According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading scores have not changed in fourth grade in 2015 compared to the 2013 scores. As opposed to the 8th grade scores which was two points lower in 2015 compared to 2013 scores (https://www.nationsreportcard.gov/reading_math_2015/#reading?grade=4). The 2017 CAASPP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress) English Language Arts results show that 43.90% of third graders met or exceeded the standard. This percentage is higher compared to the 38% of third graders who met or exceeded the standard in 2015. The overall percentage for grades 3rd-11th also increased from 44% in 2015 to 48% in 2017. But decreased from 49% to 48.56% from 2016 to 2017 (https://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr17/yr17rel67a.asp).
Dr. Regina Royer and Dr. Patricia O. Richards did a study that "examines the effect that creating a digital story has on teachers' understanding of how digital storytelling can be used to increase reading comprehension" (Royer, Richards 2007). Their study concluded that digital story telling has uses in all subject areas and with certain guidelines can help improve reading skills. In order to get this success teachers have to create their own digital story. After reading this article, I will use the guidelines they listed, including using graphic organizers, and create my own digital story in order to see the potential of the lesson.
In other research, Therese Kulla-Abbott (2006) conducted a qualitative study to answer the question "How does creating a 'digital story' impact children's literacy skills?" The study was in three parts. First, they figured out the technological tools they were going to use along with developing a plan. Next, the students created stories based on personal narratives to "develop voice and include emotion" (Kulla-Abbott, 2006). Lastly, after they mastered the first two steps, they created another digital story with a different genre. By the end they realized students were able to "recognize the importance of organization, story, voice, emotion, pacing, economy of words, and value of re-writing while developing presentation skills" (Kulla-Abbott, 2006). Even though these students were older than mine, I feel my students can still develop story structure by using digital stories to retell our selection.
In a third research study, Cecilia Candreva (2011) investigated the effect of digital literacy on kindergarten students' engagement. Students learned how to use the digital tools and collaborated with other students. They also ended up planning out their stories. Candreva (2011) also concluded that students who had fine motor difficulties and English Learners were more engaged in the learning. This is insightful to see that the students were not limited by their language. I am curious to see how this will be with my English Learners.
The district in which I will be doing my research has been pushing technology for the last couple of years. Two years ago we received Chromebooks for each student (1:1 devices). The district has also been pushing for technology training. Each school now has a "Technology Specialist" to help with training staff and trouble shooting. At the school, we have a lot of access to technology. Within the classroom we have document cameras, Epson projectors, Smartboard Software, and 1:1 devices for our students. My principal is able to send some of the staff to CUE (Computer Using Educators) conferences. This helps us see more uses of the technology that we currently have. I feel I have not been utilizing the technology to its fullest. My students are not always interested in the stories that we are required to use within the curriculum and sometimes (especially the nonfiction) the students have trouble retelling the important details of the stories. I realized my students love using the computers and I thought by combing the story and digital storytelling maybe there will be more of an interest in the learning.