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How Digital Stories Are Making An Impact on Student Literacy

Today’s blog is a guest post from Martina Sanchez who is an entrepreneur and content marketing specialist at Lucky Assignments and Gum Essays, Martina loves writing articles and working on her blog where she writes on topics such as digital marketing and Education tips.

While many of us, students included, still read nowadays. The nature of what we read and how we read has changed dramatically in the last few decades.

That’s not to say that books are out of step, we still love books but for many engaging with content happens only through screens and even then through highly filtered content gathering sources. We glance at the headlines, quickly scan the story and that’s our sole interaction with the printed word. If we’re really interested we may bookmark it online to come back to later.

Image Source: https://madelearningdesigns.com/2014/02/06/using-digital-stories-in-elearning/

This lack of diverse content and over-simplified reading material is fine for adults who supplement their lives with more complex writing but for the young, it asks the question, how do we use this age of digital media to engage with them and boost literacy?

Sally George, a Tech Writer at Last Minute Writing and Researchpapersuk, says: “Technology isn’t something we should be avoiding, in fact, it’s something we should teach responsibly in our classrooms. What we need to do is use it to help children re-engage with stories through the digital world. This, in turn, will encourage literacy and reading”.

Old And New

The fact is that whether writing a traditional story or creating a digital version, including pictures, music, videos and such, imagination is still key to making a story work.

Like tradition versions, there needs to be a plot, there needs to be character development and a well thought out dialogue between characters. The big difference is that the child’s imagination can run riot with amazing sound effects, animation, and access to all manner of online tips and tricks.

Schools and education networks across the world are embracing the new technology and asking the same high standards of their students that they would if putting pen to paper.

Research benefits

Having an abundance of written materials all under one roof is an excellent way for students to hone and perfect their researching skills. With thousands of pages of web content available to them, students quickly learn the art of discerning reading and figuring out good quality sources from bad.

They will also learn how to look at different authorial voices and learn about differing points of view. Having text to compare side by side is the perfect starting point for critiquing differing accounts of historical events, for example, and fully engaging the student with the event itself and all the writing around it.

Image Source: http://blog.whooosreading.org/steps-digital-storytelling-in-the-classroom/

As Daniel Hope, an author at Draft beyond and Writinity, says: “The truth is that children simply love stories whatever format you give them in. Using this technology we aren’t really asking them to do anything that much different. Engaging, explaining and re-telling a story, whether print or digital is something we’ve been doing for years.”

We might be skeptical about too much tech creeping into our classrooms and rightly so. Done badly, tech is a distraction at best and at worst dumbs down conversation and materials. However, when embraced by educational professionals and its power harnessed for good, digital stories can capture the imagination and trigger a life-long love of reading and literature.

Students will take away skills that they will be able to use for life and be able to discern good from bad writing, which, in this age of information overload, is a valuable lesson indeed.

Literacy isn’t just about reading, without effective, powerful writing stories just fall down flat. Anything that helps our budding authors of tomorrow hone their writing skills and talents today has got to be worth its weight in gold.

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Craig Kemp

Craig Kemp

I am a passionate Head of Educational Technology at a large International School in Singapore. I am a lifelong learner, dream creator and thought leader. I love to inspire others and find inspiration. Co-founder of #whatisschool, #asiaED edchats and #pubPD.

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