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Abstract

This qualitative, single case study examined teacher practice using digital storytelling as an instructional approach to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts, following the work of two middle grades teachers over a six-week period through initial planning and implementation of student-created digital stories within a unit centered on S.E. Hinton’s novel, The Outsiders (1967). The aim of the study was to work closely with the participants, allowing teaching and learning to unfold naturally, while providing opportunities for participants to describe their experiences and share their insights to reveal the essence of the phenomenon. Three-part interviews with teacher participants, field notes from nine classroom observations, a project wiki, teacher-created artifacts and student work samples captured insights at each phase of the project. Results support the viability of Wallace’s (2004) theoretical framework for understanding teaching with the Internet, particularly in the areas of instructional planning and monitoring of student work. Implications for teacher practice include the value of co-teaching as a supportive condition for effective technology integration and the efficacy of a learner-centered environment, implemented alongside instructional strategies similar to those used to teach the writing process, to teach digital storytelling to middle-grade learners.

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