Exploring Digital Storytelling in Further Education

I recently completed a short online course in Digital Storytelling with JISC as I was keen to explore ways I could use my interest in storytelling to support curriculum design, educational campaigns and engagement on social media or learning platforms. The course consisted of 4 sessions: becoming a storyteller, planning and visualising your story, making your story digital and managing a project.

The main outcome for me was that I learnt how easy it is to create a photo story using a free tool such as Adobe Spark. Furthermore, this type of storytelling is accessible to anyone and can be even more impactful if personal subject matter that identifies a transformational moment is combined with an authentic voiceover.

Sourcing the right free, Creative Commons images or taking your own and ensuring the transitions are well timed with the music or voiceover take some getting used to! However, with practice and careful storyboarding, this process can be improved.

What next?

The 3 main areas I have identified for developing digital storytelling are within course design and assessment, student engagement, educational best practice and innovation.

Curriculum Development

I plan to run workshops at City and Islington College for interested teaching teams outlining the benefits and basic principles of digital storytelling, either from the teacher or student perspective. I will give guidelines on finding free resources (images, music) and advice on legal considerations such as copyright and consent. I have already met with the Curriculum Managers for ESOL Adult Learners and ESOL (16-18) and I will be running a workshop on an Introduction to Digital Storytelling for ESOL in July. Also, student digital ambassadors are able to produce subject materials in partnership with lecturers or support training for their classes.

Student engagement and campaigning

I had not come across Adobe Spark before and think some of the tools could be beneficial for student engagement and employability. Therefore, I have asked two student digital ambassadors to test and review the various tools for social media and education. We will then make a plan on how we could promote its use to students and staff. Careers, Equality and Diversity, Safeguarding and Marketing teams could also benefit so the next step would be to compile taster resources to inspire others then design workshops/training with the student digital ambassadors.

Sharing best practice and innovation

Teachers could share case studies on small-scale initiatives: identifying a problem, how they responded, what happened, lessons learned etc.  In addition, I intend to report on the impact of some of my projects this summer. As part of this it would be really useful to capture some of the “story” in an engaging accessible way.

If you are interested in exploring digital storytelling and would like support, please do not hesitate to get in contact with the Digital Learning team!

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