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THE USE OF DIGITAL STORYTELLING IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Storytelling is one of the most important parts when teaching children, furthermore telling a story is not only a vital part of any form of teaching, no matter how old the learners are, but it is also the most ancient form of teaching. All humans, especially children use storytelling as a way of communication and it is considered a form of play. (Kalogeras, 2013) Telling a story comes from inside us, thus being based on our language and delivered to others by tools we know and use. Children nowadays are highly equipped to use any type of technology, they are starting to develop their own way of storytelling, which means that the era of digital storytelling has begun and it has become one of the most often used forms of storytelling. Children under the age of seven often find that using digital tools or technology is the best way for them to express their creativity and by creating stories while using a piece of digital equipment they can now reach wider audiences and express themselves not only through their own voice and sound but also visually. That is when animation steps into early childhood education. (Frazel, 2010) The following essay will discuss the possibilities of animation in early childhood education and how digital storytelling can enhance the way children learn subjects in any area of the curriculum. I am also briefly stopping on the subject of media literacies and the development of critical thinking.

As a teacher, digital storytelling can be used as a medium between the traditional teaching methods and modern way to get in contact with the children of the digital age. Creating a digital story motivates students and demonstrates to them how complicated managing a project but also pleasing the audience can be. Making a decision while planning the animation creation leads students to monitor and evaluate their cognitive and behavioral skills as they have to be considerate to others. Also creating an animation in a group gives students an opportunity to show their goal setting, leadership, and self-regulating abilities. Successful use of animation in learning comes from prior domain knowledge, thus when we created an animation based on a tale ‘Boy Who Cried Wolf’ it was important for all of the people involved to know the story. Similarly in a classroom setting children with low domain knowledge usually have difficulties interpreting events. In addition to domain or subject knowledge, children need to fully understand the technology and programmes they are going to use. In the course, I had my first experience of using ‘I Can Animate’ animation creation programme which is aimed for children and schools.

Online media and the use of technology is a relatively new concept in education and has to be critically reviewed especially by educators and teachers. Increasing amount of new technology puts the teachers nowadays into a tight spot where they are forced to use and create new teaching methods with new technologies, and as one of the most discussed and talked about new ways of teaching and learning animation has become an increasingly important technology-based learning environment and that is why I believe that digital storytelling, creating animations and having abilities to use technology in teaching is important for any teacher.

 

Article by: Busayo Tomoh

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