Digital storytelling brings the ancient tradition of oral storytelling and new technologies together in a powerful, interdisciplinary learning process. Through digital storytelling we can weave together video, photos, art, music, narration, print, and sound effects using simple multimedia publishing tools to tell our stories.
A digital story is short – usually one to three minutes in length, narrated in first person using your own voice. Still images are commonly used with camera tools used to frame the shot, and to pan across the photograph, or zoom in or out creating a sense of movement within an image and across a sequence of images. Music and sound effects are added for dramatic effect and to add emotional tone. Moving image can also be used.
Digital storytelling has broad application across all disciplines and year levels and is a highly motivating, interactive learning process. Making a digital story involves creative and critical thinking, inquiry, writing, discussion, design, production, reflection and presentation. It provides opportunities for students to enhance the expression of their own stories, thoughts and ideas in creative and engaging ways, across a diverse range of learning contexts. Digital stories can be imaginative, they can be reflective and analytical, and they can be factual. It depends on the purpose of the task, the audience and the genre chosen.
Examples of digital stories
Educational uses of digital storytelling, based at the University of Houston, College of Education provides extensive examples of digital stories.
Story Making Steps: Bernajean Porter’s seven steps for planning a digital story.
PhotoStory 3 is a basic but easy to use Windows software program which enables the user to sequence images, add a narration and additional sound, and most importantly, has tools for camera movement to enable zoom and pan across the still images to add a sense of movement. Photo Story 3 has not been upgraded since Windows XP but it usually works on later operating systems. Please check compatibility of this software on more recent computers and operating systems.
Simple but basic film editing programs include:
Movie Maker is free for Windows
iMovie is for Apple Macs
Animoto is a web based program for combining images, sound and print.
Audacity is a digital audio editing program for both Mac and PC that lets you record, edit and mix narration and music. It is easy to use and free.
How to guides:
PhotoStory3_Manual_AOBrien: a guide for using Microsoft software Photo Story 3.
There are many apps to choose from.
Videolicious 2: is a free app which enables users to combine videos, photos, music and stories through a simple talk and tap process.
Voicethread: a free app using voice along with documents, snapshots, diagrams and videos. Users record voice directly, add photos and videos, and type and draw on the screen.