Digital Storytelling

Digital Storytelling has many definitions, but usually involves the telling of our personal stories combining digital technology to integrate text, sound, graphics and sometimes film.
It is a great way for students to begin working with multimedia projects because they tell their own story, learning the techniques and technical tools of this kind of creative expression, but within a familiar context.

Technology and Digital Storiescomp-cam.gif

Digital stories involve some or all of these components:
  • an engaging and well written story
  • slides or clips
  • backgrounds
  • graphics or images
  • text
  • sounds, narration and/or music
  • a transition to move from slide to slide or clip to clip
  • a title slide and an ending slide that lists credits

7 Elements of Digital Stories

Audience - Stories have a particular audience in mind.
Purpose - Stories are trying to accomplish a task (inform, educate, entertain, scare, etc.)
Content - Content must be meaningful. Digital content adds to the story.cds.gif
Voice - Stories are told from a specific perspective(s) and uses the tellers voice to enrich the story.
Technology - Technology is used to extend the story.
Connections - Good stories connect with the participants.
Economy - Stories tell enough to get the point across and no more.
Adapted from the Center for Digital Storytelling

Getting Started with Digital Storytelling

  1. Create an engaging and meaningful story.
  2. Create a storyboard that will plan the graphics, sounds, text, narration and music you will use. (Storyboard samples are included before, or use software like word, Inspiration, or Comic Life which is great for storyboarding!)
  3. Collect materials in folders(pictures, sound files, graphics).
  4. Learn how to use your software of choice for the story.
  5. Create your story using your software of choice.
  6. Edit, revise and share your story!

Software that supports Digital Storytelling

Examples of Student/Teacher Created Digital Stories:

The Silent Hero from Brenda Sherry on Vimeo.

Recycling from Brenda Sherry on Vimeo.

Summer All the Time Music Video from Brenda Sherry on Vimeo.

Not a FairyTale from Brenda Sherry on Vimeo.

Digital Storytelling Experts....Learn from them!

Finding Images Files:

Copyright Free images for use in schools
DK Clip Art for use in schools - Dorling Kindersley
Creative Commons
Open Educational Resources
How to Find Flicker Resources you can use
Time Magazine Photo Essays
OSAPAC licensed software: The Canadian ClipArt Collection
CBC Digital Archives
Use this site if you give attribution
Flickr Search Tool
FlickrSTORM - Search with a bit of Magic

Finding Sound and Music Files:

My favourite music sources are Purple Planet and
You could also try.... (not free)
Royalty Free Music
Flash Kit-Sound FX
Bumper Music
Four Bees Free Music
Check out Jamendo on

Sound Recording Resources:

We'll be using Audacity an open-source software that allows students to record and edit their podcasts.
Watch a 15 minute screencast tutorial to learn how to use Audacity from Tony Vincent:

Here is a great website for help with Audacity
How to record Audacity - Record HO.pdf
How to edit recordings Audacity EdTech - Editing HO.pdf
How to clean up noise in a recording Noise Removal HO.pdf
More online tutorials about Audacity
How to combine audacity files with Powerpoint slides in Moviemaker

Need a sound booth for recording? Here's one idea for a DIY version:

Other Sites...

Helpful Handoutsearphone.gif

Creating Movies with Still Photos.doc MovieMaker 2 Step by step instructions
storyboard.pdf- Storyboard pdf that you can download
Mod32_Disc_Starters.pdf Media Literacy Resource
Mod32_Core_Concepts.pdf Media Literacy Resource
Mod32_Eff_Med_Work_Chk.pdf Media Literacy Resource
Storyboard1 for Comic Life.pdf
Story Boarding Template.pdf
Take Six copy.pdf
Tips and Resources.pdf
Intro to MovieMaker2
Online Storyboarding

Ontario Curriculum Connections

Media Literacy/Language Arts:
  • identify some media forms and explain how the conventions and techniques associated with them are used to create meaning;
  • create a variety of media texts for different purposes and audiences, using appropriate forms, conventions, and techniques,
  • reflect on and identify their strengths as media interpreters and creators, areas for improvement, and the strategies they found most helpful in understanding and creating media texts;
Writing/Language Arts:
  • generate, gather, and organize ideas and information to write for an intended purpose and audience;
  • draft and revise their writing, using a variety of informational, literary, and graphic forms
    and stylistic elements appropriate for the purpose and audience;
Oral Language/Language Arts:
  • use speaking skills and strategies appropriately to communicate with different audiences
  • for a variety of purposes;

Depending upon topics/themes for your grade/subject area, also check:
  • Drama
  • Social Studies/History/Geography

Media Arts ASM3O
  • use appropriate vocabulary to discuss media art in a variety of contexts;
  • describe how various concepts (e.g., elements, principles) and techniques and procedures are used in their media art works and the works of others;
  • use media arts concepts in their own work;
  • use both traditional and emerging technologies and procedures to create media art works;
  • apply the stages of the creative process (e.g., researching, exploring, experimenting, executing, evaluating) to create art works individually and in groups;
  • use concepts and procedures that media arts shares with other arts when creating works of media art.
By the end of this course, students will:
  • evaluate the aesthetic components of their own and others’ works of media art or - productions, demonstrating an understanding of the process of critical analysis;
  • analyse the function of media art in society;


By the end of this course, students will:
  1. Developing and Organizing Content: generate, gather, and organize ideas and information to write for an intended purpose and audience;
  2. Using Knowledge of Form and Style: draft and revise their writing, using a variety of literary, informational, and graphic forms and stylistic elements appropriate for the purpose and audience;
  3. Applying Knowledge of Conventions: use editing, proofreading, and publishing skills and strategies, and knowledge of language conventions, to correct errors, refine expression, and present their work effectively;
  4. Reflecting on Skills and Strategies: reflect on and identify their strengths as writers, areas for improvement, and the strategies they found most helpful at different stages in the writing process.