Digital Storytelling in Kindergarten: Merging Literacy, Technology, and Multimodality
Cecilia Candreva, Hofstra University, United States
Hofstra University . Awarded
This study of digital storytelling in a Kindergarten Readiness class explored the impact of technology on young children. With limited research in this area, the study focused specifically on how students’ print-based and digital literacies, multimodal meaning making, and engagement were impacted by their participation in the production of a digital story.
The findings suggest that emergent learners benefitted from digital storytelling in a variety of ways. They developed both their print-based and digital literacies; they learned how to use technology tools such as a digital camera, microphone, and Photo Story software; they developed an understanding of how to construct a multimodal text; and they became engaged in new ways of composing that led them to collaborate, plan, and revise. Additionally, the children in the Kindergarten Readiness class, who represented diverse learning needs, benefitted from the alternate pathways to learning afforded by the digital story’s multiple modes of meaning. Students who struggled with print literacy, fine motor control, and English became more confident and eager to participate since they were not restricted to communicating in print. They also demonstrated academic growth and increased personal agency, indicating that new pedagogical practices such as digital storytelling may be advantageous for students considered as “at risk.”
In light of the expanding role of technology in our lives, this study presents one possibility for transforming the literacy curriculum. By broadening their meaning making repertoires to include drawing, print, digital images, props, voice and music, students will be better prepared for the demands of 21st century living. Educational change, however, is not an easy process and, as the study reveals, change can best be supported by developing a culture of learning within the school community.
Candreva, C. Digital Storytelling in Kindergarten: Merging Literacy, Technology, and Multimodality. Ph.D. thesis, Hofstra University.
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