Digital Storytelling is an ongoing partnership with ONTASC, The Oregon Writing Project at Southern Oregon University, undergraduate education majors, and local K-12 classroom teachers seeking an engaging, standard-aligned supplement to their curricula.
Program Report & Summary 2014
Broadly speaking, we saw clear evidence of students’ engagement, with 83% of the students voluntarily writing post-project comments like “I LOVED IT” or “Technology made my story ‘alive’!” We also saw evidence of increased confidence in writing, especially for the students who felt least confident at the beginning of the project. Likewise, the students who initially felt the least confidence in expressing themselves through visual art gained confidence in this area.
One of the most striking results of the project was the students’ progress in the strategic use of digital media, and the use of technology to publish writing (these are both part of the Common Core Standards in English language arts). Before this project, only 12% of the students said that they had used digital technology for a creative project (excluding Word documents and Powerpoint presentations). By the end, 90% reported feeling “confident” or “very confident” with the technology they used in this project. Several wrote comments like, “The most important thing I learned was the technology.”
In addition, there were two very important project outcomes that we did not ‘plan’ as objectives. First, students consistently noted the social and emotional learning that took place, with comments like “I liked that a lot of people were shy about sharing their story, and when their story was presented it was amazing!” This is a significant result, because when positive social and emotional experiences are part of learning, students are more invested in developing the necessary skills.
A related issue that emerged was the potential of digital storytelling to help students develop voice in their writing. Digital storytelling helps students become more conscious of the choices they make as writers. Because they ultimately read their writing aloud as the ‘voice-over,’ their investment in their writing choices is heightened.
The comments of one student speak for many: “Special thanks to the PTO and Ruch School for letting us do this. All of you should try this sometime. It was fun and a great learning process!”
- Margaret Perrow, OWP Director