session on digital storytelling

14 08 2009

I was thinking of ways of integrating digital story telling in my curricula because it is very interesting. Since I teach technology, it poses a challenge. However this semester I will do that and let you know its outcome. That’s why I attended this session and it was interesting.

Digital Storytelling.

Presenter: Bernard Robin, University of Houston
Handout and website:

bernardrobinEarly needs for DS: seeking meaningful uses of digital photography; wanted students to use digital images as a mode of communication and personal reflection; looking for a way to successfully integrate multimedia development into K-12 education.

Benefits of DS to students: when done right it helps them research content online [find and analyze info]; writing skills, organization skills, tech skills, presentation skills, interview skills, interpersonal skills, problem-solving skills.

Why does it work? Because we have reached the point where computers are powerful enough and available and software that helps you put all this together etc.

Types of digital stories:

  • Personal narratives
  • Stories based on historical events [eg. Abe Lincoln’s 2nd inaugural address]
  • Stories designed to inform or instruct people on a particular topic [eg. Examines history of pop-up books] They are more like digital media projects.

The 7 elements of digital storytelling

The center for digital storytelling developed these principles, so Robin added a few more such as

Language and grammar, clarity of voice, dramatic content, etc.

Challenges: trouble formulating a story/script; less interest in the storytelling; limited access to technology; inability to save from the internet; time consuming; copyright and intellectual property. The primary objection to using copyright information is if the copyright holder is losing then this does him/her harm and they have a case, but a student using items is all right for educational purposes.

Resources: Alan Levine’s 50 ways to tell a digital story.

What’s next?

Robin wants to: add more digital story examples, articles, research, etc., better training materials, a submit your own story option, more emphasis on the international aspect of digital storytelling/stories in multiple languages, more on DS in healthcare education and finally, a new dynamic database website.




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