Thursday, May 1, 2014

Tell Me a Story....Digitally?

Digital storytelling is when computer and web based tools are used to create and tell a story.  These stories focus on a specific topic, contains a particular point of view, and a mixture of digital images, text, audio, video, and/or music.  Topics for digital stories can range from personal takes to recounting historical events.

Many teachers like the idea of having students create digital stories, but have the same concern.  Time.  When do you fit it all in?  The beauty of digital storytelling is that it can be integrated into any topic/subject that is being taught in the classroom.  It can be a way to integrate writing into a social studies or science lesson.  Students can share what they have learned by creating a story about the content.  Using the writing process and research skills students can write digital stories and bring them to life with technology.

There is so much technology that can be used to create digital stories.  Programs such as iMovie, Microsoft Photo Story 3, Windows Movie Maker and Garageband are great computer based programs to use. You can also use programs like Wordle, PowerPoint and Keynote to create digital stories. There are also many iOS/Android apps that can be used to create digital stories.  One of my favorites is Haiku Deck.  Other apps such as Puppet Pals, ExplainEverything, Creative Book Builder, Little Bird Tales and Videolicious are great options too.

There are 7 elements that are the building blocks of digital storytelling.
  1. Point of View - The storyteller must decide what the main point of the story will be. What is their perspective as the author? 
  2. Emotional ContentThis is a chance for issues to come alive in a personal and powerful way that connects the story to the audience. 
  3. Gift of VoiceThis element helps personalize the story to help the audience understand the context of the story.
  4. EconomyThe storyteller should use just enough content to tell the story without overloading the viewer.  
  5. Pacing -This is the rhythm of the story, and how slowly or quickly it progresses.
  6. Dramatic Question - This is a key question that keeps the viewer’s attention and will be answered by the end of the story.
  7. Power of Soundtrack - The music or other sounds used in the story should support and embellish the storyline.

Here is an example of a digital story that was created with Haiku Deck.  The students had to tell a story in six words.

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

Here is a digital story created in iMovie and told from the point of view of a 3 year old named Max.

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