University of Palermo (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 5204-5210
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
Authors from a range of backgrounds have suggested telling stories as a means of making sense of experience. In particular, educators are using storytelling to stimulate students’ critical thinking skills and encourage self-review. There are many ways to work with stories.

Although storytelling is not new, the idea of digital storytelling is new. Digital storytelling is a modern expression of the ancient art of storytelling. Digital storytelling has emerged over the last few years as a powerful teaching and learning tool that engages both educators and students. However, little attention has been paid to a theoretical framework that could be employed to increase the effectiveness of technology as a tool in an educational environment. A discussion on the history of digital storytelling and how it is being used educationally is presented in this article.
This paper examines how digital storytelling can be used to build important skills. Like traditional storytelling, Digital Storytelling helps to build conceptual skills like understanding a narrative and using inductive reasoning to solve problems, but the creation of digital stories also requires the creator to build technology skills through the use of software and other tools.

This study examined students professional dispositions including openness to change towards educational technology, degree of willingness to participate in professional development and technology training.

Students used the Model of Reflective Learning Through Storytelling created by McDrury & Alterio (2003). The Model of Reflective Learning Through Storytelling emphasizes the social dimensions of storytelling. Beyond the story finding stage McDrury & Alterio (2003) highlight the relationship existing between the teller and the listener. At the story teller stage both are seeking understanding and order. At subsequent stages the process is more interactive with questioning being used at the story expanding stage to refine, clarify and expand. It is at the processing stage that reflective activity takes place with a critical interface between teller and listener shaping individuals understanding of the story.

A total of 154 students, in their first year of Education course of the University of Palermo participated in the study in the a.a. 2013/2014.
Students participated at tutorial session of 60 hours, during the course of didactics, in which were encouraged to work through the process of producing their own digital stories using MS Photo Story, while being introduced to desktop production and editing tools. They also presented, published and shared their own stories with other colleagues. Quantitative and qualitative instruments, including a digital story evaluation rubric, integration of technology observation instruments were implemented to examine the extent to which students were engaged in authentic learning tasks using digital storytelling.

Results indicated that participants’ technological skills and openness to change towards educational technology improved with the experience of digital storytelling. Students did well in their projects and their stories met many of the pedagogical and technical attributes of digital stories. The findings from observations revealed that despite problems observed that the digital storytelling projects could increase students’ understanding of curricular content and they were willing to transform their pedagogy and curriculum to include digital storytelling.
Digital storytelling, reflective learning, technology.