Exploring WWII Heroes Through Digital Stories
Abstract: As teacher educators, we work with K-12 teachers to develop instructional practices and assessment methods that position students as empowered creators of knowledge. Whenever possible, we integrate 21st century learning skills that blend print-based literacy practices with new, digital literacies that are multimodal and multifaceted. We have found digital storytelling (DST) to be an inclusive, interdisciplinary pedagogical approach anchored in students’ personal narratives and funds of knowledge (Moll, Amanti, Neff, & Gonzales, 1992). This paper explores how three teacher educators came to use digital storytelling to foster creative thinking and spur inquiry-oriented learning. We outline how we are using multimedia storytelling to foster critical thinking, encourage empathy, and strengthen technology and communication skills with eighth grade students studying the Hero’s Journey. The Hero’s Journey Framework is the basis for a digital storytelling project about heroes of significance from Poland during the Holocaust.