Digital stories and diversity


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Presentation at 2011 Diversity Conference in Cape Town

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  • A critical reflection on the use of digital stories to improve digital literacies in pre service teacher students
  • have become culturally diverse, especially former Model C schools, Indian and Coloured schools
  • What are digital stories?
  • This study focuses on a project carried out in 2010 in the Faculty of Education at a University of Technology in South Africa. Diverse student population, from coloured, white and black African demographic backgrounds. English is the language of instruction at this institution which, for many students, is not their mother tongue.About half of the class of 60 students volunteered to join the digital stories project, while the rest of the class followed the traditional route of paper-based portfolio. Both groups’ instructions were to reflect over the seven roles of a teacher, which are the basis of the South African National Teacher Curriculum (Department of Education, 2000).Khanye lab, should be availble in all schools in Western Cape, free or open source software
  • Phenomology:
  • Research question 1
  • Analysis shows that the students came to realize that minorities in classrooms may fail to actively participate due to the literate practices and interaction of their culture being different from those in the classroom. The class-teacher and other students may interpret that those from the minorities are incapable or not cooperative. However, using digital story telling provided a platform to the minorities to make their voices heard and let others know that they are not bad students. This type of situation is echoed by Anstey and Bull (2006). In addition, Sylvester and Greenidge (2010) agree by saying “using this multimedia approach in the classroom helps students discover voices, confidence and structure in their writing”.
  • Research question 1
  • Digital stories and diversity

    1. 1. Telling Digital Stories: Final year Pre-service student teachers’ perception of diversity in the classroom in South AfricaJanet Condy, Agnes Chigona, Daniela Gachago, Eunice IvalaCape Peninsula University of Technology <br />
    2. 2. Diversity in South African classrooms<br />Since 1994: move to culturally diverse classrooms<br />Managing this classroom is main challenge for South African teachers<br />Objective: not to submerge cultural difference, but to teach children respect for each others’ cultural identity, language and values (Manifesto on Values, Education and Democracy, 2004)<br />
    3. 3. Start with teachers!<br />In many pre-service education programs, there is still minimal understanding of race and ethnicity, and yet a high incidence of ethnocentric-power struggles between pre-service teachers and their diverse students (Gibson 2004)<br />“To make a difference in the lives of students you as a teacher must liberate yourself from […] narrow conceptions about people…try to elicit excellence within the context of the students’ own cultural perspectives” (Garcia 1992, p.7)<br />
    4. 4. Role of technology<br />Sleeter and Tettegan (2002:1) show that “previous studies have proved that technology can provide meaningful ways for educators and students to process information and collaborate in order to promote critical thinking and social justice through multicultural education”. <br />
    5. 5. Digital stories<br />
    6. 6. Everybody has a story to tell<br />Give marginalised, silent people a voice<br />Image from Flickr by whateverything (CC)<br />
    7. 7. Use of digital stories in Teacher Education<br />Focus on reflection, use as online portfolio (e.g. Barrett 2005, Kearney 2009, Long 2011)<br />Development of multiple, digital literacies (e.g. Robin 2005)<br />
    8. 8. DST in multicultural classroom<br />Hammer & Kellner 2000<br />…multimedia can provide an important supplement to multicultural education, bringing the experiences of marginal and oppressed groups to the mainstream. <br />
    9. 9. DST and race<br />Rolon-Dow (2011)<br />“As I show in this article, digital storytelling, in combination with a CRT frame- work, can provide a window into understanding the ways race operates in the lives of youth and the microaggressions that students of color face in today’s educational contexts.”<br />…getting to know students better / in different ways…<br />
    10. 10. Challenges<br />Access<br />Technical skills<br />Time<br />Support<br />Assessment<br />Openness to telling “true stories”<br />
    11. 11. 2010 Faculty of Education Digital Storytelling project<br />
    12. 12. Diversity on many levels<br />Diversity on many levels:<br />79% 20-25 years, 14% 30-35 years, 7% older<br />72% female, 28% male<br />79% English or Afrikaans, 21% isiXhosa<br />
    13. 13. Research questions<br />
    14. 14. Methodology<br />Qualitative research design<br />Sample: 29 students<br />Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), Smith, Jarman & Osborn (1999)<br />Aim of study: explore individual perceptions as well as to understand how individuals make sense of their experiences<br />Analysis of 29 digital stories<br />Semi-structured focus group (10 students)<br />Purposive sampling by racial representation<br />
    15. 15. Images<br />Experiences of DST in own classroom<br />
    16. 16. Respecting each other<br />“it would be nice to have Digital Stories in the first year, when you come here. So that by the time we get to the end of 4th year you have such a great respect for the people that you’re with, because I now sit here knowing Tembi’s story and Jean’s story and Charles’s story, which I haven’t known before. …I know why they’re here, what has driven them…”<br />“And you respect each other’s reasons for teaching.”<br />
    17. 17. Getting to know your peers better<br />“And we’ve experienced that in our class where you’ve learnt so much about people. Things that you didn’t know and now suddenly you understand them better and you might not even relate but you’ve already seen it from their point of view. So it’s quite a nice tool”<br />
    18. 18. Giving minorities a voice<br />Everybody has their own story to tell. So digital story allows you to tell your specific story and share it amongst everybody in your classroom. So yes, if you get exposed to another person’s culture, surely you will respect that culture eventually and you will learn about that person and you see that person with more respect and in a better light.<br />
    19. 19. Images<br />Integration into their own teaching<br />
    20. 20. Multicultural group work<br />I think you could also have a story where you have different races and different religions together in one story. Maybe start off with their separate entities where they come from their backgrounds, but end off in way where you have a whole group of learners that are completely different from one another ending off in a way that they combine together and you can send a message across about multiculturalism in that way, where everybody actually comes together and they don’t see it as a problem. <br />
    21. 21. Incorporating technology in content presentation<br />If your children could do a thing on their family tree for Geography, instead of making a poster, then they must make a Digital Story. And they will learn about each other, and their lives and their problems and their backgrounds. You would get such a healthy respect and it’s actually really beautiful and inspiring, to see other people’s lives and where they come from.<br />
    22. 22. Community involvement<br />It spreads further than just the learners. Because if you do it in the school like if you take this idea [digital storytelling] into a school and you make the learner – say in Grade 7 and they do a project like this and you expand it and you call their parents in, like we called our parents in to come and watch our stories. …through teaching their kids multiculturalism, you’re also teaching their parents because their parents then also get to see their children’s perspective of it and they can actually learn from their children. <br />
    23. 23. Challenges<br />Image from Flickr by Leif (CC)<br />
    24. 24. Access to resources<br />Access to Technology<br />But you must also think, granted, some schools don’t have the technology we’ve used. So doing a recording like this in a classroom also depends on what you have available to you because not all the schools are going to have the programmes that you need…the computers that you need…the screens that you need to show the movie or the video …<br />Access to Support<br />“This is one thing that I would really, really …like to do in my teaching…I wouldn’t be able to do it on my own…obviously I would have to ask for help there and there, because there are some things that I cant remember now as I’m sitting here…”<br />
    25. 25. Conclusion<br />
    26. 26. Conclusions<br />Students who participated in the digital storytelling approach reported a deeper understanding of one another’s ethnic, racial and socio-economic backgrounds<br />Experienced a practical example of how they could handle diverse classrooms in their own teaching<br />Enhanced digital literaciesfor teaching and learning<br />
    27. 27. 1. What is digital literacy?<br />Ideas for improvement <br />
    28. 28. Assess students’ existing social practices around use of technology<br />Use stories to start a conversation about race and diversity in the classroom<br />Analysis of stories in terms of stereotypes and counter-narratives<br />
    29. 29. We would like to acknowledge and thank the 2010 Digital Stories students who have made this project such a success!<br />
    30. 30. Thank you ! Any questions?<br />Further contact: Daniela Gachago, CPUT or<br />
    31. 31. References<br />Barrett, Helen. 2006. Digital Stories in ePortfolios: Multiple Purposes and Tools.<br />Center for Digital Storytelling. Available at: [Accessed May 26, 2010].<br />Newman, T. (2009). Consequences of a digital literacy review: moving from terminology to action. Retrieved May 2011 from<br />Rolon-Dow, Rosalie. 2011. Race(ing) stories: digital storytelling as a tool for critical race scholarship. Race, ethnicity and education, 14:2, 159-173.<br />Desai, Z., Giliomee, H., Jordan, P., Krog, A., Kulati, T., Lehoko, K., et al. (2004). Manifesto On Values , Education and Democracy. Retrieved from <br />Gibson, C. (2004). Multicultural Pre-Service Education: Promising Multicultural Pre-service Teacher Education Initiatives. Radical Pedagogy, 6(1).<br />Garcia, J. & Pugh, S.L. (1992). Multicultural education in teacher preparation programs: A political or an educational concept. Phi Delta Kappan, 74: 214-219.<br />
    32. 32. References ctd<br />Hammer, R., & Kellner, D. (2000). Multimedia Pedagogy and Multicultural Education for the New Millennium. Religious Education, 95(4). Retrieved from<br />Robin, B. (n.d.). The Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling. Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling website. Retrieved from<br />Robin, B. R., & Pierson, M. E. (n.d.). A Multilevel Approach to Using Digital Storytelling in the Classroom Design of an IT Graduate Course in Digital Photography An Emerging Focus on Digital Storytelling. Retrieved from Digital Storytelling in the Classroom.pdf.<br />Sylvester, R., & Greenidge, W.-lou. (2009). Digital Storytelling : Extending the Potential for Struggling Writers. Reading Teacher, 63(4), 284-295. doi: 10.1598/RT.63.4.3.<br />