Digital Storytelling as a Culturally Responsive Instructional Strategy for Pacific Islanders in Guam and Micronesia

Digital Storytelling as a Culturally Responsive Instructional Strategy for Pacific Islanders in Guam and Micronesia

Catherine E. Stoicovy (University of Guam, Mangilao, Guam) and Matilda Naputi Rivera (Guam Department of Education, Hagatna, Guam)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/IJOPCD.2019040103
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This article explores the use of digital storytelling as a culturally responsive instructional strategy for Pacific Island students on the islands of Guam and Micronesia in the Western Pacific. A major feature of Pacific Island cultures is their orality; therefore, building on the oral tradition through digital storytelling might be one way to optimize language and literacy learning for Pacific Island students in Guam classrooms. The article also describes an accessible and easy-to-use model for digital storytelling using PowerPoint that teachers can use to implement digital storytelling in the classroom.
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Digital Storytelling As An Instructional Strategy

According to Leslie Rule’s (2010) widely quoted definition, “Digital storytelling is the modern expression of the ancient art of storytelling. Digital stories derive their power by weaving images, music, narrative and voice together, thereby giving deep dimension and vivid color to characters, situations, experiences, and insights” (p. 56). As the name suggests, digital stories usually include a combination of digital images, text, voice narration, and music. Robin (2008) tells us that most of the stories used in education usually last between two and ten minutes and are created for the telling of personal stories, the recounting of historical events, or as a means to inform or instruct on a particular topic. Educators often use digital stories as a way to present course content or to capture students’ attention and increase their interest in learning. However, Robin maintains that perhaps the greatest benefit in the classroom occurs when students are given the opportunity to create their own digital stories. When students create their digital stories, they become entranced by the power of their own voices and their own images (Rance-Roney, 2008).

Kajder and Swenson (2004) posit that digital story images allow students to “see what they think they know, connect the new to the known, and express their understanding in ways that are visual, auditory, scholarly, and powerful” (p. 46). Researchers such as Hibbing and Rankin-Erickson (2003) and Boster, Meyer, Toberto, & Inge (2002) have shown that the use of multimedia in teaching helps students retain new information as well as aids in the comprehension of difficult material. According to Burmark (2002), researchers have found that humans process visual information 60,000 times faster than textual information. In addition, they’ve concluded that visual aids can improve learning by up to 400 percent.

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