A Brief Guide to Creating a Digital Story from Material Found On the Web
Digital Storytelling is the practice of using computer-based tools to tell stories. As with traditional storytelling, most digital stories focus on a specific topic and contain a particular point of view. However, as the name implies, digital stories usually contain some mixture of computer-based images, text, recorded audio narration, video clips and/or music. Digital stories can vary in length, but most of the stories used in education typically last between two and ten minutes. And the topics that are used in Digital Storytelling range from personal tales to the recounting of historical events, from exploring life in one's own community to the search for life in other corners of the universe, and literally, everything in between.
Photographer, educator and digital storyteller, Daniel Meadows defines digital stories as "short, personal multimedia tales told from the heart." The beauty of this form of digital expression, he maintains is that these stories can be created by people everywhere, on any subject, and shared electronically all over the world. Meadows goes on to describe digital stories as "multimedia sonnets from the people" in which "photographs discover the talkies, and the stories told assemble in the ether as pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, a gaggle of invisible histories which, when viewed together, tell the bigger story of our time, the story that defines who we are."
As Educators we use Digital Storytelling in many ways, from introducing new material to helping students learn to conduct research, synthesize large amounts of content and gain expertise in the use of digital communication and authoring tools. It also can help students organize these ideas as they learn to create stories for an audience, and present their ideas and knowledge in an individual and meaningful way.
- Learn to use the Internet to research rich, deep content while analyzing and synthesizing a wide range of content.
- Develop communications skills by learning to ask questions, express opinions, construct narratives and write for an audience.
- Increase computer skills using software that combines a variety of multimedia including: text, still images, audio, video and web publishing.
Educational Objectives of Digital Storytelling:
- Create a digital story for use as an anticipatory set or hook for a lesson.
- Enhance current lesson plans with the use of a digital story within a unit.
- Assign student-created stories which requires students to research a topic from a particular point of view.