Digital Storytelling for Twenty-First-Century Competencies with Math Literacy and Student Engagement in China and Finland

 

The aim of this digital storytelling (DST) study was to investigate how students acquire twenty-first-century competencies, here focusing on active knowledge creation and collaboration in math learning. The study also examined how engaged the students were in DST lessons and what teachers’ perceptions of DST were as a learning method. DST was implemented in four Chinese and two Finnish classes with 10- and 11-year-old students. Data were collected quantitatively and qualitatively. The students assessed their learning experiences with structured questionnaires during and after the study. Students’ behavior was also observed, and the teachers were interviewed. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and a linear regression analysis, and the qualitative data were analyzed using a content analysis. The study showed that the DST method guided students toward active collaborative learning; the students learned how to work in groups to produce new ideas, and they learned not only about math but also about how math relates to everyday life. The students were highly engaged throughout the study. Similarly, the teachers reported that the students displayed active knowledge creation and increased motivation and engagement. Results indicate that DST encourages students to apply new technology in their learning and supports students’ development in math literacy and twenty-first-century competencies.