Education is not only about the written medium, the oral mode also has a formative role any learning process. The significance of oral understanding is further justified by the fact that many important tests at the international level, such as IELTS and TOEFL have to listen to an oral comprehension on the basis of which candidates have to answer questions.
A story can be a combination of facts, morals, new ideas and knowledge. Since the listener is completely reliant on the story teller for his interpretation of the story, it is very important for the story to be told in a very interesting and evocative manner, in order to render it easily understandable. Thus, the art of storytelling can serve multiple functions for an educator.
When a story is being told, several things should be kept in mind. Begin the story by an engaging introduction, for instance, by relating where the story is based, with not only the present details of the place but its history should also be added to give a comprehensive overview. This can be followed by introducing the characters of the story. Ensure that you narrate the story with a lot of bright and vivid expressions to keep your listener engaged. At crucial, dramatic junctures, you can even pause and ask your listeners of what they think would happen next in the story. This would make your narratees feel more involved. Modulate your voice when there are two people in conversation. And ensure that you explain the moral of the story coherently at the end, especially when dealing with young listeners.
It has been scientifically proven that when the human mind doesn’t have the aid or the facility of the written word, the memory automatically pushes and develops itself. So educators, don’t underestimate the power of memory and simply rely on the written word.
Here is a summary of the key elements of storytelling:
Purpose or Meaning – Why was this story told? The answer to this question should be clear. Be it to share laughter, joy, or to deliver a lesson.
Cantor – This vairies considerably, with some storytellers streaming ideas like periodless poems, while others can captivatingly hold a pause much longer than would normally be comfortable in a conversation. There isn’t so much a ‘right’ cantor as much as a practiced art of delivery.
Weaving – ‘Seamlessly’ connecting what would otherwise be unconnected ideas. Touching upon subtle points or thoughts that seem unnecessary right up until they are relevant.
Relevance – Sometimes ‘the devil is in the details’, and going into minute details or overly descriptive information adds value to the story. Other times the details are just a distraction. Does the story need a detailed setting, or can the setting be minimalist? Also, digression into side-stories can distract from purpose, or can be cleverly relevant if the side-story is meaningfully weaved into the stitching of the story’s purpose
Authenticity – Delivery of a story, (enthusiasm, tone, emphasis, pitch, expression, humour, etc.), can excite an audience or turn an audience off. I’ve heard incredible stories that lost credibility and authenticity not because of what was said, but rather how it was said. I’ve also sat riveted to the words of a simple story well told.
In this digital age, with the help of tech tools like Glogster and Xtranormal, educators are practicing digital storytelling to have a positve impact on student learning. Here is a list of some other tools for creating digital stories.
- Myna is a free web tool to mix audio tracks. It can be used for up to ten tracks. The sounds you mix can come from the Myna library, your vocal recordings made with Myna’s recorder, or audio tracks that you upload to your Myna account. Using Myna you can record and save podcasts.
- Little Bird Tales helps users in creating a multimedia story for yound kids. User can upload images, draw images, or record from their webcams. Stories can be written with text or narrated by students using microphones connected to their computers.
- JayCut is free and easy to use tool. Every element of your video can be added through simple drag and drop motions. JayCut has options for adding slow motion effects, direct recording from your webcam, a green screen, and color editing.
- Animoto is used to create simple videos from pictures, sound, text, and existing video clips. Animoto makes it easy to quickly create a video using still images, music, and text. The ease of use is such that if you can make a slideshow presentation, you can make a video using Animoto.
- alpha.zooburst.com allows users to create 3D pop-up books using nothing more than public domain clip art and ZooBurst’s web-based editing tools. Users can view ZooBurst 3D books in augmented reality by enabling their webcams (click webcam mode) then clicking the ZB button present on each story.