What Is Digital Storytelling?

"Digital Storytelling" is an emerging term, one that arises from a grassroots movement that uses new digital tools to help ordinary people tell their own 'true stories' in a compelling and emotionally engaging form. These stories usually take the form of a relatively short story (less than 8 minutes) and can involve interactivity. The term can also be a broader journalistic reference to the variety of emergent new forms of digital narratives (web-based stories, interactive stories, hypertexts, and narrative computer games). (Wikipedia)
Why should teachers know and use digital storytelling tools and strategies?
  • To promote student creativity
  • To inspire narrative writing
  • To encourage learners to create and communicate in multiple media
  • To model digital-age work
  • To model respect for intellectual property using 21st century tools
  • To help students share their local stories with a larger community/audience
  • To promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking and inventiveness (NETS*T)
  • To engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources. (NETS*T)
  • To promote student reflection using collaborative tools to reveal and clarify students' conceptual understanding and thinking, planning, and creative processes. (NETS*T)

Images + Audio

There are several web 2.0 tools that can be utilized for digital storytelling. We will concentrate on two that allow you to upload digital images and/or video and add narration. The first one is Voicethread and the second one is Photostory


The Free account at VoiceThread helps you get started and get to know VoiceThread. But what can you do with a Free VoiceThread account? With 3 minutes of phone commenting, 3 VoiceThreads at-a-time with up to 50 slides each, unlimited voice and text comments, and a webcam commenting storage limit that we haven't seen exceeded yet, you can do a lot with a Free VoiceThread account! In this section of the How To, you'll find answers to our most frequently asked questions relating to the Free account. Please take a look at this video to see the basic features of VoiceThread in action:Introduction to VoiceThread.

VoiceThread FAQ


VoiceThread Challenge

Set up an account on VoiceThread

Then go to the VoiceThread below and leave an audio comment.

Photostory Download


Al Franken Photostory: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/demos/video_quality_demos.aspx

Imagination Prompt Generator: http://www.creativity-portal.com/prompts/imagination.prompt.html

Ideas for Using Photostory:

  1. Slideshows for Back to School Night or Open House
  2. Slideshows of Performances, Celebrations, Assemblies, or Field Trips
  3. Photo Yearbooks (For a school, a class, or a club!)
  4. Photo Journalism, Documentaries, or Dramatizations
  5. Time Lapsed Photography (Especially in science!)
  6. Class Books (Think big books!)
  7. Story Books (“Digital Story Telling”)
  8. How-To Guides (Address non-fiction standards!)
  9. Exercises in Classifying, Categorizing, or Compare and Contrast.
  10. Photos as Anticipatory Sets, Writing Prompts, or Review
  11. Document Learning (Great for parent conferences!)
  12. Photo Portfolios (Can be used for student presentations, too!)
  13. Book Reviews
  14. Historical Re-enactments

Photostory Walk-Through

Tutorial Hard Copy: external image pdf.png Photostory Tutorial.pdf