Storytelling and Web 2.0 Services: A synthesis of old and new ways of learning
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Authors: Vojko Strahovnik, Biljana Mećava ...

Authors: Vojko Strahovnik, Biljana Mećava
Storytelling was for a long period the only way people had to learn from each other’s experiences. Even today there are still some cultures which have a strong storytelling tradition. In this article we present the outcomes and experiences we acquired during the realization of several EU educational projects in which we combined storytelling and Web 2.0 services.

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Storytelling and Web 2.0 Services: A synthesis of old and new ways of learning Document Transcript

  • 1. Storytelling and Web 2.0 Services: A synthesis of old and new ways of learning Vojko Strahovnik and Biljana Mecava Institute for Symbolic Analysis and Development of Information Technologies Velenje, Slovenia Summary Storytelling was for a long period the only way people had to learn from each other’s experiences. Even today there are still some cultures which have a strong storytelling tradition. In this article we present the outcomes and experiences we acquired during the realization of several EU educational projects in which we combined storytelling and Web 2.0 services. The combined method has proved to provide several learning advantages in educational projects, namely: − understanding of and empathy towards other races and cultures is increased; − auditory processing skills and listening skills are supported and practiced; − memory is enhanced and attention spans are extended; − factual and conceptual curriculum material is effectively and efficiently taught. Although storytelling was an efficient model of education, with the development of the industrial society it became less popular and today we are faced with “uniform” education approaches in schools, with less creativity and uninteresting stories, contributing to hinder the student’s imagination. Web 2.0 services provide great communication tools which are able to support modern storytelling in a more efficient way. Blogging, video sites like YouTube and much of what’s happening in social networking is driven by the basic human need to tell and share stories. New websites are emerging to help storytellers overcome the limitations of one dimensional media - text (blogs) or video (YouTube). Personal accounts shared in sites like Flicker, PhotoShow and others are trying to take storytelling to the next level. Although the online storytelling is just getting started it could be very efficiently used in eLearning. In this paper we describe three projects The TALE project, where we encourage people to learn by listening stories about successful learning experiences; HiStory, where older people are telling stories about life in the 20th Century in Europe and uploading them to the web, and MobiBlog, where students are submitting chronicles about their experiences studying abroad. Keywords: storytelling, story telling, storyteller, elearning, web 2.0, tale project, history, mobiblog, oral tradition, social networking, education, oral skills 1 Introduction This case deals with storytelling as a form of learning experience and relates it to the possibilities offered by Web 2.0 technology. It describes three EU supported education and life- long learning projects that combine storytelling and Web 2.0 services, namely TALE (Tell About Learning Experiences) project, MobiBlog project and HiStory (Seniors tell about history) project. What all three projects have in common is storytelling, i.e. using stories as a form of learning experience for different target groups. Projects were (and still are) carried out by project eLearning Papers • www.elearningpapers.eu • 1 Nº 15 • June 2009 • ISSN 1887-1542
  • 2. partners from ten different European countries, namely Slovenia, Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, Belgium, France, UK, Finland, and Romania. In short, TALE project is meant to encourage people to learn by telling them stories about successful learning or learning experience of other people. TALE conveys the philosophy and methodology of "storytelling cafés" as places where people come together, telling each other and listening to stories about a variety of topics and themes on the Web. On the web platform people can tell stories how they achieved their goals using things they learned (at school or in other formal or informal learning situations) or how they learned these things. Other users can read these stories, comment on them and are encouraged by them to undertake their own learning activities. HiStory project is intended for senior citizens in EU (and worldwide). It encourages and provides them with the possibility to express their personal experience within the European history in the 20th century by using a form of a narrative or a story. The aim of the project is to motivate elderly citizens to take part in learning processes and stimulate their intellectual endeavours. Their experience of history that has taken place was a good place to start. The learning process is both: the telling itself, because it means reflecting, organizing on and working through the personal experience; and listening to or reading of stories of others. The latter broadens the comprehension and understanding of the history since one sees it from the perspective of other persons from different countries. All this takes place in an easy-to-handle weblog learning environment with the potential of integrating audio and video files. The project also contributes to the better understanding between citizens from different cultural backgrounds and creates a common European consciousness. MobiBlog project is designed for students that take part (or are considering taking part) in different student mobility or exchange programs such as Erasmus network. Besides organizational barriers that stand in a way of increasing the number of students that participate in such exchanges their number also heavily depends on decisions of individual students to study abroad. These decisions are strongly influenced by personal, motivational and self- related considerations of individuals. MobiBlog project strives to provide a new service for European mobile students, comprising of a multi-institutional, web-based, bottom-up but well- structured and multi-lingual service on European level for peer-to-peer exchange of experiences of individual mobile students. All this takes place in a weblog area containing all aspects of studying abroad like motivation, social issues, communication and cultural issues, as well as organizational and administrative problems and how students overcame these obstacles and barriers. Such experiences are than conveyed from one student to another in a story-like manner. All three projects therefore attempt a synthesis of the old and the new: storytelling as one of the oldest forms of transferring and preserving knowledge and Web 2.0 services that are available today. They endeavour to follow the so-called narrative paradigm, which claims that people are inherently narrative beings. We understand ourselves and the world around us in relation to a narrative (or several narratives on different levels), which we are a part of. Stories are one of the most fundamental ways for learning and communication. They are extremely efficient way of storing, organizing, making sense of, retrieving, and conveying information to others. With new technologies there is a possibility to use them in many novel ways. 2 Background of the projects Projects mentioned were and still are carried out by various European organizations that are connected into networks. These networks consist of project partners form ten different European countries, namely Slovenia, Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, Belgium, France, UK, Finland, and Romania. TALE project is carried out by five partners from five countries; HiStory project is carried out by nine partners from seven countries; and MobiBlog project is carried out by nine partners from eight countries. Institutions involved range from universities or university- related institutions to private non-profit organizations, research centers and other types of eLearning Papers • www.elearningpapers.eu • 2 Nº 15 • June 2009 • ISSN 1887-1542
  • 3. institutions that operate in the areas of education, lifelong learning, adult education and promotion of science and technology. HiStory and MobiBlog projects are funded with support of the Lifelong Learning Programme and TALE was funded with support of the Socrates Programme. All three projects described are a part of a broader European development and educational agenda and its specific programs. Their major objectives are: − to reinforce the contribution of lifelong learning to social cohesion, active citizenship, intercultural dialogue, gender equality and personal fulfillment; − to contribute to increased participation in lifelong learning by people of all ages, including those with special needs and disadvantaged groups, regardless of their socio- economic background; − to assist people from vulnerable social groups and in marginal social contexts, in particular older people and those who have left education without basic qualifications, in order to give them alternative opportunities to access adult education; − to contribute to the development of quality lifelong learning and to promote high performance, innovation and a European dimension in systems and practices in the field; − to support the development of innovative ICT-based content, services, pedagogies and practice for lifelong learning; − to provide open educational resources on line ensuring that organizational, technical and quality-related issues are addressed in order to share content and make it easily accessible at European level; − to test innovative e-learning concepts; − to integrate different aspect of trans-generational learning. 3 Storytelling and the Web 3.1 What is a story? Story as a form of explanation A story might be defined as a series of sentences that describe some sequence of actions, events or experiences, usually related to people as actors in the story. People depicted as characters in a story are usually presented in some characteristic human situations to which – together with the factors and changes which affect that situation from outside – they react and change it. With the development of the story, these adaptations and changes both of the situation and characters reveal to the follower of a story hitherto hidden aspects of the original situation and of the characters and expose a certain predicament that calls for an action or a change that would solve it. “The predicament is usually sustained and developed in various ways that bring out its significance for the main characters. Whether or not the main characters respond successfully to the predicament, their response to it, and the effects of their response upon the other people concerned, bring the story to within sight of its conclusion.” (Gallie, 2001, p. 41) Building blocks of a story are therefore characters, events that are connected to one another and some kind of a plot, which relates characters to this sequence of events. (Bruner, 1994) Some propose that we can thus analyze stories inside a schema consisting of setting, event, internal response (goal, emotion, and cognition), method, activity and consequence being governed by specific syntactic and semantic rules. (Rumelhart, 1975). Depending on the nature and purpose of a story one can depict or employ the same sequence differently and by this create new meaning of the story. Stories are also a mean to the so-called narrative explanation which is substantially different form that found in natural sciences. In science of history, for example, narrative explanation and narrative understanding are an essential part of it (Bevir, 2000; Gallie, 2001) and we can use it as an illustrative case. eLearning Papers • www.elearningpapers.eu • 3 Nº 15 • June 2009 • ISSN 1887-1542
  • 4. Historians have always told stories that seem somehow internal to history itself. When Carl Hempel proposed a model of nomological history and accused the current state of history of being merely some kind of quasi-history or proto-science (in a sense of a not yet fully developed science) more than half a century ago, his proposal was not favourably accepted by historians, and furthermore future development in historical science did not bring any significant changes that would provide positive support for his proposal. Hempel claimed that according to the popular opinion history deals with narrative descriptions of particular past events and that therefore there is no place for the general principles and laws that would have the same function here as in natural sciences. But if history wants to build up into a develop science it should acknowledge that “general laws have quite analogous function in history and in the natural sciences." (Hempel, 1942, p. 35) He proposed the so-called nomological “covering law” model of explanation according to which any (even historical) scientific explanation of the event consist of a set of statements asserting the occurrence of certain events, a set of universal hypotheses, such that (i) the statements of both groups are reasonably well confirmed by empirical evidence, and (ii) from the two groups of statements the sentence asserting the occurrence of event can be logically deduced. (Hempel, 1942) Within this perspective there is no substantial difference between explanation and prediction. A developed science of history would then also enable accurate predictions of future. Historians never really fully accepted Hempel’s ideas. Many firmly insisted that historical explanation is different and that historical understanding requires stories. Louis Mink was among most rigorous defenders of these ideas. He argued that there are many different modes of comprehension, among which configurational comprehension aims at reaching understanding of things as elements in a single complex of concrete relationships, e.g. understanding one action or event within a complex set of influences, motives, beliefs, and purposes which explain this action. (Mink, 1960) Historians often employ this kind of explanation. There is a multitude of ways of how to understand the same facts, and understanding that employs general laws is just one of them. "If it can be shown that history is autonomous, and not proto-science, it must be done, I think, not by showing that there is some fact or set of facts which can be explained `historically´ but not `scientifically´, not even by providing alternative model of scientific explanation, but by critique of this assumption." (Mink, 1965, p. 30) In a narrative/story characters, actions, beliefs, emotions and other attitudes are interconnected in a complex web of relations and connections. That enables a particular way of understanding when one grasps the whole of the story. Sometimes we even go further and say that we have been “pulled into a story”. Following a story is consequently not just a matter of understanding words or sentences that compose a story. Stories also cannot simply be evaluated e.g. regarding their truth in a way that one would simply look at truth values of all the sentences that the story contains. Narratives and stories can play a crucial role in learning processes. Stories were and are still used by many cultures to convey knowledge to future generations, to stimulate questions about the world around us, to excite debates or to show us how to live (e.g. in the case of cautionary tales, fables, moral tales or dilemma tales). (Sunwolf, 1999) Therefore storytelling and following a story are important educational processes. 3.2 Stories and storytelling as a form of learning experience Learning by listening or telling stories has several important advantages over (most) other forms of learning methods. These include: a. Auditory processing skills and listening skills are supported and practiced. b. Memory is enhanced and attention spans are stretched. (van den Broek, 1997) Not all pieces of a story are equally salient and recalled (Stein & Glenn, 1975) and by construction of a story we can direct attention to particular parts of it. c. Factual and conceptual curriculum material is effectively and efficiently taught. eLearning Papers • www.elearningpapers.eu • 4 Nº 15 • June 2009 • ISSN 1887-1542
  • 5. d. By forming and telling a story we are transforming a multitude of observations, perceptions, insights, impressions, facts, phenomena, and data from an unordered bundle to a coherent whole that makes sense to us. (Frenzel et al., 2004) e. Stories are memorable so that the knowledge gained is preserved for a longer period of time (e.g. remembering events; Trabasso & Stein, 1997) f. Stories are usually open for interpretation and invite the listener to be creative in the process of listening to them or reading them. g. Stories can draw us into their content and stimulate attentive listening. h. Understanding of and empathy towards other races and cultures is increased. (Mello, 2001) i. Stories can be used in a multitude of ways: we can learn by creating them or by listening to them. j. Stories as effective learning toll can increase research, writing, understanding, presentation, interpersonal and assessment skills. Combined with the use of Web 2.0 technology they contribute to digital, visual, technology, information and global literacy. k. When someone listens to a story, usually both cognitive and conative/emotional processes are involved, which means that both sides of the brain are working. (Klein & Boals 2001) l. Stories are always holistic; they do not transport just factual knowledge, but connected knowledge. (Trabasso & Stein, 1997)) They are activating emotions and provide us with the possibility of identification. (Young & Saver, 2001) m. The learning process initiated by stories is a process which is promoting not only knowledge, but as well social and emotional intelligence. (Heid & Hahner, 2006) 3.3 Combining storytelling and Web 2.0 services: a synthesis of the old and the new Stories as a kind of learning experience can be fruitfully combined in with different forms of e- learning, especially using Web 2.0 technologies, such as blogs, video sharing sites, social networking sites, wiki-utilities and other. In recent years there has even been a noticeable shift towards the use of storytelling with these new technologies and a term digital storytelling is gaining importance. It is important to reflect on this new-wave storytelling from as many angles as possible to learn about the advantages of its educational uses. New media and new technologies are making deep changes in education. There are fantastic technological solutions which can connect people around the world practically in »no time«. Although that is a remarkable opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences, modern technology also brings a lot of things, which are not so good as they appear or as we expect them to be. Especially young people are spending a lot of time with technology, playing games, texting messages, chatting, developing new languages and ways of communication. The problem is that even if we use the best technology available, the communication on or through the web is not complete and students rarely have the chance to develop some important communication skills, e.g. like storytelling. However the new Web 2.0 services enable much better communication tools which could support storytelling in a more efficient way. Blogging, video sites like YouTube, and much of what’s happening in social networking are driven by the basic need to tell and share stories. New websites are emerging to help storytellers overcome the limitations of one dimensional media - text (blog) or video (YouTube). Personal stories told on sites like Flicker, PhotoShow, and others are trying to take storytelling to the next level. Although the online storytelling is just getting started it could be very efficiently used in eLearning. Blogs are currently the most widespread tool among social software application on the net. Blogs can be described by the attributes: regular actualization, pregnant posting, enabling feedback (comments), linking to other sources of information (trackbacks, permalinks), categorization (tags), easy handling (no installation of programmes necessary), immediate publishing on the net, individual control by users and easy management of multilingual eLearning Papers • www.elearningpapers.eu • 5 Nº 15 • June 2009 • ISSN 1887-1542
  • 6. contents. Amongst other possibilities of application in educational setting, blogs can be used effectively for documentation of learning processes and their publication. “Distinct to other technical options to communicate and share experiences on the World Wide Web, like personal websites, newsgroups, e-mail, wiki, instant messaging, etc., the technique of weblogs is especially suited to publish individual stories and articles that develop step by step and in a chronological way. The original idea of weblogs has been derived from the wish to publish personal diaries on the internet. Only some years after their establishment on the web they are used for many different purposes and increasingly not only by single persons but also by organizations as journals and newspapers. Currently every second a new weblog is created on the web.” (Heid and Hahner, 2006, p. 1) What follows is a description of three different projects that combine storytelling as a form of learning experience with web 2.0 technology based on a weblog. 3.4 Projects TALE 1 Few years ago project partners from Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Slovenia started working on the TALE (Tell About Learning Experiences) project. The project started in 2005 and ended in 2007. The main objective of the TALE project was to encourage people to learn by listening stories about successful learning experiences of other people. TALE transfers the philosophy and methodology of "storytelling cafés" on the Web. On a web platform people can tell stories about how they achieved their learning or other goals by using things they learned (at school or in other formal or informal learning situations). Other users can read these stories and are encouraged by them to undertake their own learning endeavours. TALE project developed a European web platform, where learning examples and stories of single persons and their learning process can be told, whereas these stories should in best case show a successful solution of the problem solved trough learning. Therefore as many stories as possible that have some relation to learning are being collected, structured, categorized, rated and evaluated by learners. (For its use in the different European countries a translation service for the stories is provided.) In storytelling cafés people come together, telling each other and listening to stories about various topics and themes. Storytelling clubs and cafés are a widespread phenomenon in the U.K. In the rest of Europe they were rather unknown up to now. There are some websites about storytelling providing information on oral storytelling, storytellers and storytelling events, such as storytelling festivals. The TALE project in addition to that, set up a web-based service, where everyone can put their stories about learning and everyone can read these stories. The TALE platform is designed as a web-based story café, with an important difference to physical cafés: You can tell and read stories whenever and wherever you want! Both oral told stories and written stories can be included. As well the stories can be read or listened to according to the preference of the individual user. In contrast to learning from other sources like specialized books, learning from stories means learning image by image, rather than word by word. Stories can be much more easily remembered and then retold again. Learning from stories also means learning by models and examples. In addition to other theories of learning like operational conditioning that work by trial, error, reinforcement and punishment, the approach of learning with models explains how complex and difficult tasks, for example driving a car, can be learned. When looking at 'learning' as a general process with all its different facets, a theory which is able to explain a complex task is needed. For learning with a model it is important that the learner feels the model as realistic and as similar to him/herself. During the learning process of the model some problems should 1 http://www.tale-net.org/ eLearning Papers • www.elearningpapers.eu • 6 Nº 15 • June 2009 • ISSN 1887-1542
  • 7. occur before the aim is achieved. The model should be especially interesting and encouraging for the learner. There is also a strong link from theory of learning with models to psychological approaches of motivation. Psychological findings provide support for the claim that general assessments possess no important influence to personal motivation of the learner because general evaluations are not strongly connected to personal motivation and these generalizations do not have a high potential of activation of personal valences. But these valences (a personal evaluation that rates something as "important" or "valuable") are highly relevant for the personal learning motivation. To increase the attractiveness of learning (and the motivation) it is necessary to stimulate the personal valences. This can be done by presenting (learning) examples where personal valences and aims have been fulfilled. TALE project followed the subsequent scheme: Picture 1: The structure of the TALE project (Heid and Hahner, 2006) A web platform was developed where people are invited to contribute their learning stories. Simple guidelines were provided for authors. Stories are then categorized and structured regarding different criteria (e.g. theme, language, county of origin, etc.). People can also translate stories. All people interested can then access the gathered stories and also comment on them. In the story database all collected and uploaded stories are displayed as single entries of a weblog and a quick search enables easy access to them. The project team supervises the whole process and coordinates activities. Results of the project are good. More than fifty interesting learning stories (that differ in their length) were collected ranging from topics such as problem solving, career decisions, school experience, to life lessons gained and work related stories. The stories tell about how a person solved some particular problem, what motivated her, how other people reacted to her activity, what was the impact of successful learning on her self confidence and how she overcome frustrations. HiStory 2 Learning and educational processes of senior citizens are of high priority in the framework of the ageing society in Europe. Psychological findings show that learning in higher ages is possible and desirable, when some particularities of the target group are taken into account. The project HiStory – Seniors tell about History regards these particularities by choosing a subject, the personally experienced history, which is highly relevant and motivating to the target group of elderly people. This personally experiences history is then collected in a form of personal stories , which are further integrated into an easy-to-handle weblog learning environment with the potential of integrating audio and video files. 2 http://www.history-project.eu/ eLearning Papers • www.elearningpapers.eu • 7 Nº 15 • June 2009 • ISSN 1887-1542
  • 8. The methodological approach is a narrative one and combines the approaches of oral history, biographical research and storytelling. Senior citizens tell about their individual experiences within the European history in the 20th century (different perspective, different region, and different fields of history). The learning process can be both, the telling itself, because it means reflecting and working through of personal experiences and organizing them, and the listening to/reading of the tales of others. The latter widens the comprehension and understanding of the history of other persons in different countries. The main target group of the project is senior population of several European countries, which is interested in their own history and in the history of others. Since the learning process is not theoretical, but illustrated by personal stories, it is an informal way of learning that doesn’t require any theoretical, general or abstract knowledge about history. Thus, the access to the project is very easy and meets the need of older people to have a simple way of (re-)entering learning contexts. The aims of the proposed project are multiple and diverse. Besides the objective of European integration and cohesion HiStory endeavours to address the social inclusion/exclusion of seniors, to advance active citizenship in terms of awareness of common historical contexts and, as a consequence, stimulate responsible political and cultural acting in the presence and future. The learning process and the learning environment are adapted to the needs of seniors and, moreover, they advance communication and intercultural exchange, thereby contributing to a socially integrated and more content ageing. Additionally trans-generational learning is integrated by including the young generation. During the second half of the project’s lifetime, European schools that will carry out pilot projects about experienced history will be included. The pupils will learn from the tales of the seniors and start a communication process with then with the aim of trans-generational exchange, communication and learning. HiStory platform opened in May 2008 and several fascinating history stories are so far collected and presented. The project started in 2007 and will end in 2009. In the future we hope for a large number of people to be prepared to share their personal experience with history and also a large number if those who are going to read these stories. MobiBlog 3 MobiBlog is a project that strives to enhance the mobility of European students and to help them to decide spending a part of their study time on another university. The project started in 2007 and will end in 2009. It is structured according to the following goals: (A) provide a multi-institutional, web-based, bottom-up but well-structured and multi-lingual service on European level for peer-to-peer exchange of experiences of individual mobile students in a weblog area containing all aspects of student exchange like motivation, social issues, communication and cultural issues as well as organizational and administrative problems and how students overcame these obstacles and barriers; (B) to develop a structured and comprehensive online guide for the target topic which will be connected in both directions by multiple hyperlinks with the weblog area; (C) to build up a network of universities in Europe to adopt the service developed into their portfolio of services for mobile students, to encourage them to use it, to replace existing single- institutional and paper-based services and to integrate Mobiblog to existing virtual campuses. According to the main aim of the EU Bologna process mobile studies within the European Union shall be enabled free of organizational and administrative obstacles. Besides necessity to reduce organizational barriers the number of mobile students in reality also depends on 3 http://mobi-blog.eu/ eLearning Papers • www.elearningpapers.eu • 8 Nº 15 • June 2009 • ISSN 1887-1542
  • 9. decisions of individual students to study abroad. These decisions are strongly influenced by personal, motivational and self-related considerations of those individuals. By producing the three main outputs (A) weblog area, (B) online guide, and (C) the network of universities, Mobiblog envisages short-term impact of significantly increasing students’ motivation for student exchanges in Europe, providing structured topic-related information for actors in higher education for using synergies in services for mobile students. The project also aims to raise awareness about the topic and to stimulate topic-related learning within the participating institutions, providing a model for an adequate use of weblogs and peer-to-peer software in general for learning and education. The psychological factor of decision-making is related to the individual’s belief to feel prepared for studying in another country, in means of personal or cultural knowledge of a respective country or city to live in, as well as psychological aspects of mobility like dealing with social environment (friends, family) at home, communication or language issues. Social support by positive models thereby can be a strong helping factor to overcome motivational barriers to mobility. Existing services supporting mobile students apart from administrative and organizational issues are rare and if existing easily available for student only at the university of origin. Usually these services are collections of reports written by prior students from the respective target university. In most cases reports are stored in folders at the library or the Erasmus centre of the university, categorizations for specific questions or problems are not available. Mobiblog addresses the need of students to gain as much first-hand information about mobile studies as possible. Motivational barriers inhibiting the decision for taking part in mobile studies can be identified, displayed in a comprehensive and well-structured way, enhanced by real-life examples and made accessible on European level. Informal learning for students about motivational aspects, communication issues languages, cultural aspects and other social and psychological problems of mobile studies is made possible on one common portal. Mobiblog thereby enables individual learning through regular real-time documentation or summarized final reporting of learning processes in a reflexive way. At the same time the service developed offers a peer-to-peer learning-platform for exchange of experiences between individuals. The online guide offers an additional resource going beyond singular learning experiences on an analytic and comprehensive level. The project helps to overcome single- institutional approaches and encourages organizations in higher education all over Europe to use the synergies of an integrated in the field of services for mobile students. The project furthermore tests an innovative e-learning concept by combining the open, individual and more unstructured learning approach of documenting learning experiences. Around fifty stories about student exchange experiences were collected so far. Some of them have been translated to other languages. Stories differ as to their length and county of origin. The stories testify about accommodation, cultural and social life, education and academic life, friends, university network and similar aspects of studying in another country. An overview of the projects Despite important differences between them, all three projects combine storytelling with Web 2.0 services. Storytelling is presumed as an important form of learning process. Projects described endeavour to frame storytelling in a controlled and guided, but widely accessible web environment that is structured to motive storytellers and readers and listeners. 4 Current and Future Challenges The problem that emerged with all three projects is low recognizably of the web platforms developed and consequently a relatively small number of users. In the future more effort must be put into promotion of all projects. On the other hand, the collected stories are interesting and useful and the satisfaction of users is high. eLearning Papers • www.elearningpapers.eu • 9 Nº 15 • June 2009 • ISSN 1887-1542
  • 10. Next, regarding TALE and HiStory project, one of the issues was accessibility of web portal for stories, particularly for the authors of stories. Even thought the weblog area is simple and easy to use, it still requires some computer and software knowledge. Especially HiStory project designed for elderly has this problem. One solution that proved useful was to include the storytelling portal into various existing workshops about the use of computer for older generation. Furthermore, in many cases digital storytelling by using a word processor or a blog environment can be time consuming and a lot of effort must be made to present a story. Especially young users are not motivated for this. A solution is to provide possibilities to complement written stories with audio and video Web 2.0 technology. What follows are some issues, problems and challenges related to individual projects. TALE project remained within a relatively closed group of users and should be more widely promoted for usage in formal and informal education. We believe that it has a lot of potential. HiStory project revealed that senior citizen are still not competent enough with Web 2.0 technologies to be able to contribute stories on a larger scale. Also, the language barrier among the older European generation is far greater that in young generation. The best solution is to use weblog technology that enables multi-language support and to provide a number of volunteers to translate stories written in one language to other languages. MobiBlog project revealed a lack of motivation in young generation to write stories. Only 59% really enjoy telling stories about their own life. From those, they 69% prefer to do it orally, only 31% would do it using a word processor. So we have to make more efforts to motivate student to tell stories, and from technical point of view the possibility for stories to be uploaded as audio or video. However, most students (80%) believe that other students would learn substantially from their previous experiences. In the future we will try to learn as much as possible from these projects and to upgrade them to overcome difficulties and obstacles that were revealed in the past. We believe in perspective Web 2.0 storytelling has as a form of learning experience. References Bartlett, F. C. (1967). Remembering: A study in experimental and social psychology, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. (Originally published in 1932.) Brevir, M. (2000) Narrative as a Form of Explanation. Disputatio, 9(2000), 10-18. Bruner, J. S. (1994). Life as narrative. In A. H. Dyson & C. Genishi (Eds.), The need for story: Cultural diversity in classroom and community, Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English, 28-37 Bull, G., & Kajder, S. (2004). Digital Storytelling in the Language Arts Classroom. Learning & Leading with Technology, 32 (4), 46-49. Retrieved February 15, 2009 from http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Publications/LL/LLIssues/Past_Issues1.htm Collins, R. & Cooper, P.J. (1977). The Power of Story. Teaching Through Storytelling, Scotsdale (USA): Gorsuch Scarisbrick. Egan, K. (1989). Teaching as Story Telling: An Alternative Approach to Teaching and Curriculum in the Elementary School, Chicago: University Of Chicago Press. Frenzel, K., Müller, M., and Sottong, H. (2004). Storytelling. Das Harun-al-Raschid-Prinzip, München: Hanser. Gallie, W. B. (2001). Narrative and Historical Understanding. In G. Roberts (Ed.), The History and Narrative Reader, New York: Routledge, 40-51 Heid, S. & Hahner, R. (2006). Learning by Storytelling on the Web. Tice. Hempel, C. G. (1942). The Function of General Laws in History. The Journal of Philosophy, 39 (2), 35-48. eLearning Papers • www.elearningpapers.eu • 10 Nº 15 • June 2009 • ISSN 1887-1542
  • 11. Klein, K. & Boals, A. (2001). Expressive writing can increase working memory capacity. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 130, 520-533. Mello, R. (2001). The Power of Storytelling: How Oral Narrative Influences Children's Relationships in Classrooms. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 2 (1). Retrieved February 15, 2009 from http://www.ijea.org Mink, L. (1960). Modes of Comprehension and the Unity of Knowledge. Proceedings of the XIIth International Congress of Philosophy, Florence, Sansoni Editore, V. 41, 1-17. Mink, L. (1965). The Autonomy of Historical Understanding. History and Theory 5, 24-47. Rumelhart, D.E. (1975). Notes on a Schema for Stories. In D.G. Bobrow & A.M. Collins (eds.) Representation and Understanding: Studies in Cognitive Science, New York: Academic Press, 185-210. Stein, N. L. & Glenn, C. G. (1975). A Developmental Study of Children’s Recall of Story Material. Paper presented at SRCD Conference, Denver, Colorado, April 1975. Sunwolf. (1999). The Pedagogical and Persuasive Effects of Native American Lesson Stories, Sufi Wisdom Tales, and African Dilemma Tales. Howard Journal of Communications, 10(1), 47-71. Trabasso, T. & Stein, N. (1997). Narrating, Representing, and Remembering Event Sequences. In P. W. van den Broek, P. J. Bauer & T. Bourg (Eds.), Developmental Spans in Event Comprehension and Representation: Bridging Fictional and Actual Events, Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 237- 270. van den Broek, P. (1997). Discovering the Cement of the Universe: The Development of Event Comprehension From Childhood to Adulthood. In P. W. van den Broek, P. J. Bauer & T. Bourg (Eds.), Developmental Spans in Event Comprehension and Representation: Bridging Fictional and Actual Events, Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 321-342. Young, K. &, Saver, J. L. (2001). The Neurology of Narrative. Substance - 94/95 (30, 1&2), 72-84. Authors Vojko Strahovnik vojko.strahovnik@gmail.com Biljana Mecava mecava@ipak-zavod.si Institute for Symbolic Analysis and Development of Information Technologies Velenje, Slovenia Copyrights The texts published in this journal, unless otherwise indicated, are subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivativeWorks 3.0 Unported licence. They may be copied, distributed and broadcast provided that the author and the e-journal that publishes them, eLearning Papers, are cited. Commercial use and derivative works are not permitted. The full licence can be consulted on http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ Edition and production Name of the publication: eLearning Papers ISSN: 1887-1542 Publisher: elearningeuropa.info Edited by: P.A.U. Education, S.L. Postal address: C/ Muntaner 262, 3º, 08021 Barcelona, Spain Telephone: +34 933 670 400 Email: editorial@elearningeuropa.info Internet: www.elearningpapers.eu eLearning Papers • www.elearningpapers.eu • 11 Nº 15 • June 2009 • ISSN 1887-1542