Teaching in an Online Environment: Choice and Digital Storytelling in Teacher Education
Abstract: Digital storytelling is a unique and powerful way of taking advantage of the online classroom environment. It can be used in multiple ways and in various contexts to increase comprehension, build engagement and hone student writing and thinking skills (Caffey, Ubeda, & Jenkins, 2014; Liu, Yang, & Cho, 2019). Digital storytelling is a learning activity in which students transcend verbal or written summaries of books and content they have read. They move beyond literal retellings to creative approaches using visual and written elements, often along with digitized recordings of their own voices, to illustrate their analysis of plot, characterization, settings, and other elements within an educational setting. In this study, we used digital storytelling as a way to improve students' writing skills in the college classroom. As a part of an Approaches to Teaching Writing class in a teacher education program, preservice elementary education students explored various resources when engaging in best practices during writing workshops. Even though structured writing lessons and scripted programs are expected during writing workshops, it is important for students to be creative and have authentic choice in what they write even as we transitioned to an online environment.