Digital Storytelling

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Storytelling has been a part of our culture from the earliest times. People use stories to teach, to remember, to make meaning out of events in their lives. Students are eager to use technology to create digital stories, and many who view themselves as content creators of the Internet are already posting their own videos to YouTube and their MySpace pages. The power of storytelling and the motivational factor of technology make digital storytelling a win/win situation in the classroom. Students can create stories in all content areas for many different purposes. Check out the links and tools below to discover the process and its place in the classroom.


Texas Schoolmarm Website This is my independent website that I created about three years ago to use in my classroom. I have uploaded files and handouts for our workshop, as well as my PowerPoint presentation.
BBC Capture Wales British Broadcasting website of videos that individuals have created in workshops across England.
Center for Digital Storytelling An organization promoting digital storytelling housed at Berkley University in California. They sponsor digital storytelling workshops for individuals as well as educators across the country.
Stories for Change provides a space for members and visitors to share their favorite curriculum ideas, post the stories they create, and engage in meaningful conversations around the stories they watch.
D.U.S.T.Y.(Digital Underground Storytelling for Youth) D.U.S.T.Y. is an afterschool program for middle and high school students in Oakland, California. Read about their program and view student videos.
Telling Their Story: Oral History Archives Project A project at the Urban School of San Francisco. High school students conduct and film interviews with Bay Area Holocaust survivors in their homes. Contains description of the project and curricular guides for educators.
Denali Discovery Guide The Denali Borough School District in Alaska offered a science and storytelling camp in 2005. The Discover Denali Activity Guide contains great information about how they conducted their camp. It also relates "digital storytelling to standards in science and geography within balanced instruction that includes direct instruction, project-based learning, and individual reflections."
YouTube video of student portraying Abraham Lincoln giving the Gettysburg Address.


Programs for creating the videos:
  • Photo Story 3 Free Microsoft program that must be downloaded and installed. Photo Story allows both music AND narration at the same time, whereas Movie Maker has only audio track. Photo Story also adds motion automatically to still photos (some call it the "Ken Burns effect"). The Microsoft Website has basic instructions for creating a story.
  • Movie Maker 2 This program is already installed on PCs running Windows XP or higher. Find it under Start--Programs--Accessories. The Microsoft website has Tutorials for using Movie Maker 2 .
  • iMovie This program is installed on Apple computers.
  • Videowave by Roxio sells for about $50. and has options available that free programs do not.
  • Premiere is an Adobe product that allows MANY options for creating professional quality videos. Some schools use this program to teach video editing and production. Premiere Elements is a lighter version that is easier to use and sells for about $70.
  • Jodix Video Converter for the iPod Free iPod Video Converter provides an easy and completed way to convert all popular video formats to iPod video. You can enjoy DVD/VCD and AVI, MPEG, WMV, RM, RMVB, DivX, ASF, VOB video files in your iPod with few clicks. The program is a freeware and does not contain any form of malware, including but not limited to: spyware, viruses, trojans and backdoors.

Creating and managing sound files:

  • Narration component of Movie Maker 2 and Photo Story 3
  • Sound Recorder is a free audio recorder already installed on computers using Windows. To find it, go Start--to Programs--to Entertainment--to Sound Recorder.
  • Audacity is a free, easy-to-use audio editor and recorder
  • MP3 players that have voice recorders
  • Websites offering royalty free music, including FreePlay Music and PodSafeAudio. Both these sites allow free downloads as long as credit is given to artist.


  • Scanned personal photos and documents from home
  • Digital photos that students take
  • Image searches for royalty free images
  • Pics4Learning is a copyright-friendly image library for teachers and students that consists of thousands of images donated by students, teachers, and amateur photographers.
  • Royalty Free Photos Website allows free download and use of photos as long as you credit as the image source.
  • Library of Congress Website contains an online catalog of images. A notation tells whether there are restrictions on use of the image. Some images will only appear as a thumbnail for those viewing outside the actual library.

Google Tools:

  • Google Notebook is a great tool that is free. You must register for a free account by providing an email and choosing a password. You do NOT have to have a Google email account. The tool works easiest when the free extension is installed in your web browser When you are signed in to Google Notebook, it is simple to right click on any information on the Internet and select Note This. The information or image will be added to your notebook, along with the URL and date you saved the information.