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Storytelling as an essential skill in the 21st century

By Aislinn Malszecki, Digital Media, MindShare Learning | @MindShareYouth

For the past few editions, the Youth File has been exploring essential skills for students in the 21st century, from entrepreneurship to design thinking. And how to create young innovators with these re-imagined skills. As well, showing how technology helps make learning happen more easily, for youth, in a meaningful way.

Back-to-school is in season and it’s an inspiring time of year to (once again) fall in love with learning. Really, it’s a time to discover the magic of learning and continue your path to success.

In this edition of the Youth File, I’d like to briefly explore one of the fundamental skills we do and use to learn, storytelling. Human knowledge is based on storytellers and stories–it is the original passing of knowledge from generation to generation. We’re living in a world made up of stories–a great example is the scientific story of the Big Bang Theory, no human was there to experience it so we build a story to learn about the sequence of events and learn how the universe started.

So how can storytelling make you a better learner? Storytelling at its core is to entertain, educate, and to inspire action. Practicing creating and telling stories will help you in all aspects of your life. Here’s why . . .

Although we are all inveterately storytellers. It has become a skill that with experience one can master.There are many new ways to tell stories in the digital world – through social media, video, photographs, gaming, songs etc.

The tools for digital storytelling are some of the most effective and engaging. There are indispensable tools to enhance the experience everything from storyboard apps to video/photo editing, screenwriting and animation software. The blend of story structure and media creation is seen in my new education apps.

Storytelling is evolving and being re-imagined all the time. However, the basics of the art remain the same. Narrative, the sequence of events is the structure that builds a story. The basic elements of the narrative are easily found on the Internet search for them, understand the , it will certainly perfecting your storytelling skills.

Write or draw out your story and see it on a surface (or screen). A trick that some of the most innovative storytellers will do to see the narrative and remember it better. Practice telling  your stories in front of an audience. Knowing how find an emotional connection with your audience and being mindful of listeners is a life skill that will certainly be useful throughout your educational career and beyond.

Storytelling is a powerful skill — it can help transform ideas into action and tell entertaining stories to your friends and family. It allows you to understand the knowledge you possess and will help you listen to others who are communicating stories to you.

Watch these master storytellers:

http://www.ted.com/themes/master_storytellers.html

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