Digital storytelling

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.

Teacher resources

Story Making Steps: Bernajean Porter’s seven steps for planning a digital story.

Software resources

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.

Ipad apps

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.


2 Responses to Digital storytelling

  1. Pingback: Week 4, Building your digital resources | Katey Steele

  2. Pingback: Inanimate Alice | inanimate alice

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