User-Generated Content in Education/Digital Storytelling

Digital Storytelling edit

Digital Storytelling is the practice of using computer-based tools to tell stories. Digital stories contain computer-based images, text, recorded audio narration, video clipsand/or music. Digital stories can vary in length from two to ten minutes. Students can build stories from personal tales to the recounting of historical events, from exploring life in one's own community to the search for life in other corners of the universe. Digital Storytelling can be done on the internet through several Web 2.0 sites or through several software applications.

Digital Storytelling Software Applications edit

PowerPoint is an application that has been used to tell a story or create an application. If you are using PowerPoint 2007, remember to save to a lower version of PowerPoint in order to send to another person or use the Pack and Go feature to send to anyone so that they can open and view your PowerPoint.

Photo Story is another application that is easy to use to tell a story. PhotoStory is a free download from Microsoft at Photostory for Windows. You can also add voice and music to the story. The motion of the photos can create the illusion of a video. It takes a few steps to create a blank slide for credits, information, etc., in Photo Story. However, step-by-step directions ( Adding Blank Slides to a Photo Story.doc or Adding Blank Slides to a Photo Story.pdf) showing how to insert a blank slide along with a web page to assist has been created to make this easier for the user. A great site to see some of the Web 2.0 Applications that create digital stories is from Alan Levine. He has a wikispace that has links to over 50 sites in which he uses each site to tell the same story of his dog, Domino. The site is CogDogRoo. Great to see how the same story can have a different feeling due to the application used.

Suggestions for Implementing Digital Storytelling in the Classroom edit

  • Use an audio program such as Audacity. Audio programs allow students to record sounds or narration that can later be added to their digital story
  • Use a Green Screen program such as iMovie,, Adobe Premier, or Adobe Visual Communicator. Students can find images or video to put in the background as they tell a story of their own.
  • Use an animation program like Moviemaker, or Tech4Learning Frames with any type of drawing program. Students can create animated story pages to keep students interested in reading and watching the story. Students create a sequence of drawings in the designated program. Afterward, they put it together to create animation. Students can add text to the story or their own voice to tell a story.

Advantages of Using Digital Storytelling in Education edit


  • All students can have the chance to share their story
  • Student interest and attention is gained when real storytellers and eyewitnesses convey the material rather than simply reading it
  • Students learn important skills such as using proper enunciation when public speaking, and the value of body language and facial expression

Disadvantages of Using Digital Storytelling in Education edit


  • Requires special equipment and software that some schools may not have
  • Can be time consuming
  • Students work may be overwhelmed by the use of technology in some cases where the focus is more on technology and not on the material
  • Students and teachers must have knowledge regarding intellectual property and copyright issues [3]

Assessing Digital Storytelling Projects edit

Even though Digital Storytelling is fun, it still should be assessed both for academic content and for technology skills. Rubrics are commonly used to assess storybooks. As a rubric is created there are several items to keep in mind according to Jason Ohler of Digital Storytelling[4]:

  1. Set clear goals– Provide a model or example
  2. Assess everything- both technology and subject area
  3. Assess the process- Group work and research
  4. Include self-assessment and peer review

Jason Ohler suggests using the following basic assessment traits[5]:

  • Apply your writing standards
  • Check the story for clarity and articulation
  • Check that research is clear and thorough
  • Evaluate digital craftmanship
  • Determine if assigned criteria was met
  • Determine if media mechanics were applied
  • Evaluate the level of creativity and originality in the project

With the effort and time put into such a project, students and teachers should take time to reflect on the outcome.

Other Digital Storytelling Links edit

Center for Digital Story Telling

Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling

The Elements of Digital Storybuilding

Digital Storytelling--Using Technology to Tell Stories

Examples of Digital Stories

Digital Storytelling Examples

Digital Storytelling Rubric Links edit

UMASS Digital Storytelling Rubric Example

Rubrics for Digital Storytelling

References edit

University of Houston, Initials. (2011). Educational uses of digital storytelling. Retrieved from