Digital Storytelling 101: Process
Digital storytelling is a great way to assess your students on the concepts and curriculum topics being taught in class. In order to create an authentic, compelling story students must first have a basic/core knowledge of a topic. By incorporating the content that they've learned in class into a story, students can demonstrate that they've synthesized your information.
Digital storytelling is not limited to any one discipline; however, when you are integrating digital storytelling into your lesson/class it is recommended that you follow a process such as the one recommended below:
- Share a rubric with the class ahead of time that outlines what distinguishes a story receiving a good score versus a story that does not. You will find sample rubrics in the Sample Rubrics & Storyboards section.
- Share examples of good work/stories. You can find some examples to share at the California Student Media Festival page.
- Digital storytelling can be an individual/personal story but it can also be a team exercise.
- If it is a team exercise, learning centers in the classroom can be great to set up as:
- Editing Bays (piece all of the content together).
- Research areas (computers to find and download imagery, sounds, etc.).
- Writing centers where the script is developed.
- Recording areas where filming and/or narration are being recorded.
- In each area teams of students can work with each other to deliver a final product.
Noodle and Refine:
- At the beginning of the storytelling process it is good to brainstorm and throw out many different ideas - spaghetti on the wall theory. Throw it up there on the wall - whatever sticks is what we want to consume. This is a great exercise in and of itself, and will get the students to interact with the content in different ways and from different points of view.
- Try to move from many big ideas down to one central idea/essential question.
- As the story begins to take shape then students can refine along the way.
Identify the Point of View of the Story:
In thinking about the point of a story, your students should also be considering the reason for the story. Why this story, now, for this group of people?
Write the Script or Narrative:
Be sure that the words complement the visual imagery but do not detract from the story.
This is the visual outline of the story. It includes transitions, script, images, and/or other content relevant to each scene of the story. Sample storyboards can be seen in the Sample Rubrics & Storyboards section.
Choose/Find Your Content:
- Add in imagery that complements the story.
- Add in sound effects that complement the story.
- Add in a song/soundtrack that complements the story/mood.
- These elements should not distract the audience from the overall story or make it too confusing.
Put It All Together:
- If it is a video, record the video with digital cameras and assemble with other digital elements including sound/narrative and images using some sort of editing tool (iMovie, MovieMaker, Adobe Premier Elements, etc.) For recommended hardware/software options see Tools & Resources.
- If it is a photo essay, assemble with other digital elements including sound/narrative and images using some sort of editing tool (iPhoto, PhotoStory3, Web 2.0 application, etc.).
There are a number of sites available to support the digital storytelling publishing process including: teachertube, voicethread, animotoa, GoAnimate, and wikis.