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Digital Storytelling


What is Digital Storytelling?

A Bridge between the Old and the New: 

Digital storytelling is an emerging term that refers to the use of digital tools (images, video, audio, music) to tell a story.   The idea of merging the ancient art of storytelling with today's digital tools is one that is proliferating worldwide.  Storytelling fills the human need for expressing and communicating our thoughts, ideas and lives while digital tools help us to share our stories with the world.  Digital storytelling is a perfect example of how our different worlds are now intertwined.

 General Resources:

The following are "tagged" resources from the best of what's available on the web:

NEA Article on Introduction to Podcasting  


Educational Uses for Digital Storytelling

  • To integrate multimedia into the curriculum.
  • To increase global participation, collaboration and communication skills.
  • As a way to make difficult concepts more understandable.
  • To increase engagement, motivation and classroom discussion.
  • To promote 21st century skills: information literacy, visual literacy, global awareness, communication and technology literacy 

 Ideas for Educators

What do we think?  What do we feel?  What is important to us?  How do we find meaning in our lives?  These are a few of the questions that students can answer through a digital story -- here are some examples of digital stories: 

  • Stories about Events in our Lives -Adventures, accomplishments, early life
           Almost Paradise
  • Stories about Places in our Lives  
  •  Stories about What We Do or What We Would Like To Do
  • Historical Digital Stories
  • Stories to Inform or Instruct  

Steps in Digital Storytelling





 Brainstorm and plan the story using a storyboard organizer.

Storyboard Organizer.

Example of Completed Storyboard 

 Do the research - gather images/audio clips

 Creative Commons Search
Public Domain Images
Educational Clip Art
Free MP3
American Memory  Collection

GPS Virtual Library
United Streaming (for video clips)


 Write the story. Include 7 elements of good digital story.
 Take the pictures or videos. Educational Video Kits
 Edit the images/audio.

 iLife Suite - iPhoto, iTunes iMovie, GarageBand (for Macs)

PhotoStory (P.C.)

Check out Atomic Learning for tutorials. 

 Capture the audio or import the music.iLife Suite
 Combine images and audio to create "digital story".


Share the work via the web, burn a CD .Mac
SoundSlides (creates Flash file)
 Syndicate it. Feedity
 Reflection / Class Discussion.

Final Thoughts:

Digital Storytelling is in its emergent phase.  It is a very exciting concept -- but comes with some challenges for teachers.  Here are my final thoughts on how to best approach using this new skill in your classroom:

1)  Collaborate - Enlist the help of your media specialist.  This is a perfect opportunity for collaboration and using the expertise that you already have in your school.

2) Start Small - Choose a small integrated project and a simple presentation format (SoundSlides or iPhoto with accompanying music and few words).

3)  Standardize the steps / resources / process.

4) Celebrate your achievements - Invite another class, parents, burn a CD and post it on the Web.

 5) Know that there is much you've learned -- but much more to learn. It is an area that is timeless yet always changing. 


Happy Storytelling!! 

 Compiled by Fran Kompar, March 19, 2007.


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