Becoming digitally savvy

Technology may not be everyone’s cup of tea but with young “teachers” everywhere, embracing the digital side becomes a piece of cake.

AT THE time of writing this article, my younger daughter was in Madrid, Spain, watching a bullfight.

She sent me a 30-second video of it through WhatsApp along with the words: “Mum, the matadors kill the bull at the end and throw a piece of it to the crowd!”

Meanwhile, my elder daughter was at Sepang, catching her first car race in the Malaysian leg of the Super GT. Also using WhatsApp, she sent me some shots of the event, including a photo of herself taken with a model next to a fabulous car.

Within minutes, I received another message, this time from my husband informing me that he had landed safely in Jakarta, Indonesia. His message was accompanied with a love emoticon.

Isn’t technology amazing? I was at home in Malaysia yet I could communicate with and feel connected to all three members of my family.

Digital storytelling

Last week, I finished a book that I feel all English language teachers should read. Written by Lisa C. Miller, it highlights the technique of digital storytelling; a method of teaching writing in which students use their own words and images to convey content in a digital format.

Because creativity, writing and research are still involved, it is a powerful method of taking a student from “reluctance to stamina”.

Personal stories matter. And, if they can be told using a digital format students love to be engaged with, it will also encourage them to write. Here is where teaching writing comes in.

The teacher gets her students to brainstorm and draft a story. Once the writing is done and illustrations are picked, the story is then digitally recorded in the student’s own voice. Images, words, voice-overs and music make the final digital story.

by Nithya Sidhhu.

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