Digital Storytelling in Disciplinary Classes: Permission to Tell Stories in Middle and High School Classes Dr. Susan J. Wegmann Digital Students Characteristics Personal Begin with a Story/Script Concise Use Readily-available Source Elements Include Universal Story Elements Involve Collaboration By providing digital students with opportunities to learn in ways that satisfy their needs, (i.e. to connect, to manipulate information digitally) they will be more engaged in the learning process and in realizing their potential. Methodology Participants: N=379 Students in Content Area Literacy, both graduate and undergraduate; Students were English Education, Math Education, Science Education, Social Science Education, Music Education, and Foreign Language Education; Assigned the task of creating an Academic Vocabulary Digital Story. Guiding question: How do graduate and undergraduate students perceive using and creating Academic Vocabulary Digital Stories? Data sources: a. Content analysis of a voluntary end-of-term Discussion Board asking general “Highlights of the class,” b. End of course Survey Results, and c. Informal course e-mails and discussions with students. Theoretical Base Steps Findings 53% of total students made unsolicited positive remarks about Academic Vocabulary Digital Storytelling. 67% of graduate students reported positive statements; 49% of undergraduate students reported positive statements. Percentages of students who made unsolicited positive remarks about Academic Vocabulary Digital Stories on End-of-term Discussion Board, “Highlights of this course” Implications Students found Academic Vocabulary Digital Storytelling useful for their present or future classes, implying that teachers should consider using them. Graduate students (even though most were “digital immigrants”) seemed to value the use of Academic Vocabulary Digital Stories more than undergraduate students, implying that those who are practicing teachers can envision this practice in their classrooms. Students reasoned that Academic Vocabulary Digital Stories would: a. Encourage struggling readers to engage with the content. b. Provide students with sustained practice/review of content, as projects are uploaded to Teachertube.com c. Enhance a Connected Stance by encouraging higher order thinking and student-to-student interactions. What is Digital Storytelling? Combines the longstanding art of telling stories with any of a variety of available multimedia tools: *still images * text *audio * animation *video * Web publishing * music * CGI * sound 2. Students overwhelmingly reported that they would use Digital Stories in their present or future classrooms. “The digital story telling was an awesome idea! I was surprised at how well you can really learn a lesson and the vocabulary in it by a digital story. Students will be able to see our passion for our content area and they will see that we really want them to learn and enjoy our content instead of the old boring classroom where you take notes, do homework, and take a test.” “The highlight from this class that I will take into my teaching will most definitely be the art of digital storytelling. I loved getting the chance to work on my very own digital story.” “Digital stories are such an amazing way to teach vocabulary. In this new age of teaching, the list of 20 words given on Monday and tested on Friday are out and digital stories are in. Finally, a forum to teach vocabulary words that will make students retain information for longer. I showed my digital story to my summer school class and all of a sudden the vocabulary words were part of their everyday language- not just "big" words that they are going to get tested on. The characters become real to students, so the words in the story become real as well. 3. End-of-course survey results showed that students felt Academic Vocabulary Digital Stories enhanced a Connected Stance by encouraging interaction.