LLED 361 – Digital Storytelling

Digital Storytelling has gained significant ground in recent years and continues to be a tool suitable for language learners of all ages. This July, my team and I had the opportunity to collaborate with LLED 361 instructors and their French secondary teacher candidates to explore the use of digital storytelling, les histoires numériques. This session provided teacher candidates with opportunities to discuss the value of digital storytelling and its application in the classroom.

The session, which was guided in French, began with a discussion of what digital storytelling means. We defined it as a multimodal approach to tell a story that uses different digital tools. Digital storytelling can include audio, video, images, sounds, drawings and music. The possibilities for creative works are therefore endless! In addition, digital storytelling is interdisciplinary and can be applied to any subject matter. Creating digital stories can provide learners with a means to explore their imagination by creating innovative works with tools they feel comfortable using. In addition, it gives students choice. By providing appropriate scaffolding and giving them the freedom to select different tools, students feel empowered and more motivated to create a story.

Following our discussion, we walked French teacher candidates through the process of creating a digital story from the instructor’s perspective:

  1. Define objectives
  2. Select a subject/topic
  3. Encourage brainstorming, storyboarding and drafts
  4. Expose learners to various resources available 
    1. Images: Pixabay, Creative Commons, Flickr
    2. Application: Sway, ShowMe, Twine, StopMotion, Powerpoint
    3. Other possibilities: Video Record, Audio Record
  5. Create stories
  6. Share stories

During step 4, it is encouraged that instructors take the time to discuss the importance of copyright and how to properly cite images, videos, etc. Students must be informed of effective image search techniques and how to properly use content that is found online.  

Next, in our session, we proceeded to showing an example of a digital story created by our team. In addition, we shared a lesson plan that outlined the objectives of the digital story, steps taken by the instructor and its alignment with the B.C. curriculum. An interesting discussion followed about changes that could have been made for different subjects and grade levels.

Slides used during this session are available here

Liza Navarro, LLED PhD student & Small TLEF Project Coordinator


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