Using Digital Stories
What are they and why use them?
Digital Storytelling Rubric (PDF Format)
For both faculty and students, digital stories are an interesting and powerful part of reflective practice. This digital form of expression can provide essential support in facilitating reflection while promoting creative thinking and building multimedia skills. A digital storytelling assignment can transform a standard writing assignment into an experiential adventure.
Digital Stories combine the elements of storytelling with multimedia components such as digital audio files, images, music and recorded narration. Usually 2 to 10 minutes in duration, the possibilities of what can be put into a digital story are endless. In fact, one can narrate something as personal as his or her goals and life motives or something as specific as course projects and assignments.
Types of Digital Stories
In general, Digital Storytelling is comprised of seven key features developed by the Center for Digital Storytelling (CDS) in Berkely, California. These are useful in that they provide a starting point in creating a digital story. These seven components are what typically make up a digital story.
Center for Digital Storytelling (CDS) Seven Elements of Digital Storytelling
1. Point of View
What is the main point of the story and what is the perspective of the author?
2. A Dramatic Question
A key question that keeps the viewer's attention and will be answered by the end of the story.
3. Emotional Content
Serious issues that come alive in a personal and powerful way and connects the story to the audience.
4. The Gift of Your Voice
A way to personalize the story to help the audience understand the context.
5. The Power of the Soundtrack
Music or other sounds that support and embellish the storyline.
Using just enough content to tell the story without overloading the viewer.
The rhythm of the story and how slowly or quickly it progresses.
Personal Narratives are a popular form of digital stories. These highlight various accounts of one's life. In designing a personal narrative, one can outline the struggles they face, the obstacles they wish to overcome, the goals and objectives they wish to achieve in the future, or reiterate a story about their lives and personal experiences. Simply put, digital stories can be used to describe who you are.
The benefits of personal narratives are plenty. In viewing personal narratives created by other individuals, students can discover the "unknown" side of a peer and diversify their understanding of the people that surround them. These, of course, can help individuals grow an appreciation for the people, the lifestyles, and cultures that exist their world.
Digital Storytelling Sites with Examples
- Center for Digital Storytelling
- Facebook's version of Digital Story Telling:
Here are some of our great examples of personal narrative ePortfolios at Stony Brook University:
- Harshdeep Banwait and Eda Gimenez:
- Arielle Dollinger: https://stonybrook.digication.com/arielledollinger/iMovie
- Brian Howard: https://stonybrook.digication.com/brian_howard/Digital_Story
- Addie Browning: https://stonybrook.digication.com/addie_browning/Digital_Story
- Emily Madsen:
Does it have to be a personal narrative? NO!
The Digital Story format can be used with projects and assignments that don't involve personal narratives. At Stony Brook, the STEM disciplines are finding a use for this multimodal format. Suddenly, a flat research paper takes on dimension and becomes experiencial.