How Narratives are Being
Reinterpreted through Digital Media
Tell me a fact and I’ll learn
Tell me a truth and I’ll believe
Tell me a story and I’ll remember it
The development of a story from beginning, middle, end
The process of revealing a narrative not in chronological
Non-linear format begs user input and collaboration -
Regardless of the medium and form of delivery, storytelling still
needs to focus on content and not just grammar and syntax
Deﬁned as - “conveying not just information, but ...
persuading, explaining, and in other ways conveying a
particular interpretation of information.” - Levy and Murnane
Mastering this complex communication is more relevant now
than at any time in our history
Much of this communication is now accessible through
interactivity on a variety of “screens”
The Read/Write Web
Tim Berners-Lee developed the World Wide Web in 1989
His vision - “The original thing I wanted to do was make it a
collaborative medium, a place where we could all meet and
1993 - ﬁrst web browser - “Mosaic”
Users could access a multitude of information, but only a select
few who could code and program HTML, for example, could
Within a decade, by 2003, almost 50% of Americans had used
the web to publish their thoughts, post pictures, share ﬁles,
and contribute in some form or fashion to the vast information
on the web through blogging platforms and social media
Not just Reading & Writing....
Also, by 2008, over 100,000 videos are being uploaded to
YouTube every day - only 1 example of the many video upload
Social connection sites have a vast membership community
Facebook - over 600,000,000 as of 2011
Twitter - over 175,000,000 as of 2011
LinkedIn - 100,000,000 as of 2011
How are students different now?...
are fearless in their use of technology and seize it for
means of self-expression - and enjoy ENGAGING with an
are using a wide variety of technologies to access
information, many of which are “forbidden” in the learning
environment; ex. Wikipedia - “to forbid it is an anti-
intellectual reaction to a knowledge-making, global
phenomenon of global proportions.” (The Future of Learning in the Digital
are in need of the skills not only to be knowledgable
readers and writers, but collaborators & editors &
According to the Digital Test Kitchen of the University of
Colorado at Boulder, over 50% of college students are using
a “smart-phone” mobile device to access information
“Digital Storytelling is the modern expression of the ancient art
of storytelling. Throughout history, storytelling has been used
to share knowledge, wisdom, and values. Stories have taken
many different forms. Stories have been adapted to each
successive medium that has emerged, from the circle of the
campﬁre to the silver screen, and now the computer screen.”
The Digital Storytelling Association | Gail Matthews-DeNatale, Simmons
In 2012, this “screen” has evolved into many devices, most of
which are portable and mobile
This “modern expression” includes multi-media - voice,
imagery - still and time based (video, animation, simulation),
music/sound to create a visual story
develops visual and media literacy & knowledgable
The 7 Elements of Digital Storytelling
According to The Center for Digital Storytelling in Berkeley,
What is the main point of the story and what is the perspective of
Point of View the author?
A key questions that keeps the viewers attention and will be
A Dramatic Question answered by the end of the story.
Serious issues that come alive in a personal and powerful way and
Emotional Content connects the story to the audience.
A way to personalize the story to help the audience understand
The Gift of Your Voice the context.
The Power of Music or other sounds that embellish and support the storyline.
Using just enough content to tell the story without overloading
Economy the viewer.
Pacing The rhythm of the story and how slowly or quickly it progresses.
On Interactive Storytelling
Tell me, and I will forget.
Show me, and I may remember.
Involve me, and I will understand.
Confucious, c. 450 B.C.
Action in Interactivity
According to the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s
Institute for New Media Studies, there are 2 main actions in interactivity:
Content Action and User Action
user action generates additional static content
content begins to move and requires no prompting from
user action spawns additional dynamic content action
with dynamic/active - there is a sense of user control I
say sense because this is not always the case! many
times there are pre-determined algorithms that give the
Web as Platform for Delivery
Using the world wide web as a platform for delivery, we can
explore the use of Digital Storytelling in multiple genres:
News - Huffington Post (social news), New York Times
Games - AR Games- AR Invaders | Locative Media -
Books - ebooks (Google, Project Gutenberg), interactive
(The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, “Our
Art - UBUweb, FLONG, personal blogs/sites
Augmented Reality Art- Layar Software, (un)seen art
Films - YouTube, Vimeo, UBUweb, Interactive Narratives
Delivery on Multiple Devices
Using the world wide web as a platform for delivery, we can
explore the use of Digital Storytelling on multiple devices, and
“stories” and texts can be constantly revised easily:
eReaders (nook, Kindle)
Electronic Pads (iPad)
Music storage units (iPod)
The intentions of the story and anticipation of audience can
instigate various reasons for creation of digital storytelling:
Personal narrative - StoryCorps, individual blogs & sites
Social change - Stories for Change, InvisiblePeople.tv
Community - Indivisible, American Family Stories
Language and Literature - Journal of Ordinary Thought,
Ethnicity - Beyond the Fire, Iowa Roots
History - Center for History and New Media, 911 Digital
Investigate the Tools Available
With such a wide variety of tools available, it is important to
understand the opportunities and limitations of those available
to create your story:
Digital Software Tools
Money - Adobe, Apple, Autodesk
Free Open-Source - GIMP, InkScape, SWIFT, Blender
Web hosted tools - Blurb, Flickr, Instagram
Publishing platforms - WordPress, Tumblr, Zapd,
VoiceThread, SlideShare, Animoto, Facebook, PBworks,
Intention - decide what the intention of your story holds
and what your intention is for your audience
Explore the tools - some require mastery, others are
Explore the media - will it be sound, photographs, the
moving image, the written word, or what is the
Delivery - choose a delivery method that supports this
intention - website, mobile device, app, video game,
Interactivity - determine the amount of content action and
user action your digital narrative requires for The
A Story on Stories...
To the best of our KNOWLEDGE:
Wisconsin Public Radio - podcast, download, stream
Jonathan Harris on Cowbird:
13:20 - “Stories of Us” in iTunes (to 5:54...)
Transcript of Jonathan Harris on ttbook.com
COWBIRD - www.cowbird.com
• Klopfer, Eric. Augmented Learning: Research and Design of Mobile Educational Games. Cambridge, MA:
MIT, 2008. Print.
• Davidson, Drew. Beyond Fun: Serious Games and Media. ETC, 2008. Print.
• Davidson, Cathy N., and David Theo. Goldberg. The Future of Learning Institutions in a Digital Age.
Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2009. Print.
• Richardson, Will. Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. Thousand Oaks,
Calif: Corwin, 2009. Print.
• Flanagan, Mary. Critical Play: Radical Game Design. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2009. Print.
• "Digital Storytelling." Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling. Web. 19 Feb. 2012. <http://
• "Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling." Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling. Web. 19 Feb. 2012.
• Matthews-DeNatale, Ph.D., Gail. "Digital Storytelling: Tips and Resources." Simmons College. Web. 20
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Before the printing press, it was oral tradition that preserved not only historical facts, religion, and family tradition, but also &#x201C;The Canterbury Tales&#x201D; by Chaucer dating to the 14th century. Now, we have any number of ways to access information!\n
How relevant is the term paper anymore? Blogging...Students are more impassioned by this &#x201C;new literacy&#x201D;. They love writing for an audience and ENGAGING\n
With this inevitable shift to this information explosion, there will be far more collaboration in school, and otherwise. This will translate to every career as well.\n