Some of the middle and high school writers I’m working with this year have just begun researching what digital storytelling is and how they might begin crafting their own stories. There are so many different ways to approach this and an abundance of fantastic resources available online for those interested in doing so. Rather than presenting students with one definition of what digital storytelling is or leading them through a distinct set of steps in the creation of one, I’ve invited them to begin defining their purposes as writers and researching what is possible. This is slower. Their process is far less clean than it would be if I were directing them through a series of steps. I think we’re learning more in the process though, and I’ve come to value the importance of taking our time as learners. Quality over quantity. That sort of thing. This applies to the writing process as well as our use of technology tools. I’m not interested in having students produce digital stories at this time. I’m interested in supporting writers in their discovery of purpose. Those whose purposes are best supported by digital storytelling have begun researching the possibilities and making informed decisions. Creation will come later, and when it does, I’m hopeful that the work that emerges will have greater relevance not only for each writer but for the audiences they hope to influence. I’m also hopeful that the research and discovery phase we’re currently in will empower writers in ways that transcend the application of specific tools or elements of craft….I’m hopeful that they will gain critical thinking skills and experience growth in their dispositions as well. Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano shares her expertise with digital storytelling here. I appreciate the way she defines storytelling as a powerful teaching strategy and explores purpose with depth. How do you use story in your teaching and as a learner? How do your students use story in their teaching and learning?
Need support around the nuts and bolts of digital storytelling? She has also made this resource available for free: