- School/Institution: Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University (MSGSU).
- Country: Turkey.
- Source: Kocaman-Karoğlu, Aslıhan (2016). Teachers’ Opinions about Digital Storytelling in Preschool Education (Okul Öncesi Eğitimde Dijital Hikâye Anlatımı Üzerine Öğretmen Görüşleri). Turkish Online Journal of Qualitative Inquiry (TOJQI), 7(1), 175-205. In IO_Manual of best practices of digital storytelling in early childhood (2017). European Project STORIES. (pp.110-114).
- Age of children: 5 years.
Main characteristics of the practice
The main purpose of the study is to create digital stories with preschool children in the technology integration process. Also, teachers’ opinions who were involved in the process have been described in accordance with the benefits of Digital Storytelling with preschool children, the difficulties encountered in the process and recommendations were provided. The study group consisted of 17 children (9 girls and 8 boys) with age five (be-tween 58 and 68 months) and 3 of their teachers (two of them were preschool teachers while one of them is an English teacher) in a private school.
General goal of the practice and specific objectives
Within the framework of technology integration in early childhood education, one of the aims of the study is to offer a Digital Storytelling activity.
The other aim of the study is revealing teachers’ opinions that involved the Digital Storytelling integration process. Teachers’ experiences in the process were described in terms of: a) the benefits of Digital Storytelling application with preschool students; b) difficulties encountered during Digital Storytelling implementation process with preschool students; c) recommendations for the use of Digital Storytelling with preschool students.
The study was conducted through the academic years 2014-2015.
Procedures and methodology description
The study used the qualitative research method. The Digital Storytelling experience and the process were described. Data were collected by semi-structured interviews with teachers, which were based on an open-ended interview approach. Digital stories were developed as a classroom activity with 5 years old preschool children.
At the beginning (pre-production) process, a brainstorming technique was used to make children generate ideas on the topic of the week “Ropes”. Within the technique, the opinions of the children, that they expressed by a stretch of the imagination were collected through an initial advocatory question posed by the teacher. Thus, the scenario of the story was built in accordance with the answers given to this question and in collaboration with the children. At the later stage, children were asked to draw the visuals of the story and add texture to their drawings by using/sticking colorful ropes.
At the production process, children worked in groups and they created their digital stories by transferring their drawings into the digital platform first and then combining them with musical elements in accordance with pre-constructed scenarios.
Cameras were used to take photos of children’s drawings.
The scenario-based combination of children’s drawings and audio materials was done under the supervision of teachers and researchers using PhotoStory 3.
Due to the fact that children were not literate yet, the sound recording was also processed by the teachers based on the children’s scripted contents.
Computer and data projector was used to present the digital stories.
Papers, pencils and colored paints were used by children in the process of drawing, while colorful ropes were used to give texture to the drawings.
Description of the final product
The final products are the digital stories created by children. All the digital stories were assessed by the teachers together with the children and then shared via the official Facebook account of the school.
Results revealed that teachers’ opinions about the benefits of Digital Storytelling with preschool children were centered on the following topics:
- attractive activities,
- a fun way of learning,
- support active participation,
- support concrete experiences,
- the value of working on a product,
- allowing the emergence of different abilities,
- contributing to the development of technological, visualization and creative thinking skills,
- engaging experiences.
Strengths and critical points of the practice
Teachers were asked about the difficulties encountered during the Digital Storytelling implementation process with preschool students. Results revealed that teachers did not indicate most of the difficulties mentioned in the literature, instead, they pointed out the lack of technological and theoretical knowledge. This might be because preschool education is mostly different from other educational levels that students mostly work on activities by playing, no time restrictions as in other levels; there is not exam anxiety on students and parents.
Teachers pointed out their intention of taking benefit from Digital Storytelling activities in their future courses. Also, they explained that they recommended it to other teachers, because of some reasons such as supporting group activities, providing a rich creative environment, supporting the use of technology for educational purposes. Teachers also explained that they believe the future youth should be educated in the environments that are supported by technology. In the 21st century, because they are born in a technological environment, and accustomed to technology, so there is a need to benefit from them in educational environments as well. They also made suggestions about different points such as hardware qualifications, informing parents about the process, and making introductory seminars with teachers.
INCLUDED – Digital Storytelling for Inclusion