Digital storytelling in EFL settings
Technology is the future of our classrooms and we should incorporate it in our teaching to encourage students’ creativity! Digital storytelling is another dynamic tool that may give us this opportunity.
I found digital story telling very effective, as by giving students a chance to make films we open new doors for our students as authors. After having more or less a good understanding of digital storytelling I got to think about the value it may have in my EFL classrooms. With the help of digital storytelling we may allow our students to experience the power of personal expression. Therefore, students’ digital stories need to be constructed from their own experience and understanding giving them a chance to express their personal experience. The expression can be accompanied with music, voice, digital photos, animation, graphics, video, etc.
After making my two- minute digital story I understood that it is not difficult to integrate it in my own teaching. Digital stores can be made using PowerPoint, windows media player, animation software, or even special digital storytelling software such as Photo Story 3.
Among the advantages of digital storytelling I would like to mention that using digital stories we can make our students use their intelligence: they can think, feel, express. Moreover, students get an opportunity to quest for and collect information, images, text, and sounds and put together to a meaningful video that they can show to their peers, family, and friends.
Using digital stories we, as teachers, take on the role of a facilitator. We can guide our students with the technology and ask questions which may raise ideas in our students. Besides, digital storytelling is very flexible as it provides our learners with an opportunity to choose topics of their own interest. By taking responsiblies mentioned above students learn to approach problems from different angles and perspectives.
So, from my perspective, being able and willing to learn new technology is a requirement if we wish to engage digital stories in our own teaching. Of course, adult educators have a harder time learning all this new technology that is developing so rapidly. However, we have to learn, because the generation is growing up very fast. My ambition is to become an Instructional Designer, so I am following along with the fast development of technology. Very often I get frustrated with the pace of the development and the many new tools available that I have yet to learn. However, in future I will use digital storytelling as a powerful tool helping my learners express themselves, communicate, and increase memory retention.
Among possible areas for research studies concerning digital stories that we have discussed in our class I would like to mention the following
1. What technology concerns may arise using digital storytellin what kind of digital literacy is required in Armenian context?
2. How do digital stories help improve students digital literacy?
3. To what extent does digital storytelling empower students’ critical thinking?
4. How do digital stories help improve students storytelling skills?
5. How can digital stories help students develop their collaborative skills?
In future I will definitely try them out to see the results. I think, by doing so I can make my classes more efficient and more productive.