Digital Storytelling and Young Children: Transforming Learning Through Creative Use of Technology

Digital Storytelling and Young Children: Transforming Learning Through Creative Use of Technology

Jessica Lynn Lantz, Joy Myers, Reece Wilson
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0246-4.ch010
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Using Puentedura's framework for transformative use of technology for learning, and the guidelines for developmentally appropriate practice, practitioner vignettes, and practical strategies highlight the possibilities for integrating digital storytelling activities in the PK-3 classroom in support of literacy learning. The chapter explores ways in which digital storytelling can be a transformational way for young children to develop an array of literacy skills. The vignettes share examples of teachers integrating digital storytelling activities in transformative ways to enhance children's learning. The chapter provides suggestions for lesson ideas and digital tools for engaging young children in a variety of storytelling projects.
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Technology plays a major role in the lives of many children. Smartphones, iPads, interactive digital whiteboards, laptops, and the apps and software programs associated with these items, are common in both home and school settings. How should these technologies be used in the classroom when considering the cognitive and social development of children? This section addresses the importance of developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) when working with students, PK-3 through third grade, and technology.

Developmentally appropriate practice has, at its core, the idea that relationship building is essential to the learning process (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009). Teachers must get to know their students’ strengths, and areas in which they need support. Vygotsky’s (1962) concept of the zone of proximal development, the idea that children, with support from a skilled partner (their teacher), can develop new knowledge and skills, is central to this relationship building. When this skilled partner scaffolds the current abilities of the learner to develop new knowledge and skills, ultimate learning occurs.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Young Children: The age range of children who are typically age four to eight and are enrolled in school grades of pre-kindergarten through third grade in school.

Digital Storytelling: The process and result of telling a story using technology tools.

Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP): Framework for connecting the research on learning and child development with knowledge of educational effectiveness to promote optimal development and learning in young children.

Apps: Abbreviation for digital application tools used on mobile computing devices. This term includes website versions of digital tools.

Literacy: The ability to read and write.

SAMR: Substitution, augmentation, modification, and redefinition educational framework model for gauging impact of technology use in transforming learning.

Multimedia: A combination of digital content that may include pictures, text, sounds, videos, websites, virtual reality, or interactive content.

Mobile Device: A small personal computer that allows the installation and use of apps. Common types include smart phones, computer tablets, and iPods.

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