What is it? Digital storytelling is the practice of combining narrative with digital content, including images, sound, and video, to create a short movie, typically with a strong emotional component. Daniel Meadows, a British photographer and educator, defines digital stories as “short, personal multimedia tales told from the heart.”
What is it? Digital stories can be instructional, persuasive, historical, or reflective. It can be effective in nearly every subject and the resources for a story are limitless. Constructing a narrative and communicating it effectively require the storyteller to think carefully about the topic and consider the audience’s perspective.
General Facts Digital stories are generally 2-5 minutes in length. It can be done individually or within groups. Most programs promote the idea that users with little or no technical background can create digital stories.
7 Elements of Storytelling Point of View – What is the main point of the story and what is the perspective of the author? A Dramatic Question – A key question that keeps the viewer's attention and will be answered by the end of the story. Emotional Content – Serious issues that come alive in a personal and powerful way and connects the story to the audience. The Gift of Your Voice – A way to personalize the story to help the audience understand the context.
7 Elements of Storytelling The Power of the Soundtrack – Music or other sounds that support and embellish the storyline. Economy – Using just enough content to tell the story without overloading the viewer. Pacing – The rhythm of the story and how slowly or quickly it progresses.
The Process Digital stories begin with a script. The student should first take the time to write the story down on paper before starting the digital process. Next students would assemble personal or public pictures, video footage, and other electronic elements to incorporate. Students would then use an internet program to create the story online. They would add their text, add elements, and add their voices to create a movie.
Why is it significant? Allows people to teach beliefs and values to others Builds on the oral tradition of knowledge transfer and exchange Forces storytellers to choose a topic that can be conveyed to a particular audience. Creates an opportunity to reflect on life and deep connections with the subject matter of a course or class experience. Let’s students express themselves with their own words and voices. Gives students an opportunity to experiment with self-representation, a key part of establishing their identity.
Why is it significant? Digital media is growing amongst teens today. Students don’t think twice about creating original electronic content and sharing it online. Digital storytelling works well with student expression of this nature. Students creating digital stories develop proficiency with multimedia applications, as well as critically thinking.
World Use Digital storytelling was used as a large scale by BBC to capture and share stories around the United Kingdom that reflect different local histories and cultures. A San Francisco public radio station (KQED) uses digital stories from high school students about how they came to live in California. The University of Houston leads a digital storytelling effort that strives to expose instructors and students to the educational opportunities it offers.
Educational Uses Educators at all levels can use Digital Storytelling in many ways from introducing new material, to helping students learn to conduct research, synthesize large amounts of content and gain expertise in the use of digital communication and authoring tools. It also can help students organize these ideas as they learn to create stories for an audience, and present their ideas and knowledge in an individual and meaningful way.
Educational Uses Teachers can: Create a digital story for use as an anticipatory set or hook for a lesson Enhance current lesson plans Facilitate discussions Students can: Develop communication skills by learning to ask questions, express opinions, construct narratives and write for an audience. Increase their computer skills using software that combines a variety of multimedia including: text, still images, audio, video, and web publishing. It will also increase the skills of a student in the following areas: research, writing, organization, technology, presentation, interview, interpersonal, problem-solving, and assessment.
Website to Create Digital Stories Here are some links to websites that will help you or your students to create digital stories. Windows Movie Maker Microsoft Photostory Animoto Voicethread Camstudio Bookbuilder Bookr
Time to View and Reflect Your task is to view digital stories and share your thoughts. Go to a digital storytelling site by clicking the following link. Digital Storytelling Click on the word Examples and you will be given category choices. Click any category to be given story choices. To view a video click the button that looks like this. Watch a video or two and then come back here to reflect on if you thought the video was good, based on what you have learned.
References The University of Houston http://digitalstorytelling.coe.uh.edu/index.html 7 Things You Should Know About…Digital Storytelling by Educase http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7021.pdf Digital Storytelling by Electronic Portfolios http://electronicportfolios.com/digistory/ Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling by Bernard Robin http://digitalstorytelling.coe.uh.edu/powerpoint/Educational-uses-of-DS.ppt