Digital Storytelling is a versatile methodology that supports teachers to integrate technology into learning and encourages students to address gaps in their understanding, think more deeply about a specific topic, foster active learning and become creative storytellers.
Students are guided in a 5 steps process (Briefing, Writing, Recording, Editing, Sharing) to make their own digital stories, starting from biographies, histories, visit to heritage sites.
Courses: This approach can be applied in a wide range of courses / subjects such as:
- Design and technology (ICT)
- Art and design
- PSHE (personal, social and health education)
Participants: we suggest to have one facilitator / teacher for a group of 8 to 10 students
Plan of activities: There are several methods by which to conduct Digital Storytelling activities but generally speaking the DS process follows the path illustrated below:
Often known as the gathering, where potential storytellers are introduced to the concepts, processes and some examples of DS. This is a chance for storytellers to mix with each other and with their trainers.
Normally the writing process starts with a ‘storytelling circle’. This session is designed to bond storytellers as a group and to tease out of them their innate powers of storytelling. The storytelling circle can be tailored to suit variable time slots between 2 and 4 hours. The ultimate goal is to get scripts drafted and finalised ready for voice recording.
This is the point at which the technical aspects of DS begin. Both the technical quality and the ‘feel’ of the voice recording are vital to the success of a DS. Some skill and judgment is required by the trainer to pick the right room and to settle the storyteller ready for the recording. Included in the ‘recording’ phase is the capturing of images and the gathering of any music track or sound effects.
There are several forms of editing required to produce a DS:
• the recorded voiceover track needs to be gapped and mistakes removed
• photographs need to be edited, especially if they have been scanned
• the edited soundtrack, edited photos and titles are combined to create an edit of the DS.
It is easy to underestimate the amount of work that goes into an edit. It’s predominantly a technical process but the creative aspects are crucial to the production of a successful story. Once the edit is finished, the DS is exported as a completed movie file, for sharing.
Storytelling is a multidirectional process, so every story should be shared. Three ways to share stories are:
• Burn a DVD and show family and friends
• Put them on a website, like Vimeo or YouTube
• Hold a screening event
- Computers w/Web access
- Tools for audio editing (see for example Audacity)
- Tools for video editing (see for example WeVideo)
Our experience: The School of the Arts, English and Drama at Loughborough University is involved in a range of projects which explore the role of storytelling in today’s digital world. Our experience suggests that the role of emotion in the digital storytelling process is central to the promotion of ‘embodiment’, a specific form of knowledge that exists in ‘the telling of stories with emotional meaning’. Furthermore, as we are utilising technologies in what is generally a ‘seven-steps’ narrative process (Lambert, 2010), we are keen to explore the process of transformation from data to information, and then to a form of knowledge which has a specific focus on the ‘sharing’ phase: a moment when students’ voices, especially the voices of ‘quieter students who do not speak up so readily in class’ may be amplified (Lowenthal 2009). We propose, therefore, that digital storytelling can generate and facilitate a new kind of knowledge, especially when considering the distance between the contemporary learner and the historic object or event. For this, the ability to identify and differentiate between the five dimensions of historical learning (time, characters, representation, location, involvement) are important, and an opportunity to achieve this is presented in practice-based storytelling workshops where we can explore how people distinguish these dimensions differently. For this reason, we are arguing that digital storytelling enables us to share different perspectives, and collectively create a new knowledge. ‘Storytelling’ relates to a form of teaching where narratives and experiences are shared to develop knowledge. In development, digital storytelling brings a new aspect to this learning through the potential to include media forms in that process. If we consider the centrality of interaction, with the assumption that ‘storytelling’ and ‘story-listening’ have equal ‘status’ in the process, then it’s important to acknowledge that during the digital storytelling process the audience is never passive. Listeners are always involved in a sort of feedback-loop that is part of the digital storytelling approach, resulting in mutual learning between the creator of the story and the spectator.
* Part of this content has been adapted from the “DS guide training manual on EU-enlargement topics” for the final publication of the European funded “DeTales” project (http://www.detales.net/wp/)
‘Digital Storytelling’ e’ una metodologia versatile che puo’ aiutare gli insegnanti a integrare le tecnologie nel processo di apprendimento e incoraggia gli studenti a colmare lacune nella loro comprensione, a riflettere maggiormente su un argomento specifico, a rafforzare l’apprendimento attivo e a diventare creativi storyteller.
Gli studenti sono guidati in un processo che viene distinto in 5 fasi (Briefing, Writing, Recording, Editing, Sharing) per creare la propria storia digitale, partendo da biografie, lezioni di storia, visite a siti culturali o musei.