Text of Impact of Digital Storytelling on Technology Literacy
1. Impact of Digital Storytelling on Technology Literacy By: Nicholas Graves
2. What is Digital Storytelling Digital Storytelling uses personal digital technology to combine a number of media into a coherent narrative. In their original form, digital stories include a voice-over narrative along with still images, music and titles. Digital stories usually include video footage, animations, and a variety of other mediums made possible by the latest technologies.
3. Why tell stories in school? Storytelling is an ancient pedagogical strategy used to make sense of the world and pass on values, knowledge, and beliefs (Coulter et. al. 2007). Many educational theorists have advocated for use of storytelling in conventional school settings. For example, Egan (1989) contends that information with high emotional colouring within a story is much more easily remembered by humans then a random list.
4. Why Use Digital Storytelling Digital storytelling not only helps students enhance their interpersonal skills, personal and social responsibility, basic literacy, but it develops their technological literacy (Czarnecki 2009). In order to be successful in the digital age, 21st century students need to develop technological literacy.
5. Why Use Digital Storytelling, continued In a 2005 interview, Jason Ohler (Professor of Educational Technology and International Educational Speaker) described how, with the use of digital storytelling, we are in between two very powerful models: storytelling, with its powerful ability to engage and teach students, and critical thinking, with its ability to turn students into thinking, reflective people, consumers, voters and that by blending the two, we can offer a powerful pedagogy. After presenting their own digital story, and viewing their peers, as well as critiquing their own work and that of others, students will gain confidence in their own abilities. This process also promotes social learning; by adding a group component, students are further introduced to collaborative brainstorming, designing, and executing of the digital story.
6. Case Study The Power of One http://www.alasmedia.net/SFETT//html_movie/Ican4/the_power_of_one.html Our first case study is a digital story that explains how each and every vote counts The Power of One is an approximately two-minute video narrated by student Angelina Garcia She illustrates, complements, or otherwise accompanies the words and the message of along with background music, with approximately 20 images. Most of these images are photographs are of the famous references to people she found on the internet, and a few screens consist just of typed words. The pace and rhythm of the piece varies, as does Angelinas speaking voice, in keeping with the background music and the message. In this digital story Angelina used no visual transitions, such as fading one screen into another. Instead, the images change precisely in time to the rhythm of the music, a technique which emphasizes the rhythmical and musical quality of the narration and the union of spoken word with the background music.
7. The Power of One, Contd The opening statement lasts for less than five seconds, but it introduces in a powerful fashion Angelinas argument and the significance of each event that recur and are developed throughout the story. This digital story is about the power of democracy, and in it Angelina tells her story through her artful use of implicity aesthetic techniques, but by explicitly connecting her arguments with historical icons, past and present. Through the blend of music, narration, and imagery, she is able to emphasize these famous figures by removing them from their particular historical contexts, and recontextualing them in her own creative universe of this digital story.
8. The Power of One, Contd The effective use of repetition used as interwoven between each narrative element, is a screenshot of the main theme of the story:
9. Recontextualization As Bauman & Briggs (1990) have argued, these instances of digital stories do not simply reflect social life but have the capacity to comment critically on it as well. Like other forms of verbal art, digital stories reposition both authors and the texts (words, images, music, voices) they appropriate and recontextualize during performance. Bauman & Briggs claim that if we consider what becomes of text once decontextualized, we recognize that decontextualization from one social context involves recontextualization in another (p.74).
10. Recontextualization of Power of One Angelinas use of text accompaniment with each historical photograph demonstrates this recontextualization process. For example, when the image of Adolf Hitler is juxtaposed with the accompanying text that states that one vote made him the leader of the Nazi party in Germany, the sudden significance of the story becomes immediately apparent. In reflecting on how digital stories as performative speech exemplify such recontextualizations, it is interesting to consider, as Bauman & Briggs (1990) do, what the recontextualized text brings.
11. Case Study Together http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOJu-hpmXBg In our second case study of 17-year-old Brittany Lee Platt, we see a young woman trying to come to grips with her life as her parents go through a bitter divorce, her relationships and her sense of belonging. A lively and affectionate girl, Brittany found ways to reposition herself through digital storytelling both in relation to her family, and specifically her older brother Bill who she loves and admires Although we cannot categorize Brittany as an expert digital storyteller, certainly the finished product is one of a skilled writer possessing technological savvy who could assist her friends in creating digital stories.
12. Together, contd Through the experience of creating her digital story, Brittany was learning not only how to tell stories, but to rearticulate her sense of self in the process. In this way, these powerful multimedia pieces have helped authors like Brittany represent and reposition themselves.
13. Recontextualization of Together Brittanys use of photographs show how these digital storytellers engage in such recontextualization. For example, Brittanys decentering of the photograph of her divorced parents and the photos recentering within his own digital story is a symbol of what powerful figures with the right tools can do.
14. Case Studies Summary We have presented two case studies that illustrate how two individuals authored themselves by means of multimedia storytelling and the social and material resources of a school Both authors found ways to create a social world through multimedia composing in conjunction with music-making Each constructed an authority through a consciously artful and aesthetic use of language, image, and music. They each also constructed an authority through the recontextualization of images linked to words and music, and through a juxtaposition of those They also constructed supportive social relationships through their storytelling methods with famous figures and with family.
15. Conclusion The areas of literacy, digital technology, and storytelling, will continue to expand to create alternative learning spaces where individuals and groups can define and redefine themselves, through the creation of authoritative texts. The use of digital storytelling has dramatically emphasized the role of multimedia and multimodality as a powerful form of communication and means of representing self, family, community, and social worlds. We would argue that digital storytelling are one example of what constitutes an expected part of a persons literate repertoire. It is especially exciting that unlike traditional essays, digital stories, through their combination of image, music, sound, and text, seem to engage young communicators and to provide an especially potent way to perform a self.
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