Intergenerational Digital Storytelling Pairing Teens as Multimedia Facilitators with an Elder as Narrative Director

Margarida ROMERO


Intergenerational communication and learning empowers dif-ferent generations valuing their knowledge (Ivan & Fernández-Ardèvol, 2014; Newman & Hatton-Yeo, 2008). Traditionally, elders have been rec-ognized by their wisdom and were given a responsibility in the transmis-sion of the cultural heritage to younger generations (Stiegelbauer, 1996; Weinstein-Shr & Henkin, 1991). Scientific and technological knowledge in the Information society has relegated elders as knowledge authorities; moreover, younger generations often refuse elders’ knowledge (Cattell, 1994; Weinstein-Shr & Henkin, 1991). Internet, peers, teachers and par-ents have become the leading knowledge sources for the youngest genera-tions. Our project aims to value elders’ knowledge by inviting them to share their life narratives related to the social sciences curriculum. In line with this goal, we invited an elder to share her immigration life ex-perience with a group of secondary-level teenagers studying the topic of migration. This topic is part of the social sciences curriculum (PFÉQ, Gouvernement du Québec, 2011). The intergenerational learning activ-ity was designed to promote intergenerational learning and value not only the knowledge of elders but also the teens’ knowledge of multime-dia through the creation of a digital Open Educational Ressource (OER) based on the elder’s immigration experience narrative. Both the elder and teens (n=8) participating in the experience provided evidences of their intergenerationnal learning in a semi-directed discussion following the experience. More importantly, both type of participants felt empowered and valued through the intergenerationnal digital storytelling activity. 

Keywords: intergenerational learning, digital storytelling, elders, ICT, secondary education