The Art of Digital Storytelling

“So if you’ve got a story to tell, you can afford to start dreaming…”

The abundant access to information and resources online is incredible. I think back to when I was in college for my undergrad and how limited internet accessibility was. I certainly didn’t have the ability to search so rapidly and gain information so quickly. The ways in which people connect and communicate is so different and digital storytelling is one example of this. We have approached a time that vulnerability and sharing more personally is the norm. Whether our actual truths live online or not is another story. This access and drive towards sharing lead to digital storytelling becoming a fruitful art.

“While traditional reading and writing will continue to be a major component of higher learning, digital storytelling promises to offer students a richer palette for communicating their ideas.”

We are consistently striving for authenticity in education. We want to know that students are engaging in learning that is personally meaningful and that has application into the world outside their classroom walls. Tapping into student interest and daily function through the use of digital tools is one way that digital storytelling can be successful in education. Rather than having students write letters on paper that others don’t often get to see, these students are instantly gaining an audience with authentic audiences who can critique their work. Our stories become sustainable, rather than just turned in for the teacher’s eyes.

“Today’s stories still serve the same purpose that stories always have–to entertain, inform or arouse their audiences.”

The purpose of our stories may still be the same, but I would imagine that we are growing the audience that is accessing them or engaging in creating stories. Digital storytelling has given a listener a chance to be a creator through a user-friendly design and access to examples. Just look at how many kids are creating YouTube videos today because they know they can do it – anyone can!


4 thoughts on “The Art of Digital Storytelling

  1. Hello Kelly,

    I agree with you 100% when you sustain that “tapping into student interest and daily function through the use of digital tools is one way that digital storytelling can be successful in education.” This is essential to know mostly for Comprehensible Input teachers like myself. The interest and engagement levels are not the same in my class when I use written stories versus when I use digital stories that deal with something that my students can relate to.
    The article’s opening quote “the medium is the message.” carries a very strong meaning to me. The way I understand it is that what we teach may be very important, but the way we teach it and the tools we use are important as well.

    Thanks Kelly for sharing this insightful article.


  2. Hi Kelly,
    I thought your blog was very insightful. As a read more on digital storytelling, I am realizing that the ability to share your story with an authentic audience is just as important as the story itself. I feel like many students don’t have the opportunity to share their work with someone other than their teachers, classmates and family. What’s ironic is that they aren’t sharing their school work, but like you said in your blog, they are creating youtube videos and sharing those with the world. I wonder if making this learning more authentic, would create students who are intrinsically motivated, are engaged and who actually like school.


  3. Hi Kelly,
    Thanks for sharing! I have the same experience you had with Internet access as a student and how time consuming was the process of finding information on topics of interest. I believe this generation is way more fortunate at least in term of having access to a wealth of information and “highly specific interactive content” as the author states in the article. In various articles that I have read about use of digital storytelling with struggling writers in primary and secondary education, there is evidence that digital storytelling motivated them to write with more confidence and improved their overall writing performance. What motivated these struggling writers was that they were given the option to choose a topic for the digital story that interests them. I checked the Digital Storytelling Media Archive and Visual Novels sites and found it very useful! It appears to me that the article gives more importance to the “medium” and not the story itself. I think that digital tools have the power to transform a story but still the power that energizes the digital tools should stem from the actual story.


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