On Tuesday, April 12, The Collaborative for Learning and Teaching held its final Invited Scholars lecture for the spring semester.  Throughout this spring semester, the Collaborative for Learning and Teaching has held lectures focused on the topic of “Teaching with Technology.”

Previous lectures for the Invited Scholars program were hosted by scholars such as Andrew Butler from University of Texas at Austin, who lectured about the use of technology inside and outside of classrooms, and Caleb McDaniel from Rice University, who lectured on tools for teaching reader-oriented writing.  

For the final lecture, Kyle Dickson, professor of English and director of the AT&T Learning Studio at Abilene Christian University, gave a lecture in the Coates Library about digital storytelling.

The lecture was geared towards professors and centered around the idea of including concepts of digital storytelling into curriculum and incorporating digital storytelling in projects.

Dickson began the lecture on digital storytelling with an example from a commercial that aired during the 2013 Super Bowl.  

Dickson played the commercial for the attendees of the lecture and then asked them to describe the storytelling qualities of the commercial and what they gathered from the commercial as a way to kick-start the lecture and get the audience into consider what digital storytelling is.

“Whether you teach visual arts or whether you’re on Instagram all day everyday, we have a visual savvy in the room that can reflect on what you see” Dickson said.

A point of discussion of the lecture was how digital storytelling is not necessarily a specialized topic where high levels of skill are necessary and that many people can successfully accomplish it.  

“I think one of the things that was valuable about this exercise was [that it was] an opportunity to think a little bit more deeply about how multimedia production represents a new both creative but also intellectual outlet,” said Sean Commin, director of the collaborative for learning and teaching.

Commin also addressed challenges involved in discussing the impact of technology on teaching.

“The challenge that comes with that is we don’t have a longer discourse to help us understand how to evaluate it, how to value it, but also we are at kind of a transition time where we have a new form of mashed up communication,” Commin said.

Commin had multiple ideas for how digital storytelling could be implemented here at Trinity University.

“[It could be applied] often for the types of courses that focus on critical reflection, the student and their experience itself, whether it be in a leadership type course or a study abroad experience as they were talking about today,” said Commin. “I was also thinking very much about the use of digital storytelling in the type of documentary narratives that one might find, and I could easily see building [it into] a course, for example in Environmental Studies where I teach.”