Digital Storytelling for ELLs



Welcome to our course!

ESL students should be developing not just language skills, but 21st century learning skills and strategies. "Digital Storytelling provides a meaningful environment to interact with technology and develop these skills" (Jakes and Brennan, 2005.) They should not just be learning language receptively, but should be actively using it in a relevant context. Digital Storytelling satisfies both of these criteria. Additionally, "students have a need to tell their stories" (Ganley, 2012.) However, some ESL Teachers feel unequipped to engage their students in 21st century learning activities such as Digital Storytelling. Some teachers do not see the academic benefits of such a program, while others express hesitancy in their technical abilities to facilitate such a class. In this course, you will learn the rationale for using Digital Storytelling with ELLs as well as gain the knowledge and skills to create your own Digital Story. This will be key in engaging your students in this project.

Performance Objectives

General Outcomes

1. Teachers will develop an understanding of what a Digital Story is, and the stages involved in creating one.

2. Teachers will understand the rationale and academic benefits of such a project.

3. Teachers will learn about important elements of digital storytelling, such as brainstorming, storyboarding, and assessment.

4. Teachers will engage with cloud-based technology to practice aspects of creating Digital Stories (WeVideo).

5. Teachers will learn how to incorporate a Digital Storytelling project into their ESL classes successfully.

Unit 1 - Why Digital Storytelling for ELLs?


Teachers will...

1. Identify what a Digital Story is and the academic benefits of such a project for ELLs

2. Identify skills needed and type of language used in Digital Storytelling, given student samples.

3. Reflect on the academic goals of their class and make connections with the academic benefits of Digital Storytelling

    Unit 1, Lesson 1 - What is Digital Storytelling?
    Unit 1, Lesson 2 - Digital Storytelling & 21st Century Learning

Unit 2 - Creating Your Digital Story


Teachers will...

1. Identify the elements of a Digital Story

2. Create an account with and be able to use the basic features of the application

3. Create a mini Digital Story about being a teacher using

    Unit 2, Lesson 1 - Elements of a Digital Story
    Unit 2, Lesson 2 - Make Your Story 
    1. Brainstorming and Writing
    2. Recording your voice
    3. Choosing Your Media 
    4. Editing Your Story 

    Task Review and Reflection

Unit 3 - Implementation and Assessment


Teachers will...

1. Identify considerations for implementation, including working with students from marginalized communities

2. Practice assessing a student work with a rubric. Answers will be submitted to the instructor.

3. Identify a plan for an upcoming Digital Storytelling project in their specific context in the Discussion area, based on the theory and practice in this mini-course.

    Unit 3, Lesson 1 - Implementation
   Unit 3, Lesson 2 - Assessment
    Final Reflections

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