Digital storytelling has been at the forefront of my mind every time I talk to my colleagues, yet I feel like I’m still not finding the right words to incite excitement. As educators, we are often bogged down with the race against the school year clock and wading through intense curriculum that is overwhelming in and of its self. Articles like, “A New Approach Toward Digital Storytelling: An Activity Focused on Writing Self-efficacy in a Virtual Learning Environment” by Hu, Park, and Baek provide thoughtful research about the efficacy of application in the classroom. Their findings support, and verbalize my excitement while providing research to verify why a teacher should incorporate digital storytelling into their classroom.
The authors state that storytelling “encourages student- centered learning” and “is a compelling method to gain and hold students’ attention”. There are four aspects in student-centered learning: student engagement, reflection, project-based learning, and technology integration. Digital storytelling supports all of the aspects in an effective and attractive environment.
Focusing on writing within digital storytelling, the authors found that students who wrote using a digital storytelling program significantly increased their average writing scores when compared to students who did not. The students in the study participated in a virtual reality setting where their writing controlled and changed their environment. Writing needed to be effective and students had to problem solve in order to be successful. The study showed how different technologies can increase student engagement, and in turn increase quality learning. I found this to be an interesting perspective on the digital storytelling realm and will use this case study as an example of why this method is successful for students.