Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways that people relate to one another. Through stories, whether fact or fiction, we share experiences and communicate information to one another. Digital Storytelling – which utilizes technology to tell stories – is a modern interpretation of an ancient form of communication.
How it Works
With digital storytelling, boys tell their story using various technologies and media instead of just the traditional paper and pen. They use visuals and audio narration such as: photos, artwork, video clips, music and audio clips. These materials are combined together to create a multimedia story.
Engage Boys with Technology
Digital storytelling can be useful motivating boys of any school level. Most boys already use computers for schoolwork or communicating with friends, although no previous experience is needed to create a digital story. The technology used in digital storytelling – digital cameras, camcorders, audio clips, videos and editing programs – can all be easily learned.
Since the technology is familiar and exciting to many boys, they will be more comfortable in this environment. Even though the process involves storytelling and writing – two activities in which boys are usually disinterested – the use of technology helps to spark their interest and keep them engaged.
Hidden Benefits of the Process
While boys are excited about using technology in school, they may not even realize the new skills they are learning and putting to use. Digital Storytelling also teaches how to structure a narrative, formulate ideas and outline information. These are key skills to critical thinking and portraying ideas.
The basic digital storytelling process includes:
Pre-writing – brainstorming ideas, collecting images, researching, outlining ideas and storyboarding
Drafting – Creating a script and developing a structure
Revising – Organizing and modifying images or audio
Editing – Finalizing the narration, images and timing
Publishing – Putting the final product together
Presentation – Sharing with peers
The value of this process is endless; it can be modified and utilized in the future for research, writing and any problem-solving situation.
The Writer Within
In addition to the skills developed, there is another affect of digital storytelling that teachers and parents will be excited about – boys are writing! Whether the story is personal or factual, by the presentation stage of the project boys will have written a complete narrative on their own. For many boys it may be the first time they accomplished that. The fun and interactive way they write these stories will make it a positive experience for them and hopefully encourage them to write again.
Through digital storytelling boys have the opportunity to develop their thoughts, communicate ideas and share experiences. The topics for digital storytelling are endless. Stories can be personal about their life or hobbies, or they can be about informational like interpretations of historical or local events.
By introducing technology into storytelling, we not only better engage boys, but also give them more freedom to explore their imagination and creativity than perhaps they would on paper.