options, graphic choices, and page layout of a digital story, and working with all of those digital elements helps students to develop their own digital literacy skills. 

Technology Integration: Technology is an increasingly important part of education. Students will need to have a strong foundation in technology use as the progress through their years of school and settle into their careers. Digital storytelling not only strengthens writing skills and creativity, it also provides students with technology instruction. A students work with different tools to create their online story, they will problem solve, explore, and collaborate digitally. They will be able to apply these skills as they tackle other forms of technology: exploring a new tool's features, combining technologies, working in teams to produce a product, and sharing finished work with others.

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