University of Oulu (FINLAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 86-96
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
Tell me a story - and my brains will be shining! Regretfully, the brains of many learners do not shine in traditional learning environments. In many cases students are not motivated, and learning seems to be challenging.
FutureStory is a three year (2009-2011) project funded by the European Social Fund (ESF). The project aims to explore the use of digital storytelling in the context of learning. According to Kumpulainen (2008), digital storytelling is a relatively new and exciting method that can support collaborative learning, knowledge sharing and social interaction in formal but also in non-formal learning. This research was established in co-operation with the Future School Research Center, University of Oulu, and the City of Oulu, Department of Education, Finland.
The theoretical foundation of this study rises from Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory. Vygotsky's strong assumptions about the active individual are reflected in his focus on practices such as speaking and thinking. Going further, some researchers (Valsiner 1993; Wozniak 1993) suggest focusing not only on the active child but also on the active environment, which leads to the construction of digital stories in this research. The cycle of learning (Kolb 1984) and the claim that ‘real learning makes a change in the brain’ (Zull 2002) are also discussed.
In this study the use of digital stories was examined in three primary and secondary schools in the city of Oulu, Finland. Participants were 83 students aged 8-16 years, and 13 teachers. This study used a quantitative approach to describe and analyze data (N=96) collected by means of a survey.
The findings provided empirical evidence to show that constructing digital stories explicitly supports collaborative learning. The results also demonstrate that social interaction increased significantly among the participants during the inquiry. The implications of this study seem to be remarkable for educators, learners and parents.

Digital storytelling.