The Future of Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Enhancing Academic Skills Using Digital Stories

Christopher Shepard, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Hong Kong)


Digital storytelling has a wide variety of potential classroom applications and is very useful for students with various learning styles. In a first-year university English course at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, students use digital stories for presentations on a range of topics. The course aims to enhance students’ general communication skills in English. In particular, it focuses on pronunciation, fluency, vocabulary and grammar. Presentations made with digital stories have several advantages to traditional individual or group oral presentations. Many second language students consider oral presentations stressful, frustrating and intimidating. In addition, in-class oral presentations take time away from other valuable learning activities. Very often, students in the audience are not watching their classmates, but instead are preparing their own presentations. There is also debate regarding oral presentations and the improvement of language skills under such conditions. Working with digital stories can help students practice their speaking and presentation skills over time by allowing them to review their work and make corrections. Digital stories also require students to plan and organize while working in a collaborative environment sharing and exchanging ideas and information. Through speech, sounds, graphics, images and music, students are able to present information in a variety of ways.

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