Digital Storytelling – My perspective, including social media and learning connections

This is a direct cross-post of my answer to the Module 4.1 Discussion Forum stimulus:

What questions/answers have formed in your mind in relation to digital storytelling?

For me what has really stood out is the importance of storytelling in education. The New South Wales (NSW) Quality Teaching Framework includes narrative as a component of the element of significance, recognising that narratives engage learners in content in a significant and meaningful way that motivates and consolidates learning (NSW Department of Education and Training, 2008). As Alexander (2011, p.5) and Malita and Martin (2010, p. 3061) indicate, storytelling has been part of the human toolbox for constructing meaning and communicating throughout history and has adapted to evolving communication technologies.

In terms of using digital storytelling in a classroom context, though, I keep coming back to the question one of my course-mates keeps asking – why digital? What added benefit or different dimension is served by choosing digital technology as the medium for this storytelling occasion? Without a satisfactory answer to that question, I am not convinced that it is worth the potential extra hassle that I have often found it to be in the primary government school classrooms where I have worked. This may be as simple a reason as having the opportunity to integrate technology (as required by the General Capability requirements in the curriculum (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2016)) and be at the Substitution level of the SAMR framework (Puentadura, 2011). Ideally, though, there would be some integral element of the experience that required a digital interface, according to some of the leading definitions of digital literature (Ciccoricco, 2012, p. 471) and there would be at least Augmentation if not one of the transformational levels of the SAMR framework in play (Puentadura, 2011).

How does social media fit into the mix for you?

While I appreciate the arguments for social media enhancing the home-school learning connection and have used blogging as a venue for an authentic audience for student work, the age restriction of thirteen and limited access on school networks on many forms of social media often make plans for using it in the primary school classroom more trouble than it is worth for me. I look forward to finding opportunities where this connection can be forged in a safe and reliable way in my practice.

 

What are the most important connections to learning overall? 

I think the strongest connection to learning is in the creation of digital storytelling pieces. However, Joanna Rossbridge (with the support of Kathy Rushton and Bev Deriawianka) (2015) provide an evidence-based writning instruction model that follows the process of:

  • Building the field
  • Deconstruction of model text(s)
  • Modelled joint construction
  • Independent construction

For the field building and text deconstruction stages, access to authentic, quality pieces of digital storytelling are crucial. Thus, consumption of digital storytelling is integrally connected to the learning process as well.

 

References

 

Alexander, B. (2011). Storytelling: A tale of two generations, Chapter 1. In The new digital storytelling: Creating narratives with new media. ABC-CLIO. Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/lib/csuau/reader.action?docID=678297&ppg=20

 

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2016). Information and communication technology (ICT) general capability. Retrieved September 20, 2018 from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/general-capabilities/information-and-communication-technology-ict-capability/

 

Ciccoricco, D. (2012). Digital fiction: networked narratives (Ch. 34). In J. Bray, A. Gibbons, & B. McHale (Eds.), The Routledge companion to experimental literature (pp. 469-482). London: Routledge. Retrieved from https://doms.csu.edu.au/csu/file/c561b6a8-a821-460d-95c7-12671a178852/1/ciccoricco-d.pdf

 

Malita, L., & Martin, C. (2010). Digital Storytelling as web passport to success in the 21st Century. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2(2), 3060-3064. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042810005057

 

Puentedura, R. (2011). A Brief Introduction to TPCK and SAMR – Hippasus. Retrieved from http://www.hippasus.com/rrpweblog/archives/2011/12/08/BriefIntroTPCKSAMR.pdf

 

Rossbridge, J. (2015). Put it in writing: context, text and language. Newton, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).

 

State of NSW Department of Education and Training. (2008). Quality teaching to support the NSW professional teaching standards. Retrieved from www.kincumber-p.schools.nsw.edu.au/documents/…/quality_teaching_framework.pdf

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