Digital Storytelling

Examining the Powerful Potential of Digital Storytelling

Huijing Wen, Moravian College


Literacy has been transformed by technology as new tools, texts. Today’s students must be skilled designers and composers of multimodal, digital texts as well (Dalton, 2012). Disciplines call on teachers to re-imagine what and how they teach reading and writing (Cope & Kalantzis, 2015). But literacy teachers infrequently integrate digital tools in their instruction (Hutchison & Reinking, 2011).

Based on a case-study research, the presentation is to share teacher candidates’ experiences of composing digital stories by analyzing their reflective and multimodal artifacts. The research is situated in a technology course in a teacher education program, aiming to examine 1) how teacher education students used the affordances of multimodal, digital tools to compose digital personal narratives. 2) how they made meaning of the process of digital composing and understood their design choices. 3) how their experiences as composers of digital narratives influenced their pedagogical thinking. Findings showed that teacher candidates were intentional in their design choices as they applied their growing understanding of multimodality to compose their digital stories. Digital storytelling allowed candidates to express their identities using emotional language. Digital storytelling had powerful impacts on participant’s perceptions of how digital storytelling can be used in the literacy classroom.

Digital storytelling is a powerful instructional tool for enhancing teacher candidates’ knowledge of technology integration, multimodality, and pedagogies that support students’ learning. This research will invite discussion about how teacher educators can better prepare candidates to integrate digital tools and teach their students to compose multimodal texts.


Digital Storytelling

Digital storytelling is a short form of digital media production that allows everyday people to share aspects of their story. The media used may include the digital equivalent of film techniques (full-motion video with sound), stills, audio only, or any of the other forms of non-physical media (material that exists only as electronic files as opposed to actual paintings or photographs on paper, sounds stored on tape or disc, movies stored on film) which individuals can use to tell a story or present an idea.

Key Terms/Tags:

Digital storytelling, digital literacy

Directions for Digital Storytelling:

  1. Determine a digital storytelling tool that suits your students, course work, and campus requirements.
  2. Meet with your campus’s Instructional Technologists to learn more about tools and software available at your institution.