Three Cases of Unconventional Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling

Three Cases of Unconventional Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling

Emmanuel Fokides (University of the Aegean, Greece)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch228


The study presents three cases in which digital storytelling was used in an unconventional way; in helping an immigrant student to integrate into the school environment, in helping first-grade students' school adjustment, and in dealing with bullying. The constructivist principles concerning the learning process and the requirement of students' active participation, provided the necessary framework. The researcher avoided to intervene, to guide or to lecture students. All cases were short in duration and easily applied. Results confirmed the author's belief that digital storytelling is a powerful and flexible tool that can be used in many and diverse educational or non-educational scenarios.
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Focusing on problems that students and teachers face at school, which are not directly related to knowledge acquisition, but affect how the school functions and/or the emotional well-being of students, three areas were of interest: the poor school integration of immigrant students, young students' adjustment to school, and bullying.

In Greece, 10.35% of the total students' population are immigrants (Hellenic Statistical Authority, 2011). Insufficient knowledge of the Greek language and, consequently, low performance in language lessons is a major problem (Retali, 2013). There is also a more important difficulty; that of poor school and/or social integration. Schools could play an important role, but the Greek educational system is not capable of assimilating immigrant students well (Skourtou, Vratsalis, & Govaris, 2004). Therefore, there is a need to help them overcome their adaptation problems.

Coming to primary school for the very first time marks the beginning of a transitional period to children's lives. Rules and routines are different from those they were accustomed in the kindergarten and their status and identity might be affected (Fabian, 2007). Problems may arise that have short and long-term educational and/or psychological implications (Dockett & Perry, 2009). Behavioral problems are also common (Brooker, 2008). Consequently, finding ways that allow a smooth and quick transition to the school's environment are quite important.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Digital Storytelling: A digital form of a story that combines a conventional story (oral or written) and multimedia and/or hypermedia elements.

Mimicking: The observation of a model that expresses the desired behavior and, subsequently, adopting it.

Social Integration: The process in which all members of the society are engaged in a dialogue to achieve and maintain peaceful social relations. It does not imply or suggest forced assimilation.

Narrative Therapy: A form of psychotherapy in which an individual, together with the therapist, co-authors a narrative about himself/herself. Through this process, the values, skills and knowledge one has are identified, so as to effectively confront whatever problems he/she faces.

Constructivism: A learning theory which argues that humans generate knowledge and meaning from their experiences. Although not a specific pedagogy, is the underlying theme of many education reform movements.

School Adjustment: The process of adapting to the role of being a student and to various aspects of the school environment.

Bullying: The repeated use of violence (verbal or physical) and/or threats, for abusing, intimidating, or dominating others.

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