by Scott Nagel, Elementary Division Technology Coordinator
People gathered in a group, telling one another stories is as old as humankind itself. This age-old love of storytelling has met the digital age at Mary McDowell Friends School. Every Thursday afternoon, several students from the elementary school third floor gather to participate in the ‘Digital Stories Club’. Meeting in the media lab, these five students tell one another stories using digital tools. One of the most popular is ‘Toontastic’, an app available for iPads. The app tutors students on the development cycle of storytelling: creating a setting, building a conflict and climatic moment, and generating an ultimate resolution to the conflict, all using engaging cartoon-like characters. Once a student has finished his or her story, they share it with one another using the lab’s digital whiteboard. Usually, our students are full of energy, yet within this group, all that is heard are the narrations & voice overs of superheroes battling threats to mankind.