Digitial Storytelling

Update: I have created a new Wiki that houses many of my digital storytelling resources. It can be accessed at: http://digitalwriting.wikispaces.com

Handouts -


This course will introduce Digital Storytelling. The power of this medium comes from sharing knowledge, feelings, opinions and experience. Digital stories allow students the opportunity to display these understandings using the media of today.

Teachers who bring digital storytelling into the classroom are discovering what makes this vehicle for expression worth the effort. They watch students gain proficiency in writing and research, visual literacy, critical thinking, and collaboration. They see students take part in a range of learning styles. Of course, they also see students make authentic use of technology. Sometimes, they even hear students discover the power of their own voice.

Successful implementation of this medium in the classroom has provided the following feedback:

  • Students are engaged. They are excited about writing
  • Students proofread their work because they know it is going to be published.
  • Students use better vocabulary. Hearing their writing narrated encourages them to improve their word selection.
  • Visual and auditory learners experience success in writing and comprehension.
  • Promotes collaboration among studens as well as the sharing of knowledge between group members.
  • Promotes creativity and innovation which are 21st century skills.
  • Develops media literacy

What is the goal? What is the process?

  • Step 1 - Writing
  • Step 2 - Develop a Script
  • Step 3 - Storyboard
  • Step 4 - Find Resources
  • Step 5 - Create your Story
  • Step 6 - Share your Story

What are the Parts of a Story?

  • Voice
  • Images
  • Music
  • Video


1. Introduction to Digital Stories. Instructor will display samples.
2. Introduction to MS Photostory.
3. Mini-Lesson on Copyright
4. Mini Lesson on Citing sources (Images, text)
5. Introduction to Windows Movie Maker
6. Introduction to the Steps in developing a digital story.
7. Selection of Topics (controversial issue, global issue, subject area topic)
8. Introduction to Narration and editing.
9. How to organize information and compile it in your story
10. How to produce the story


1. Digital Story Rubric
2. Rubrics for Storyboard and Movie
3. Digital Media Scoring Guides - a wizard to create a rubric based on the type of story.
4. Rubric Example
5. Rubistar for Teachers - Create and share rubrics

The Steps to Create a Digital Story



  • The script is a breakdown of the major components of the story.
  • It is the narration.
  • Images are used to fill in the remaining parts of the story.
  • The goal is here is that the images are used to complete the story or add depth to it rather then being used as fillers.

  • This step organizes the movie.
  • Students organize their script and brainstorm images to include. They may draw images.

Finding Resources

Create the Story

Photo Story 3 (downloadable program) This free stand alone program from Microsoft for Windows XP offers a convenient way to create impressive multi-media slide shows with digital images. The step-by-step and wizard-driven process for creating slide-shows is straightforward and extremely easy to use. You simply import the photos or other images that you wish to use, then add text, special effects, audio narration, transitions, and music as appropriate.
There are two features of Photo Story 3 that stand out. First, there is the way the program pans each image to bring it to life and add dramatic effect. Then there is the music. You can import sound clips and/or record narration to accompany your show. Or, you can use Photo Story 3 to “create” your own musical sound track from a wide range of instrumentation, styles and moods. I’m not a musician, let alone a composer, so I’m really impressed with this.

**Mixbook** is one of a growing number of online applications that facilitate the creative sharing of digital images. Mixbook is different than most because of its book-like format, and because of its convenient options for including text. With this application, you can create books of up to at least 100 pages. Mixbooks can be created and shared online for free, but with Mixbook you also have the option of purchasing a hard copy of your book. Paper Mixbooks can now be shipped anywhere in the world.I believe there are many occasions in the “classroom” when it would be powerfully motivating to be working toward the creation of an actual book. I think this might be especially appropriate for collaborative projects involving either entire classes or small groups. For example, a class might like to work together to create a “year in review” book, a special report on a class field trip, or even an anthology of student poetry.
For classroom use, I think it is especially helpful that any Mixbook page may contain images and/or text. Pages may contain only text, only images, or almost any imaginable combination of text and images. This allows for tremendous flexibility in presenting projects of all kinds.

Windows Movie Maker - This software is a part of MS windows. It allows for the editing and compiling of video clips to create a movie. You can also add images, narration, music, transitions and effects

Blabberize http://www.blabberize.com/ Upload a picture of a frontal view of a face, mark the key points of the mouth, and record the audio. It creates a simple animation of the mouth moving to the sound of the voice. Example: Student uploads a picture of Abe Lincoln and recites a speech or conducts an interview.

Glogster - www.glogster.com - Import image, audio, video, or link from YouTube, URL, etc. Tools also for recording audio/video. Create "glogs" or posters with media, text tools, frames for media, layer media. Large canvas (often too big to embed in blog)

Animoto - www.animoto.com - Turn your photos & videos into pure amazing. Animoto automatically produces beautifully orchestrated, completely unique video pieces from your photos, video clips and music. Fast, free and shockingly easy.

Stupeflix - http://www.stupeflix.com/ - Create a movie online and share it from your browser. No sign-up required. This is a great tool for students to use at home.

MYBYTES - On this site you can create your own music, assign it usage rights and download as an MP3. These audio tracks can be used in digital stories. http://www.mybytes.com/index.html

Storybird - www.storybird.com -This is a great site that allows students from grade 2+ to create a story with illustrations. The teacher can create a fully managed account for each student. The students create the illustrations and add text to the story. The result is a page turning story book that is available online.

Story Jumper - www.storyjumper.com - This site allows teachers and students to create page turning, illustrated children books. The site has a classroom feature that allows a teacher to create and manage student accounts. Students can select from various backgrounds, characters, props and images. The story books can be up to 16 pages and is viewable online. Parents have the option of ordering the finished book as a hardcover book for a fee.

Voki - www.voki.com - This site allows for the creation of a talking avatar. You can select from a variety of avatars or make your own. Students or teachers may record narration for the avatar by either typing text, speaking in a microphone or calling it in on a phone. The avatar can be embedded in a website, blog, or wiki. This is a very creative way to engage students, deliver content and develop oral assessments.

Share Your Story


Grade 8 Jefferson Middle School

Students will create a music video which must include images, quotes, music, and analysis of lyrics. The video presentation must illustrate connections between the lyrics of the song and era of American History.

Ms. Ciliento & Mr. Papa
The Cell
9/11 Remix
I Believe
One at a Time
Skylines and Turnstiles
Lift Me Up
When I'm Gone
Open Your Eyes
Hero of War
Peace Sells

Music Video Example Grade 8 - http://www.edmestoncentralschool.net/uploads/jchase/musicvideotoo.htm
Grade 1-2 Examples - http://blogs.jefftwp.org/wordpress/briggsschoolproductions
Grade 1-2 Examples - http://blogs.jefftwp.org/wordpress/cozylakeschoolproductions
Grade 3-5 Examples - http://blogs.jefftwp.org/wordpress/whiterockproductions

Island Movie Contest - http://islandmovie.k12.hi.us/2008/movies.htm
Mabry - http://mabryonline.org/archives/2007/04/2007_film_festi.html

Math Examples:
Math Story - An IDU unit in Jefferson Township Schools (math and la) The movie was designed as a lesson for younger students. This example is a movie describing composite numbers. MS photostory and MS paint were used. Grade 6.
Solving Dinner Time Problems with Fractions - A student made video.
Math Tutorials Made by Middle School kids - http://www.mathtrain.tv/
Mathcasts- http://www.mathcasts.org/ - Learn how to solve math problems.
Math - http://www.springfield.k12.il.us/movie2/geometry/index.html
*Probablity and Statistics - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1emX7jukq0
*Standard Deviation and Math - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLTSenQotqw
*Mean Median and Mode - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uydzT_WiRz4
*Math and Music - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhcPXP3B68c

General Examples:
50 Examples of the same story using 50 different tools - http://cogdogroo.wikispaces.com/Dominoe+50+Ways
*Becoming a Teacher: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0QpoQqnBIk
MS Photostory - Primary Examples - http://www.greece.k12.ny.us/task/photostory/ps3demos.htm

Lesson Plan Ideas

A Great List of Digital Storytelling Ideas by Subject

Poetry Stories - http://www.techlearning.com/story/showArticle.php?articleID=16400304
Activity Ideas for Song and Poetry - http://www.loc.gov/teachers/lyrical/ideas
Creating a poetry digital story about your life - http://www.lessonplanspage.com/LACISSSciencePersonalPoemPhotoStory912.htm
Apple Education Poetry Movies - http://edcommunity.apple.com/ali/story.php?itemID=9709
Digital Storytelling Lesson Ideas


Rubric Example

Primary Sources

Great Collection from a Fellow Educator
Wikipedia list of controversial issues: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:List_of_controversial_issues
Alphabetical list of controversial issues - http://www.accd.edu/PAC/LRC/issues.htm
Listing of Pro / Con Topics www.procon.org



http://commons.wikimedia.org -- A wiki of free to use pictures.

http://www.flikr.com - A photo sharing website. Use the advanced search options to search for creative commons pictures.
Creative Commons Multimedia Search - http://search.creativecommons.org