Digital narratives and the teaching of writing

Mutuota Kigotho
University of New England
Armidal, Australia

Technology can be used to make learning exciting and meaningful. Learners growing up with new forms of technology — including laptops, iphones, iPads, tablets, and related tools — have a better chance of remaining engaged if their teachers adopt tools their students use when they plan and implement programmes. The use of technology engages learners as educational platforms shift from the chalk-and-talk mode to technology-enhanced instruction. Increasingly, educational instruction relies more on mobile devices, bringing to life the concept of ‘bring your own devices’ (BYOD). Such a concept will continue to develop as technology continues to influence the way educational providers address the needs of the learner. This paper looks at several ways in which teachers across curriculum areas use the mobile phone and the iPad to create digital narratives and thus engage learners with tools that they already have and use.

The paper is based on an exploratory method where the researcher examined the tools available on the Internet, including iPad apps. The research was restricted to only apps that were free. Obtaining a tool that had access to the Internet was the only restriction. Once the learners acquired the skills, they could purchase inexpensive apps as required. In that way, there was no financial cost to learners.

The programme was very popular with learners as it gave them new skills in digital storytelling. They learned skills such as adding photos as well as audio to the digital stories. The project demonstrated that learners of all ages are capable of using technology to up-skill and make learning more engaging and exciting.