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The Power of Stories: Engaging Students Through Digital Stories

Amy Gross, PhD


The Lilly Conferences on College and University teaching are known for their engaging keynote sessions and faculty led general sessions. However, I have found that I also come home with some key ideas from the informal conversations with colleagues at meals, waiting for sessions to start, or walking through the hallways.


At a conference in Greensboro, NC I had breakfast with a woman who supported technology use on her campus. I asked her about what kinds of new things faculty were doing with technology and she described how some faculty are trying to use digital stories to engage students in new and different ways. Then, when Jeannie Loeb’ keynote described the brain’s natural wiring to attend to storytelling, the thought of using digital stories as a strategy for student’s to create their own stories as a way to engage with and learn content was reinforced– not telling students stories, but having them create their own. As I was reflecting on my key lessons from Lilly, I wanted to learn more about how