Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Education, Teaching-Learning Processes

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Joseph L. Polman


Carl Hoagland, Ed.D.

Elisha Chambers, Ph.D.

Nancy Singer, Ph.D.


This qualitative study explored the use of multimedia and traditional literacy to answer the question: ?How does creating a ?digital story? impact children?s literacy skills?? Forty-three seventh-grade students from a Midwestern school created a series of three digital stories over the course of several months implementing creative, narrative and persuasive writing. These digital stories utilized the grade level curriculum, integrating communication arts, social studies, science, and technology. The purpose of this study was to better understand how literacy skills were impacted through the use of digital storytelling. This understanding will be used to inform improvements in instruction of writing, story telling and related technologies, as well as the curricula utilizing them. Multiple projects were essential to master the tools and processes necessary for digital storytelling and developing writing skills. The first project focused on technological tools, cooperative groupings, and organization of the process. The second project focused on personal story to develop voice and include emotion. Working independently ensured that students understood the process and tools. By the third project students came to understand organization by effectively using the storyboard and adding yet another genre of writing to their repertoire. The children came to recognize the importance of organization, story, voice, emotion, pacing, economy of words, and value of re-writing while developing presentation skills. Collaboration and cooperation played an important role among teachers and students. Further research is needed to explore best practices for use with all grade levels.

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