Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cultural diversity, the digital story...

The educational benefits of this digital tool became clearer to me after reading the supporting literature and following the recommended links on digital storytelling.
The educational benefits of this tool include:
· The ability to cover multiple intelligences
· Opportunity to motivate and engage students with tasks
· Promotes creativity amongst students

Educators could use this tool to engage groups of students and assist them create a meaningful story of their learning journey to share with others. This would tie in with Kearsley and Shneiderman’s (1999) engagement theory of Relate, Create and Donate.

This style of storytelling also caters to students who benefit in the leaning process from the use of visual material. Gardner (1983, 1993, as cited in McMillan & Weyers, 2006) illustrates in his multiple intelligences table that one of the nine ways people best process information is through the use of visual imagery.

Other benefits available to students through the use and creation of digital stories include:

· The opportunity to develop ICT skills
· Improvement in creative writing skills
· Improvement in narrative and visual skills

A few of the classes I teach consist of a number of culturally diverse students. For the students in these classes to gain a better understanding of each other’s backgrounds and beliefs, they could creating a digital story to document their own life journey up this point in time. This could help with students’ acceptance of each other’s differences and thus create a more effective and enjoyable environment for learning. Sharing cultural experiences leads to positive group interaction, promotes inclusion and helps encourage justice (Ashman & Elkins, 2008).

Culturally diverse groups could also create a digital story to enlighten and inform other groups of students about the similarities between cultures. Dovidio et al (2005, as cited in Ashman & Elkins, 2008) is of the view that positive inter-group attitudes are achieved when people focus on similarities in other peoples’ attributes.

Thanks for listening
Jim Price

Ashman, A., & Elkins, J. (2008). Education for Inclusion and Diversity. Frenchs Forest: Pearson Education Australia.

Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement theory: A framework for technology based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 13, 2009, from

McMillan, K., & Weyers, J. (2006). The smarter student: study skills & strategies for success at university. Harlow, Essex, England: Pearson Education Limited.

Photo: Retrieved August 25, 2009, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

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