Digital Storytelling is at the centre of Teachers Without Borders Project “Bridges to Understanding”.
Although at this point there are no resources relating to the Zaatari Camp, (within the TWOB project), it is their concept of Digital Storytelling that I am using as part of the Future Learning Space …‘The Intercultural Space.’
What is Digital Storytelling?
Digital storytelling is all about using digital technology and multimedia to tell a story. The stories can be made up of images, audio, or video..and usually is presenting a point of view or explaining a situation. Typically they are only a couple minutes long, and are meant to inform the viewer and promote discussion.
The fact that 86% of youth within the Zaatari Camp have access to a Mobile Phone, means that Digital Storytelling is a possibility for them.
Through the media platforms of Facebook, and Twitter , Zaatari youth can create and share their Digital Stories with other students of the world.
For examples, of Digital Storytelling used by Teachers without Borders, click here .
To see the children of Zaatari collecting images for some Digital Stories, click here.
What benefits does it have for the viewer and the creator?
Used in an Educational situation, Digital Storytelling has many benefits for the viewer and the creator.
- For the viewer it provides opportunities to learn about another persons culture, the difficulties they may be going through, and the joys they experience.
If the viewers are a classroom of students or a staffroom of teachers, Digital storytelling can promote discussions about current issues, in this case life in Zaatari.
- For the creator of a Digital Story, they are able to share their story and thereby use information as a way of eliminating some of the distance that foreign born students feel between themselves and their peers.
For the students and Teachers within Zaatari it can provide opportunities to feel as if they are not forgotten, as well as focusing on their culture and making sure it remains important to them.
Through the Personal Narratives of Digital Storytelling, the students and teachers of Zaatari have an outlet for intense emotional issues they have and are facing on a daily basis.
Development of Student Literacies through Digital Storytelling.
By creating Digital Stories and sharing on the Media Platforms of Twitter and Facebook, the students of Zaatari, as well as all students are developing the skills of:
- Information Literacy
- Visual Literacy
- Technology Literacy
- Media Literacy
All skills necessary to be a successful participant in the 21st Century.
Brown, Bryan and Brown (2005) have labelled these skills as “Twenty first century Literacy”. They have labelled them as:
- Digital Literacy – the ability to communicate with an ever-expanding community to discuss issues, gather information, and seek help;
- Global Literacy – the capacity to read, interpret, respond, and contextualize messages from a global perspective
- Technology Literacy – the ability to use computers and other technology to improve learning, productivity, and performance;
- Visual Literacy – the ability to understand, produce and communicate through visual images;
- Information Literacy – the ability to find, evaluate and synthesize information.
As well as the the fact that the Digital stories are keeping the rest of the world connected to the Zaatari youth, the above skills are an necessary part of the education of the youth within Zaatari . Keeping them up today with their peers elsewhere in the world.