Telling stories

Storytelling is the oldest form of teaching.

It has been used as a teaching device across cultures over thousands of years and remains just as relevant today.

“There are proven intersections between storytelling and neuroscience.”

There are proven intersections between storytelling and neuroscience. Brain activity is known to be different when engaged in a story compared to when receiving other information such as straight facts and data.

A PowerPoint presentation, for example, will activate a certain part of the brain – the part where words get processed into meaning.

If we add storytelling into the mix, the activity of the brain increases dramatically, heightening engagement and retention.

Digital storytelling

Digital storytelling is the practice of telling stories using computer-based technology.

“Technology lets us share stories on a scale never seen before.”

Technology lets us create stories using sound, video, animation etc. It also allows us to share these stories on a scale never seen before.

That’s why the intersection between technology and storytelling is so exciting for educators – it combines the age-old teaching practice of storytelling with the mass reach of the digital age.

As an educator you will need to decide whether YOU will tell or create the story (i.e. use storytelling as a teaching tool) or have the student tell or create it (i.e. use storytelling as a learning tool).

Digital storytelling as a teaching tool

You may decide to create a story as a way of presenting new material. A media-rich digital story can capture the students’ attention and present key messages and information in an engaging way.

Digital storytelling as a learning tool

Asking students to create their own stories is also effective and can generate interest in a topic and motivate students to discover more information about the topic. Digital stories can also be published and shared, allowing students to peer-review their work.