On Why and How to Make Digital Storytelling a Normative Practice in the Classroom

If today’s global dialogue is happening mostly inside of digital platforms, from YouTube to Twitter to Instagram, are we preparing students to meaningfully participate in this expansive sphere of knowledge? The answer is mostly, No. This workshop argues for making meaningful, thoughtful digital storytelling a standard, best practice in schools. In short, a ‘writing’ literacy unto itself, in deep dialogue with text-based literacy. How to do this? The process of guiding students to re-invent curricular content inside of a digital story — be it a mystery, a radio drama, a special news report or a personal vlog — is organically engaging, super fun, and deeply educational. It’s a portal into meaningful participation in the digital sphere. It’s a portal into internalizing the structure and power of story. And it’s a portal into practicing the necessary ‘human skills’ that will be needed to succeed in a world of omnipresent change.

Participants will explore the multiple advantages of integrating digital storytelling into the curriculum through an interactive creative process that involves collaborative creativity and exploratory discussion.

Proposed Outcomes include an understanding of:

  • The primary components of digital storytelling and the mechanics of how these components work together to create a dynamic and deeply relevant form of communication;
  • The factors that shape the emergence of digital literacy and its relationship to traditional text-based literacy;
  • The educational depth that the process of digital storytelling delivers, in terms of 21st Century Skills, ISTE and Common Core standards; and
  • The significance of practicing digital literacy to students’ future success in the world, post-secondary education.
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