Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Words Have Power: Storytelling to Lift Marginalized Voices

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Explore and create : Playground

This is presentation 2 of 3, at station "Lights Camera Action: StoryTelling with Video" within the playground "Digital StoryTelling Playground Bits & Bytes: Powerful Mini Activities to Engage Students"; scroll down to see more details.

Other presentations in this group:

Jessica Pack  
Georgia Terlaje  

Create a culturally relevant and inclusive classroom by helping students tell stories about the incredible contributions of diverse individuals. Stories meant to amplify marginalized voices in history are important! Experience the “In My Time” Video Project, and see how it can be applied in any grade level or content area.

Audience: Library media specialists, Teachers, Curriculum/district specialists
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Access to Adobe Spark.
Topic: Storytelling/multimedia
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
  • Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.
Knowledge Constructor
  • Students curate information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions.
Additional detail: ISTE author presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this presentation is to showcase the engaging and creative power of digital storytelling. The challenge being addressed is how to help students tell culturally relevant stories through the medium of moviemaking as a way to build equity and inclusivity. Participants will learn about the "In my Time" Video Project and how to implement it in a variety of content areas. The tools used are a device of choice (tablet, laptop, Chromebook, etc.) with access to a word processing document for scriptwriting.


1. Welcome and introductions - 2 minutes
2. Why do stories matter? Presenters will touch on the capacity to stories to build cultural relevancy, equity, and inclusion, as well as the impact that stories can have on learning. - 3 minutes
3. Presenters will present the "In My Time" Video Project as a way for students to learn about and lift marginalized voices by sharing the achievements of people of color throughout history. - 5 minutes
4. Attendees will use Adobe Spark to put together a sample project for use in their classrooms. This is a lesson that can be used immediately!

Supporting research

Ferrés, J., & Masanet, M.-J. (2017, July 1). Communication Efficiency in Education: Increasing Emotions and Storytelling. Scipedia.

Peterson, L. (2018, October 17). The Science Behind The Art Of Storytelling. Harvard Business Publishing: Corporate Learning.

Vu, V., Warschauer, M., & Yim, S. (2019). Digital Storytelling: A District Initiative for Academic Literacy Improvement. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 63(3), 257-267.

More [+]


Jessica Pack, James Workman Middle School

As a middle school teacher for 16 years and a California Teacher of the Year (2014), Jessica has continually worked to redefine what learning looks like in her classroom. An ISTE author, Jessica's book, Moviemaking in the Classroom, will be released in August 2021. She is an advocate for student choice and voice, as demonstrated by the original content her students regularly publish for a global audience. She also spent over a decade as a professional development instructor and Consulting Teacher for a digital storytelling non-profit organization called DIGICOM Learning, aimed at promoting moviemaking in southern California classrooms.

Georgia Terlaje, Palm Springs Unified School District

Georgia Terlaje has taught for 31 years and is currently and instructional coach for Palm Springs Unified. She has used digital storytelling as an instructional strategy for 11 years and has presented on the topic at both regional and national conferences. She was also instrumental in creating PSUSD’s first elementary film festival that is now in it’s 4th year. Georgia is also a teacher-consultant for DIGICOM Learning. In this role, she is a lead instructor for professional development courses for teachers in the area of digital storytelling. Georgia has a digital storytelling podcast, “Storytelling Saves the World”.

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