Digital Storytelling is a project-based approach that engages learners in thinking critically, creatively, and collaboratively to solve real-world problems using new technology tools. Digital storytellers use videography, photography, digital audio production, web design, and other multimedia for storytelling.
The process of Digital Storytelling can be applied to personal or professional assignments as well as educational settings. This type of teaching is effective because it encourages learners to think outside the box by sparking creativity through collaborative work on projects with their peers.
Digital Storytelling also helps students learn how to communicate ideas effectively through media literacy skills such as video editing and graphic design software proficiency. These skills often translate into employable job skills for college graduates once they enter the workforce after graduation from high school or college.
The Digital Storytelling process includes the following steps:
1) Brainstorming ideas for a story with peers, creating a list of diverse ideas to choose from.
2) Writing an outline about the various events that are part of the story. The number of events in each idea should be equivalent among all participants. This is to avoid any one person dominating the discussion and not allowing others’ ideas to be heard equally.
3) Roleplay being someone involved in the story, getting into character by using creative costumes, dialogue, and body movements/actions as necessary for telling the “story”. Improvise dialogue based on what might have been said at that point in time during the event(s), if it wasn’t documented.
4) Create a list of “characters” that are involved in the story, assigning roles to each person participating in re-enacting the story using digital photos or short video clips.
5) For each event, take photos/video with smartphones, camcorders or other digital cameras as appropriate for the time period(s).
6) Working individually (or in small groups), write spoken dialogue (narration) about what is happening on camera during each event. Be sure to capture the main details of each event; avoid too much detail or unnecessary information that doesn’t move the story along. Try to use at least one adjective and one adverb per line of narration to make it more interesting and effective for the audience.
7) Work together as a larger group to edit photos/video clips into short video segments that tell the story. Complete one event at a time, creating appropriate transitions between each segment of the story using phrases like “Earlier that day…,” “The next morning…,” etc.
Each participant’s voice should be heard equally during narration, especially if there are several people involved in presenting the same scene or event where dialogue is important. This ensures everyone is given an opportunity to participate equally and avoid excluding other participants who may not be comfortable participating in front of others due to lack of experience with public speaking or shyness about it which many students struggle with especially when learning new material.
8) Share digital stories created by the class with learners’ families and/or classmates, encouraging everyone to re-watch stories that they find interesting and provide feedback about what they liked or did not like.
9) Evaluate the process of Digital Storytelling in each session by guiding students on how to create better narrative writing, more effective role-playing during storytelling sessions, improved photography and video editing skills for next time.
10) Repeat steps 1-9 until all events in the story have been captured on film and narrated verbally.