adapted from Digital Storytelling 101 by Paula Ogg © Sheridan College 2013
Storytelling has a powerful influence in our lives. Since the dawn of humankind, we have tried to tell our story. It began with the cave paintings, oral traditions around the fire, dance, and song. Later, came poetry, prose, oil paintings, and dramatic plays. The last two centuries brought us photography as well as the talking picture, movies, television. Now with web-based media with can tell digital stories.
Use your imagination. What kind of story could your students tell? What would be an appropriate story for your students? Only you know what would be authentic to your field of study, your curriculum, and your students. To get started, consider these ideas:
Use a backwards design approach. First, start with your learning outcomes. Second, create your assessments. Third, plan your instructional activities. Finally, choose a technology to enhance the lesson.
Design. Consider your curriculum; look carefully at your accreditation standards, graduate attributes, program learning outcomes, course learning outcomes, and lesson learning outcomes. Will digital storytelling fulfill the learning outcomes? How will you prepare students for a narrative? What technologies will you and your students need to learn in order to create digital stories? Will digital storytelling enhance the learning experience?
Develop. Browse the Internet for examples of digital stories in your field of study. You might find novels or short stories about personal experiences in the field. Likewise, you might find creative non-fiction or adaptations of memoirs in story, animation, or film. For example, the graduate nursing program at the University of Colorado partnered with the Center for Digital Storytelling and Patient Voices to create Nurstory - a series of reflective practice workshops on nursing moments. Telling one’s own narrative fosters deep reflection (Walters, Green, Wang, & Walters, 2011).
Plan how you will tell your story. Like any good story, we start with a framework: setting, characterization, and plot - the conflict. We need a point of view - a voice (1st, 2nd, or 3rd person). Once we have our script, it is a good idea to storyboard the images that will tell the story before starting to create a digital narrative. Then, we can consider other augmentation like music and pacing. The more dramatic the question, the more emotional the content, the more impactful the story.
Deliver. Decide what students will do before, during, and after the story. Before the narrative, students might research an issue, gather photos, videos, and music. As part of the narration process, students may create a script and storyboard. After completing the story, students might share their story in an efair. The story should be authentic, active, and applied.
With your preferred productivity and creativity suite, you can edit image, video, audio, and text into one file to make a digital story. For example, with Apple you can use iMovie, Garageband, and Photos. Likewise, with Microsoft, you can use MovieMaker or PhotoStory. Similarly, with Adobe you can use Premier Pro or After Effects. With a mobile device you can capture a simple unedited story. There are all kinds of apps that you can use to add bumpers, credits, titles, speech bubbles, and pop ups. You can share these digital stories on social media YouTube, Vimeo, iTunes, and Facebook.
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