Digital Storytelling

Digital storytelling, when I first heard this topic, I thought about how my students might share stories they are writing using technology. I knew of a few online programs and apps for my iPad that I’m still learning about. I was really thrilled when I came across this site from a Diigo in Education update. But as I’ve read this past week, I realized digital storytelling is not just for elementary students, that is just the beginning.

Digital storytelling is for anyone and everyone who has a story to share. One of the best definitions I found was here. “Digital storytelling – A digital story typically begins with a script. The storyteller then assembles rich media to support the ideas and emotions in that script, including music or other audio effects, personal or public domain images, animations or video, and other electronic elements. The storyteller pieces together and edits the digital story, creating a short movie, usually about two to four minutes long,”

So how will I use digital storytelling in my classroom? In some ways, I’m not sure where to start. I subscribed to voicethread several years ago. At that time we used it for the summer reading program. I used it twice last year. This year I keep wanting to get to it, but feel overwhelmed with all the other things I’ve been learning.(I presently have 2 different windows open with 24 tabs on one and 10 on the other. I keep finding interesting sites.) Maybe voicethread is where I need to start, but then I’ll be giving the students one more login username and password. Fortunately they do better than I do at remembering the passwords.

There is another possibility and that is with our buddy class from Canada. They sent us a video introduction. Presently my students are working on self-introductions and introductions to our school. We taped some last week and need to finish them and edit it. Then Mrs. Watson and I are planning a skype between the classes and possibly a collaborative storywriting. I know that her students have used storybird so that might be what we do. There are so many possibilities!

A few weeks ago my students were performing readers’ theater plays. In preparation for those plays and as a project for this course(more about that later) the students created imovie trailers. The more I’ve learned about digital storytelling I realized that I’ve done this backwards. The students have used a storyboard for creating a story and used a storyboard for the trailer, but how much more effective would it have been if they had created a digital story before the trailers. I know that next year we will begin the process in September of creating digital stories.

If you are looking for some other good resources for digital storytelling check out this wiki. The creator, Alan Levine, shares over 50 online resources for digital storytelling. If you’re looking for a class to get started go here. There are a lot of resources available, iPads, iPods and iPhones are making it simpler and easier for even young students to create and share their work.

Made a movie of my class making pizza. Need to learn a lot more about it, but it is a start.

2 thoughts on “Digital Storytelling

  1. Frank,
    I’ve learned a lot about digital storytelling and hope to use it much more next year from the beginning of the year. There are so many possibilities and so much more to learn. I do appreciate that this blog is making me reflect on my learning.

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