I came across this article on The Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling by Bernard R. Robin from the University of Houston that addresses some of the issues raised in this forum.
Abstract: Digital Storytelling has become a powerful instructional tool for both students and educators. This article presents an overview of Digital Storytelling and describes where it came from, how it can be used to support instruction and how students who learn to create their own digital stories improve multiple literacy skills. In addition, information is presented about the tools that can be used to support the educational use of Digital Storytelling. The article also includes a discussion of challenges and other important considerations that students and educators should be aware of before implementing the use of Digital Storytelling in the classroom, and concludes with an overview of the research that has been and needs to be conducted on the effectiveness of Digital Storytelling as a teaching and learning tool.
I like that Robin acknowledges the potential for digital storytelling to be a two-way street. He notes, “The process can capitalize on the creative talents of students as they begin to research and tell stories of their own as they learn to use the library and the Internet to research rich, deep content while analyzing and synthesizing a wide range of content. In addition, students who participate in the creation of digital stories may develop enhanced communications skills by learning to organize their ideas, ask questions, express opinions, and construct narratives. It also can help students as they learn to create stories for an audience, and present their ideas and knowledge in an individual and meaningful way.”
Furthermore, Digital Storytelling provides a strong foundation in various types of 21st century skills, such as information literacy, visual literacy, technology literacy, and media literacy. Totally inspired, I am going to look at ways to include Digital Storytelling in my next syllabus.