| 
  • If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Work with all your cloud files (Drive, Dropbox, and Slack and Gmail attachments) and documents (Google Docs, Sheets, and Notion) in one place. Try Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) for free. Now available on the web, Mac, Windows, and as a Chrome extension!

View
 

Getting started with digital storytelling

Page history last edited by Phil Gravestock 11 years, 11 months ago

Getting started with digital storytelling

It is often stated that digital storytelling can be a very simple technique to employ.  Its flexibility does mean that it can be used in a wide variety of ways for very different purposes.  However, as Dush (2009: 261) points out it is 'deceptively complicated'.  It is therefore important to give careful consideration to how this technique is to be used. 

 

As a starting point, consideration of its use against pedagogical and theoretical models is to be recommended.  There are also useful tools which provide starting points for getting started with digital storytelling.

 

 

Two other frameworks that could be drawn upon for guidance when considering the use of digital storytelling are first the Design Model for Podcasting developed through the IMPALA project (Edirisingha et al, 2008), which classifies digital storytelling as a form of podcasting.  The second source is the extensive list of continua developed by Ohler (2008) which provides a structured framework for discussion around the reasons for the use of digital storytelling.  Together these two frameworks provide an extensive range of prompts for helping to plan use.  However, taken individually these frameworks do though have some limitations.  The IMPALA model contains ten design factors, these include fundamentally important design considerations such as the pedagogic rationale, as well as other useful considerations such as style.  The full list, presented in the table below, is though aimed primarily at staff generating content for student consumption.  Digital storytelling represents a social pedagogy in which learner generation of narratives, rather than content consumption takes priority.  The IMPALA model does therefore require some adaptation and careful selection to be used as a means of helping to produce the student generated application of digital storytelling. 

 

Table: Podcasting 10-factor design model (Edirisingha et al, 2008)

 

 

Factor

Example options

Pedagogical rationale

Limitations of lectures in teaching complex and difficult topics

Limitations of conventional approaches in teaching use of software tools

Limitations of conventional feedback approaches

Issues faced by first-time online learners

Developing competency in:

  • collaborative skills
  • active learning skills
  • presentation skills
  • essay writing skills
  • reflective skills
  • research skills
  • articulation and communication skills

Improving the usefulness and attractiveness of teaching and learning resources

Medium

Audio podcasts

Audio and vision podcasts

Convergence

Integrated with other media such as VLE

Stand-alone

Authors and contributors to podcasts

Subject or module lecturer

University teachers

Other university staff

Fellow students

Senior students

Other stakeholders

Structure of podcasting

Single-session

Multiple sessions

Targeted podcasts for specific sessions, such as assessments or exams

Reusability

Temporary or reusable

Length

Short (less than 10 minutes) or long

Style

Formal or informal; style of presentation; monologue/dialogue/interview or other

Framework

Signposting, navigating, planning

Access system

Via VLE

A feeder service (RSS)

 

 

Ohler’s range of 18 continua provides a more expansive list of factors to consider.  These are grouped into three categories; Story type, purpose or impact; Story elements; and Story production.  This is a comprehensive list that can, as Ohler (2008) recommends, be used as starting points for discussion on the use of digital storytelling.  It is though a long list to work through when planning any application and does include some overlap between categories.  In addition it could be argued that there are still some gaps.  The table below shows an adaptation of Ohler’s continua by Gravestock & Jenkins (2009), expanding the list up to 22.  These additions, shown in italics, include for example consideration of whether it is the process of creating a digital story that is most important or the final product.  Such a consideration will obviously be context dependent. 

 

Table: Continua for use (from Ohler, 2008).  Text in italics represents additions to the Ohler, 2008, continua (from Gravestock & Jenkins, 2009).

 

Story type, purpose, or impact

Clear, like an essay

 

 

Challenging, like a poem

Metaphor, genre clear

 

 

Not clear

Universal resonance

Niche resonance

No resonance

Story

 

 

Report

Passive viewing

 

 

Active viewing

About author

 

 

About content

Reflection

 

 

Presentation

Assessed

 

 

Not assessed

Story elements

1st person involved

 

 

3rd person, detached

Emotionally engaged

 

 

Detached, objective

Tone boundaries

Appropriate tone diversity

Unclear boundaries

Narrative a focus

 

 

Narrative not a focus

Music supportive

 

 

Music distracting

Performance, video info

 

 

Still images, voice over

Creativity, originality valued

 

 

Not valued

Constraint, economy valued

 

 

Economy not valued

Process

 

 

Product

Story production

Low production values

 

 

High production values

Media grammar sound

 

 

Media grammar unsound

Technology low end, available

 

 

High end,  not readily available

Help is part of the process

 

 

Help is not allowed

Individual

 

 

Group

  

 

 

Seven Elements of Digital Storytelling

 

 

The Centre for Digital Storytelling (in Robin, 2008: 222) have created the Seven Elements of Digital Storytelling, which could be used as a starting point when working with digital stories.  These are:

 

  1. Point of view: what is the main point of the story and what is the perspective of the author?
  2. A dramatic question: a key question that keeps the viewer's attention and will be answered by the end of the story.
  3. Emotional content: serious issues that come alive in a personal and powerful way and connects the story to the audience.
  4. The gift of your voice: a way to personalise the story to help the audience understand the context.
  5. The power of the soundtrack: music or other sounds that support and embellish the storyline.
  6. Economy: using just enough content to tell the story without overloading the viewer.
  7. Pacing: the rhythm of the story and how slowly or quickly it progresses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Software for creating digital stories

 

 

There is a range of software packages that can be used to create digital stories, some of which are freely available and straightforward to use, such as those listed below.

 

 

 

 

 

For users of Windows based computers the following software can be used:

 

 

 

 

 

Windows Movie Maker: freely available on all Windows computers using XP or a later operating system.  Movie Maker is the software that can be used to put together the audio narrative, images and other materials.

 

 

 

 

 

Audacity: a free audio editor which can be downloaded.  A simple guide to using Audacity is available in Mobbs, Salmon & Edirisingha (2008).

 

 

 

 

 

PhotoStory 3 for Windows: free software downloadable from Microsoft for creating digital stories.  It incorporates the capability to record audio and add music, including providing its own music generator.  It does though place the emphasis on the images rather than the narrative and so is not necessarily the best tool for creating digital stories for educational purposes.

 

 

 

 

 

For Apple Macintosh users:

 

 

 

 

 

iMovie: free software on Apple computers which can be used to put together the component parts.

 

 

 

 

 

iPhoto: free software that can be used for image manipulation.

 

 

 

 

Audacity: a free audio editor which can be downloaded.  A simple guide to using Audacity is available in Mobbs, Salmon & Edirisingha (2008).

 

 

 

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.