Digital Story Telling Literature Review
The use of technology has become very predominant in the teaching of literacy skills. For a time there was some trepidation in incorporating technology into teaching literacy as educators felt that it may actually hinder the development of language and literacy (Rosen & Bloom, 2006). The use of computer technology in teaching literacy is now common practice. In order to prepare students to be literate in a changing world, the definition of literacy is changing. The students are “reaping the benefits of what is coming to be known as a ‘new literacies’ curriculum” (Kist, 2004). There is a growing movement among educators that suggests we should not only be teaching literacy children in the traditional sense, which has meant acquiring the skills of communication by reading, writing and storytelling; but also teaching the “new literacies”. In this review I will be presenting some current definitions for the terms literacy and digital literacy. I will be providing evidence to suggest that the infusion of digital technology and media into the English language arts classroom may not only improve student engagement but also improve student achievement in writing. I will narrow my focus to current research on the use of Digital Story Telling as a tool in teaching literacy skills and its effect on student writing achievement. New Literacies
Reading and writing text in the form of essays, books, magazines is still a part, and may always be a part of literacy. An issue facing educators today is that students are being asked to be literate in an ever increasing number of areas. “In addition to reading and writing, students are expected to attain proficiency in scientific, economic, technological, visual, informational, and multicultural literacy” (Gunter & Kenny, 2008) “There is a new movement in curriculum and literacy instruction that says there are other kinds of "texts" we should have kids 'read,' and that there are other ways to respond to these "texts" than through the writing of essays” (Kist, 2004) For discussion in this review digital literacies will make reference to the exponentially growing mediums in which information is communicated using technology. The ‘new literacies’ that Kist (2004) identifies, include reading and writing web pages, MP3 files and video. Add to that list wiki’s, blogs, text messaging and instant messaging. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather to put into perspective the multitude of modalities that students must be competent with, in order to communicate, to find, read, and critically analyze information. It is important not to confuse digital literacy with digital media or technologies. The two are inexplicably related but becoming digital literate is to develop the skills necessary to be competent with using the digital technology and/or media in and outside of school. We know that students are making use of these modalities outside of school and it is incumbent upon educators to allow students to work in print and non-print based media, to ensure “that their in-school communication can be as limitless as their out-of-school communication” (Kist, 2004) In an article written by (Ohler, 2005) the discussion is clearly supportive of using digital technologies in educating students in literacy. The focus is on using digital technologies to support literacy skills and not to replace what we already do. The final product in digital story telling or a digital book talk is media based but a quality final product still depends on the planning and story telling, and as Ohler (2005) points out, the key component to digital story telling is still the writing. Students continue to benefit from digital technologies. “Such technologies give voice to a number of otherwise quiet students and to students whose skills don't fit the usual academic mold” (Ohler, 2005). In the same ways that writing can give voice to a student...
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