Sunday, February 13, 2011

Digital Storytelling

For this week's free post I am going to discuss digital storytelling.  Currently I am a graduate assistant for a professor that teaches a social studies methods class.  Some of her research this semester consists of using student narratives as a powerful way to teach pre-service teachers.  One form of narratives that I am helping her research is digital storytelling.  This form of storytelling as the University of Houston defines it as, "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" (

Often times digital storytelling is used to tell a personal story of a student that is related to what is being taught in the classroom.  A great example of this is having students present their family history using pictures and videos while narrating their past as it relates to history.  A great website that shows digital storytelling is  This website contains an assortment of personal stories told through digital storytelling to motivate and inspire people.  Please check it our and maybe you can find something to use in your classroom.

When I was student teaching, I had my students create podcast interview of a famous abolitionists from the mid nineteenth century.  For the most part, my students created great and insightful podcasts.  A couple of my students, however, decided to go above and beyond and create a digital story.  They added images of their abolitionist, put in symbols, and even put in multi-media.  It was very engaging and fun to watch.  After seeing some of my students create a digital story, I realized the potential of using this kind of assessment in all classrooms.  When presenting a science project, students can introduce their topic with a quick digital story of work done outside the classroom.  There is a lot that can be done and I will let you all know the cool things I find out throughout my research this semester!  

1 comment:

  1. Digital storytelling is something that I enjoy a great deal (both watching the student created projects and the art of creating my own). For one of my undergrad classes at pace, our final assignment was to create a digital story (any story we choose) and present it to our class. This was before I had much technology training, so I was afraid to even get started. I chose a Dr.Seuss book, which was my first mistake! Although he is a great author, it is incredibly hard to recite one of his stories perfectly. I got through it, after about the 500th try, and it came out really great! I used imovie and iphoto and I believe I used garage band as well to weave all of the pieces together.

    Digital story telling is something I plan on doing with my class in the future. Not only does is add digital literacy skills to the curriculum, but it leaves the teacher with a digital library, CREATED BY STUDENTS!

    What programs did you use for your digital story telling project?