The Importance of Digital Storytelling in the Classroom by Kaitlyn McGlynn

What is Digital Storytelling?

  • Multimedia movies that combine photographs, video, animation, sound, music, text, and voiceovers
  • Revolves around a distinct theme
  • Has a specific viewpoint
  • Each is typically 2-5 minutes long

Classroom Use of Digital Stories

  • Personal narratives
  • Recounting historical events
  • Informing/instructing on a certain topic

7 Elements of Digital Storytelling

  1. Point of view
  2. Dramatic question
  3. Emotional content
  4. Gift of your voice
  5. Power of soundtrack
  6. Economy
  7. Pacing

Benefits for Teachers

  • Can be used to present new material as a hook or an anticipatory set
  • Helps access or build background knowledge with students
  • Can be used to enhance lessons within a unit
  • Helps make abstract concepts more understandable
  • Helps with retention of information
  • Relatively easy to produce, even easier to publish
  • Effective way to teach media literacy

Benefits for Students

  • Accesses creative talents of students
  • Enhances communication skills
  • Fosters empathy
  • Appeals to multiple learning styles
  • Allows students to pursue topics about which they are passionate
  • Grows engagement and learning around content
  • Fosters collaboration between students
  • Allows students to showcase their learning and become part of a community
  • Critiquing their own and others' work promotes gains in emotional intelligence and social learning
  • Allows students to take personal ownership and experience a sense of accomplishment when finished
  • Helps give students a sense of self and a recognition of who they are


21st Century Literacies

  • Digital literacy - Effective use of digital devices
  • Global literacy - Understanding of the world and the people in it
  • Technology literacy - Ability to responsibly, appropriately, and effectively use technology
  • Visual literacy - Ability to interpret, negotiate, and make meaning from images
  • Information literacy - Ability to recognize when information is needed and be able to locate and evaluate it effectively

Communication Skills

  • Organizing ideas
  • Expression opinions
  • Constructing narratives
  • Acknowledging an audience
  • Meaningful self-expression

Research Skills

  • Writing - formulating a point of view; writing a script
  • Organization - managing time and materials needed to complete the project
  • Technology - learning how to use a variety of tools
  • Presentation - deciding how to best present the story to an audience
  • Interview - finding sources to interview; choosing questions to ask
  • Interpersonal - working with a group; deciding roles for each group member
  • Problem-solving - learning to make decisions and overcome obstacles throughout the process
  • Assessment - gaining expertise critiquing their own and others' work

Works Cited

  • Dillon, B. (2014, December 15). The Power of Digital Story. Retrieved March 08, 2017, from
  • Lambert, J. (2016, March 3). Research & Subject Guides: Digital Composition, Storytelling & Multimodal Literacy: What Is Digital Composition & Digital Literacy? Retrieved March 08, 2017, from
  • Ohler, J. (2013). Digital storytelling in the classroom: new media pathways to literacy, learning, and creativity (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
  • Robin, B. R. 2006. “The Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling”. [Internet document available at]


Created with images by ScratchEdTeam - "BLC Pre-Conference Workshop: Digital Storytelling with Scratch" • 742680 - "chalkboard story blogging" • FirmBee - "office freelancer computer" • sasint - "students adult the record books" • Sean MacEntee - "iPad" • wilhei - "electricity voltage light" • skeeze - "clasped hands comfort hands" • DariuszSankowski - "knowledge book library"

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.