In the article, Smeda, Dakich, and Sharda (2014) reviewed the definition of digital storytelling from some philosophers (e.g., Normann, 2011; Benmayor, 2008; Kajder et al., 2005) and described digital storytelling as a multimodal tool that uses images, graphics, audio, and videos to tell a story. In their theoretical studies, Smeda et al. (2014) discussed the impact of digital storytelling as a constructivist approach in student’s learning. They explored this pedagogical tool based on a case study of an Australian P-12 school. The methodologies they used to analyze their research on digital storytelling in the classrooms included qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis.
Smeda et al. (2014) conducted two workshops for teachers to learn about the concept of digital storytelling, as well as how to make a digital story using Moviemaker software. For example, there are different features and options in Moviemaker. Providing teachers with this training opportunity to support them with some strategies in order to implement digital storytelling in the classroom is helpful, especially for teachers who do not have any previous training in video editing and digital storytelling. I personally spent a lot of time watching YouTube videos and doing some research on how to create and edit videos using Moviemaker software. In fact, I purchased “KineMaster’ ($7.27/month), a full-featured (e.g., multiple video layers, speed control, special effects, etc.) video editor for iPhone and iPad, to edit all the digital stories of my students. There is a free version of the editor, but it has a KineMaster watermark. I have lots of fun editing and making videos of our class events and activities; however, it is time consuming.
Apart from learning the basic skills in editing videos and creating digital stories, Smeda et al. (2014) designed 6 lessons to scaffold teachers and students with step-by-step instructions. For example, students brainstormed some ideas, created a storyboard, searched for different sources (e.g., books, magazines, and the internet, etc.), created the digital story, edited the story, and then presented their stories. Smeda et al.’s (2014) findings from this research summarized the impact of digital storytelling on student engagement, technical skills and information literacy improvements for both teachers and students, personalizing student’s experience, and other learning skills such as writing, designs, library and research, technology and communication (Smeda et al., 2014).
To conclude, digital storytelling can be used at different levels of education. It is a useful tool to help with student’s learning and engagement. In addition, learning the basic skills in video editing is helpful to support students with creating digital stories.
Benmayor, R. (2008). Digital storytelling as a signature pedagogy for the new humanities. Arts Humanit High Educ, 7(2), 188–204
Kajder, S. Bull, G. Albaugh, S. (2005). Constructing digital stories. Learning & Leading with Technology, 32(5), 40–42
Normann, A. (2011). Digital Storytelling in Second Language Learning, in Faculty of Social Sciences and Technology Management (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), p. 125
Smeda, N., Dakich, E., & Sharda, N. (2014). The effectiveness of digital storytelling in the classrooms: a comprehensive study. Smart Learning Environments, 1(1). doi: 10.1186/s40561-014-0006-3