K. Eini, T. Levy

Ruppin Academic Center (ISRAEL)
Storytelling in the English foreign language classroom promotes expressive and receptive language development. When students assume the role of storyteller using digital storytelling tools, this learning opportunity is augmented and as such students are engaged in deeper and even more meaningful learning. Findings from current digital storytelling research (Smeda, Dakich, & Sharda, 2014), suggest that digital storytelling is a powerful pedagogical technological approach that integrates instructional messages with learning activities to create more engaging and exciting learning environments.

Every digital story platform has unique affordances which range from combining text, images, sound, and video, to create a short movie or presentation. In this talk we will demonstrate how Plotagon, a dynamic storytelling platform makes it possible for students and teachers to express themselves in English in the form of animated characters. We will share first hand how students became immersed in constructing English language narratives which required them to think carefully about their topic, content and consider their audience’s perspectives. Designing characters, choosing facial and body expressions, writing scripts and recording the narratives enabled students to express themselves not only with their own words in a foreign language but also in their own voices, fostering a sense of individuality and of “owning” their creations.

While creating and watching digital stories has the potential to increase the information, language and digital literacy of students, it is crucial to be able to evaluate the process and the learning product. Following the presentation of the process and learning products created with Plotagon, we will discuss the rubric used in order to evaluate students learning and work.