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The Power of Digital Storytelling, With Kathy Schrock (plus a Zillion Resources!)

by Kelly Walsh on November 23, 2014

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Keynote Inspires Teachers to Leverage Storytelling to Create Engaging Lessons That Stimulate Learning

“A story can put your whole brain to work. And yet, it gets better …” – The Science of Storytelling

It was my great pleasure to meet the amazing Kathy Schrock this week, and to experience her wonderful keynote presentation“Telling the Story: Lessons Learned from the Outside World“, at the TLIPAD 2014 Conference. Isn’t it amazing how there are always more things to learn about in the ever-changing world of digital technology? Not just new tools or simple techniques, but BIG ideas … like digital storytelling.

Kathy_Schrock

Kathy explained and illustrated many fun, engaging possibilities using storytelling techniques to create lessons that provide powerful learning experiences. I have no doubt I wasn’t the only one present who was immediately inspired to consider new approaches to some of their lessons.

If you’re not already familiar with Kathy’s work, you’re missing out on a wealth of resources from one of education’s most informed technology advocates. Check out this written interview to learn more and access links her web sites and blog.

Why Storytelling is so Effective and Some Fun Examples

After showing a couple videos that tugged at our hearts while providing excellent examples of the power of storytelling, Schrock shared some of the science behind why storytelling works so well, like this article, “The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains” and this infographic.

A few of the insights gleaned from these resources and references that they cite:

  • “If someone tells us about how delicious certain foods were, our sensory cortex lights up. If it’s about motion, our motor cortex gets active” (from The Science of Storytelling: What Listening to a Story Does to our Brains).
  • “The brain, it seems, does not make much of a distinction between reading about an experience and encountering it in real life; in each case, the same neurological regions are stimulated” (from Your Brain on Fiction).
  • “The brain releases Dopamine into the system when it experiences an emotionally-charged event, making it easier to remember and with greater accuracy” (from the Science of Storytelling infographic).

Don’t you find this fascinating? I really wish that more professional development efforts bought the learning science into the discussion.

Many great examples of how teachers have used storytelling techniques to deliver lessons were provided. Here’s a few cool ones:

Don’t you want  to create some lessons as fun as these?!

Resources Galore

Kathy has put together this extensive set of Digital Storytelling examples and resources on her “Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything” web site. You’re likely to find some great new tools here! Some of those that I am excited to try out are:

Thanks again to Kathy Schrock for a wonderful Keynote Presentation (click here to watch it) and for inspiring teachers to learn more about the power of storytelling as a teaching tool. Go ahead and explore some of these resources and start thinking about how to transform some of your lesson into stories that can help students learn at deeper level!

Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
So Many Fun Ways To Use Blabberize In The Classroom
Education Technology Thought Leader Interview – Kathy Schrock
Voki Is A Fun, Free Animated Avatar Application That’s Easy To Use In The Classroom

About 

Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer at The College of Westchester, in White Plains, NY, where he also teaches. In 2009, Walsh founded EmergingEdTech.com. As an education and instructional technology advocate, he frequently delivers presentations on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S. Walsh is also an author, and online educator, regularly running Flipped Class Workshops online. His eBook, the Flipped Classroom Workshop-in-a-Book is available here. Kelly also writes, records, and performs original music ... stop by kwalshmusic.com and have a listen!

[Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own, or those of other writers, and not those of my employer. - K. Walsh]

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