Time to finally update my digital storytelling work. I wrote Digital Storytelling Finds Its Place in the Classroom over ten years ago. It’s still one of the top ranked articles on using digital storytelling in the classroom. Back then I was teaching 4th Grade in Lexington, MA and we had just two iMacs in our classroom. Now, I find myself teaching 8th Grade Language Arts in MacBook 1:1 middle school and feel pretty good about having helped students and teachers create close to 500 digital stories on a few different continents. I tried as best as I could to collect samples along the way, but that didn’t work out so well.
Finally, I’ve sat down and put together a site with about a dozen of them featured on it. More importantly, I’m sitting down to write a follow-up to that article first published in 2002. What have I learned about what works in digital storytelling in the classroom and what do I recommend that teachers avoid? I remain convinced that digital storytelling is a memorable experience for students, far more engaging than the traditional essay or personal narrative. However, I started down the digital storytelling path because I wanted to find out if technology could help my students become better writers. The jury is still out on that one. But what remains clear is that our primary concern as educators should be teaching what exactly makes an effective story – before and after digital media elements are applied.
Here is the presentation (Keynote file) I gave recently at an Apple Education event at Concordia International School.