Ideas from Jones (2012):
- Engagement and literacy development – The use of iPads, both in general and as a medium for creating digital stories, greatly increased students’ engagement with their tasks. Using the Play School Art Maker app allowed the teacher to present the lesson in a social, play-based context, which also aided student engagement and construction of meaning through the retelling of stories the students had heard and creating and ordering stories of their own. This strong engagement resulted in greater development of the students’ literacy skills and their ability to use and interact with the technology.
- Scaffolding and assessment – Through the technology, the teacher was able to scaffold literacy learning, whereby the iPad became “a powerful medium for meaning-making” (p. 36), and also give students access to instant feedback and reflection by way of being able to playback the movies they create. The technology also allowed the teacher to integrate, track and record the students’ learning from lesson to lesson – this information guided the teacher’s formative assessment, highlighted learning needs that might not otherwise have been apparent, and ultimately influenced ongoing planning during the unit.
- Student ownership – Giving students the opportunity to create their own film narratives in small groups with digital technology shifts the focus of learning away from more traditional teacher-centred models and places students firmly at the heart of the learning process. Digital storytelling apps give students a chance to interact with familiar texts by retelling, reshaping and/or remixing them in a multimodal context, expanding the bounds of how picture books have traditionally been used in classrooms. Interacting with familiar narrative texts at a structural level gives students an opportunity to develop more fluid and hopefully more thorough understandings of how texts work.