Exploring Rural Contexts with Digital Storytelling

  • Donna G. Wake University of Central Arkansas


This article describes rural middle school students’ exploration of their identity and their rural contexts through the vehicle of digital storytelling. Participants included 40 7th and 40 9th grade students at two rural schools in the Southeast United States. Students worked in shared writing groups to create digital stories expressing their views on teen life in a small, rural town. The resultant stories were analyzed using comparative grounded theory yielding some themes which may be posited as unique to a rural population while other themes were typical of the developmental age regardless of geographical context. Study findings indicate that the rural nature of the participants’ communities had a significant impact on their identity formation and understanding of community. This study supports students’ use of technology to promote exploration of identity within geographic and sociological settings.


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Author Biography

Donna G. Wake, University of Central Arkansas
Donna Wake teaches at the University of Central Arkansas (Conway, AR) and at La Salle University (Philadelphia, PA). She has also taught English Language Arts in Philadelphia, PA and in Jackson, MS. Her research interests include critical literacy, multiliteracies, narrative inquiry, and teacher education reform.
How to Cite
Wake, D. G. (2012). Exploring Rural Contexts with Digital Storytelling. The Rural Educator, 33(3). https://doi.org/10.35608/ruraled.v33i3.409
Research Articles