Digital Storytelling


Digital storytelling is an exciting way to engage students in creative multimedia projects. Creating a digital story provides a wonderful opportunity to meet a variety of content area standards and opportunities for collaboration, creativity and innovation, research, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. Be sure you don't miss the two sub-pages of resources for: Apps (Adobe Spark, Sock Puppets, Tellagami and more) and Online Tools (Animoto, Storybird, Sway and more), and Audio Production (Audacity, SoundCloud, and more).

The Digital Storytelling process involves:

  • Preparing to tell your story; get the idea and do the research
  • Determining the connections that the story will make to yourself or others
  • Writing out the ideas
  • Storyboarding and adding additional resources like images and videos
  • Sharing

Below are some examples of how teachers are using the digital storytelling.

Student News Teams: Letting Students Tell The Stories

Who tells the stories about all the great things happening in your school? See how Michigan teachers Brad Wilson, Greg Vieau (Michigan Center High School, REMC 15), and Mary Phillips (Dudley STEM School, REMC 12E) organize student news teams in their schools to let students connect with their classmates and communities through news stories. (15 minutes)

Mary Phillips     Watch the video

Digital Storytelling: Explain It In Your Own Words

Having students explain something in their own words has moved beyond just paper and pencil. See how Karen Bosch, an art teacher and Apple Distinguished Educator, at Southfield Christian Schools allows her students to demonstrate what they understand using a wide variety of digital media sources. (15 minutes)

Karen Bosch     Watch the video

Some Ideas for Topics

Topics can range from personal, fictional, documentaries, and everything in-between.

  1. Check out this list of Ideas for Digital Storytelling Across the Curriculum
  2. Visit the site Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling and view example stories and projects

10 elements of a digital story:

Adapted from (Center for Digital Story Telling) and Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling

  1. Point of View - what is your purpose? What is the goal?
  2. Narrator's Point of View
  3. A Dramatic Question - the action, tension, central desire...
  4. Content or paradigm - inspirational, love, loneliness, friendship...
  5. Gift of your voice - your audio recording (practice and relax, be conversational)
  6. Pacing of your narrative
  7. Power of your audio - music, sound effects, your own lyrical narration (watch copyright)
  8. Images - the quality and type of media (video, animations, photos, graphics...)
  9. Economy of the story detail - the sequence of events, images, text - (keep it simple)
  10. Appropriate grammar and language usage

Resources for Planning, Hunting and Gathering

1. Organize

MagnifierMake use of the resources covered previously, to build your story elements and create your outline.
3. Visual Learning, 5. Collaboration, 9. Be Legal and Fair, 10. Search Strategies, and 13. Digital Images

2. Document Artifacts

Document ArtifactsLabel and save your multimedia elements into a folder for easy integration in your story.
Create a document with the source URL's and titles so you can give proper credit for each media element (video, photo, etc.)

3. Script and Storyboard

ScriptCreate a storyboard with your script and indicate the media element to be included at each step. PowerPoint is a great tool for story boarding because you can shuffle the slides and change the order so easily.

Dowload and use this file or use one of these online storyboard templates.  There are also online storyboarding generators like Canva.

For your assignment, please visit each of these pages and check out the resources, then choose the one(s) that will enhance a lesson or activity you teach and have fun creating your digital story:

1. Apps & Online Sites (Animoto, Little Birdtales, Storybird, Sway... and Apps for Adobe Voice, Sock Puppets, Tellagami and much more)

2. Audio Production (Audacity, Soundcloud, Google Drive Music Player)