Digital storytelling = telling a story using tools on your computer.
What is a “story” here consists of more than one type of media (images + text, audio + images, etc) that are assembled on the web, and can be presented on the web or embedded into other web sites.
A story does not always to be read from a book or told orally from an Elder. It can be told digitally as well. Web 2.0 has over 50 tools you can use to do this, such as Bubble Share or Voice Thread. CogDogRoo has a great site explaining all the different tools you can use with your students.
There are 3 basic steps to creating a digital story. First, students need to create an outline for their story. The most difficult part of digital storytelling is choosing a story to make an outline for. Students sometimes struggle with finding an idea on their own and make the concept a lot harder than it actually is. Personally, I like to give students some ‘suggestions’ in which they can choose from or allow them to choose their own. Of course, I like to approve their idea before they can start with their outline in order to make sure that the concept is appropriate for the given assignment.
Next, students are to find some media to match their story. This can also be tricky considering the media used in the digital story have to be copyright free; you need permission to re-use someone else’s media in your story. This media can be in audio, video, or image form. Click here for a list of websites where you can find copyright free media for your classroom.
Thirdly, choose a tool to build your story. This tool is what will help you make your story come alive for its viewers. This tool will not be as effective for you if you have not completed step one and two first! Using these storytelling tools is a neat new way to for the audience to connect with the author and the characters in the story. Students may feel more comfortable when telling their story as well because: a) the story is their own and b) they are telling it to a computer which may be a lot less intimidating than their classmates.
“Web 2.0 storytelling picks up these new types of stories and runs with them, accelerating the pace of creation and participation while revealing new directions for narratives to flow.”
As an educator, there are many purposes of using digital story telling in the classroom. Not only are the students learning about how to write a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end, but are learning how to express themselves and find their voice in a secure setting. If they make a mistake when reading and recording their audio it is as simple as going back and re-recording the sentence. Mistakes are easily fixed the finished product is done in the best they can be done. These story telling tools can be used for students of all ages as well, but if using them in the younger grades the teacher will need to help out to receive the product he/she is looking for.
What are some other strengths to digital story telling? Any weaknesses?