What is Digital Storytelling?
Digital storytelling involves using images, narration and music to tell a story. It also incorporates the writing process, with storyboarding, script writing, revision and production. The production of the video can involve a variety of apps or software, all depending on the goals for the final product. The best part about it, the story can be shared in a variety of ways with an audience.
Digital Storytelling Workflow
Feel free to download and use the following Digital Storytelling presentation and rubrics for your project. Although the presentation focuses on using Movie Maker, teachers may wish to use iMovie (Macbook) or VideoPad (Android Tablets).
Launching Lessons in Digital Storytelling
So how do you get started with digital storytelling in the classroom? How does digital storytelling fit into writing and into cross-curricular subject areas? Below are some fantastic links in cross-curricular applications of digital storytelling, getting started, as well as the creative and critical thinking that goes into creating a story in this medium.
Tools to Tell a Tale
There are so many tools out there that teachers can use to tell a story. Below are links to a variety of digital storytelling resources curated by a variety of education technology specialists, that teachers can check out.
Tools in RCSD
There are many ways to share a digital story, however there are few tools that teachers might want to check out that are available to the RCSD
On the Lenovo tablets, there is VideoPad, Pixie and Explain Everything. All are somewhat different therefore the way you plan on sharing your story will depend on the tool you choose.
With the Surface Pros, there is Windows Movie Maker, Powerpoint as well as PhotoStory, which again are quite different, it just depends on user comfort and the type of story to be shared.
Tools for Creating and Sharing Audio Stories
Audacity is a great tool for manipulating sound files. It is one platform that teachers can use without having to seek out Garage Band, which is only accessible with an Apple device. The following are resources to assist you with creating audio projects.
Part of creating audio projects is the freedom of incorporating sound effects and music. Click here for a list of Royalty-Free music and Sound Effect sites.
Why Should We Explore Digital Storytelling
“By telling thoughtful stories, we clarify our own thinking about what we have learned to share with others in a profound way that sticks with us over time.” - Annette Simmons, The Story Factor (as cited in "Digital Storytelling Across the Curriculum")
Telling stories is part of human history. It is what shapes culture, teaches new generations morals or lessons and is obviously entertaining. In 1994, Dana Atchley and Joe Lambert at the Center for Digital Storytelling began teaching others how to create their own digital stories, and the rest is "history".
When Atchley and Lambert first started creating stories they focused on personal narratives with music and images to frame these stories. Being able add this digital touch is what makes digital stories so powerful for both the individual who created the work and the audience.
In allowing our students to explore digital storytelling we are giving them voice. We are empowering the students to explore their interpretations, connections and perspectives. Storytelling is more than an area for Language Arts, it can be used cross-curricularly to help students explore their own understanding of information and make meaning beyond just words on paper. Digital storytelling allows the learner to make sense of what is presented. It is a powerful medium which allows students engage students in deeper thinking about the curriculum as well as help them become powerful communicators in today's digital world
Porter in "Digital Storytelling Across the Curriculum" states that Digital Storytelling allows students to Master a variety of 21st Century Digital Skills.
Digital story creation allows for the development of communication, collaboration, oral fluency, visual and sound literacy and organization, all of which are part of 21st Century Digital Literacy (Porter). However, good stories need depth or content. For this reason, writing a digital story must follow the guidelines of writing any type of story or engaging in the writing process. This means brainstorming, drafting, refining or revising and finally editing.
Tips on Digital Storytelling
Paul Bogush, in his blog post, "'Teaching' Blogging and Digital Storytelling", states that teaching digital storytelling might be more difficult than teaching blogging. He suggests that before a teacher decides to explore digital storytelling, they will want to have some experience in making a digital story, before they have their students create one. Paul reminds educators to consider the following advice before starting a digital storytelling project.Below is a summary of some of his tips.
TIME - Making a great digital story is incredibly time consuming! If you have not worked with video you cannot understand how much work goes into making a great video. Professional video studios would need more than a week to create a 5-10 minute digital story. One cannot make the jump from never having used video editing software and creating digital stories to creating a 5-10 video. The amount of time it takes an adult to compose a video could be quadrupled for kids. A 30-60 second stop-motion video may take students longer to complete than you think!
COPYRIGHT - You can't just take from Google. Really! Exploring copyright issues may take up to 1-2 hours with students. Particularly just how to get the attribution information and navigating good sites for digital images.
Digital Storytelling and Connections to Writing
Before students start composing on the computer, they need to engage in the writing process to write their story. Whether the story is written individually or collaboratively, the key to digital storytelling is actually writing. After they write the story, then they decide how to share that story in a storyboard template (on paper). After this is completed, the students will start to search for images, music and sound effects that will help tell the story. These images, music and sound effects will be from the Creative Commons or will be Royalty Free (that’s where your Teacher Librarian comes in as she can explore what Creative Commons and Royalty Free means and why it’s important to be aware of it as digital citizens).
When students have their story completed, template completed, images saved to OneDrive, then they are ready to use laptops devices and create their digital story. This is where they will layer images, voice, sound effects and music to transform their words into a multimedia experience, giving more opportunity to amplify their voice!
Ways Teachers Can Integrate Digital Storytelling into Learning
Telling digital stories can allow a student add their own voice and their own perspective as they search for images, sound and music to tell the tale.
Links to Great Tools and Resources
This work (A face in the Crowd, by Chris) is free of known copyright restrictions.