Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Finding Your Story

Digital storytelling  


“Digital Storytelling is 

the modern expression of the ancient art of storytelling. Digital stories derive their power by weaving

 images, music, narrative and voice together, thereby giving deep dimension and vivid color to characters, situations, experiences, and insights.”
- Leslie Rule, Digital Storytelling Association


Photography and video are two forms of the visual arts providing potential to be expressive, artful and valid forms of communication.  As a standalone, an image should tell its story without words or explanation and a well-crafted video should do the same.  To create or view a digital story, is to see the power of photography, video and words come.  To evoke emotion, passion, compassion, and thought is to effectively create a digital story. 

According to Chinese proverb, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”  Begin to combine imagery and words and you begin the journey of digital storytelling.  Merging of music, narration, and visuals is the essence of digital storytelling.

How does one find “their story”?

Joe Lambert, founder of the Center for Digital Storytelling, has seven elements to creating a story’s structure and design.

1.   Point (of View)

2.   Dramatic Question

3.   Emotional Content

4.   The Gift of Your Voice

5.   The Power of the Soundtrack

6.   Economy

7.   Pacing


Click the ELI 2008 image for tips and resources by created by Gail Matthews-DeNatale, 
Ph.D.Associate Director of Academic Technology Simmons CollegeBoston, MACopyright 2008 

Educause, a non-profit organization of educators “whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology,” publishes the “7things you should know about….” series.  Their document on digital storytelling has the seven basics broken down into:

  • What is it?
  • Who’s doing it?
  • How does it work? 
  • Why is it significant?   
  • What are the downsides?       
  • Where is it going? 
  • What are the implications for teaching and learning?

In my last blog I said stay tuned to learn more about digital storytelling and my photography for an educational CD project in West Africa and a virtual reality project in the Middle Eas

Digital storytelling, an interactive tool for promoting creativity, coexistence, and critical thinking, can be integrated into educational activities in a variety of settings.  I have contributed to the creation of curricular materials that helped develop educational content for women scientists in West Africa, teenagers in the Middle East, and k-20 students in the United States.

For more than ten years, I have been using my talent as a videographer, photographer, qtvr artist, and instructional designe to create projects that integrate the elements of digital storytelling within instructional content. 

International projects have taken my teams to the villages of West Africa where we worked with women scientists and to the Middle East region where we worked with teenagers on conflict resolution topics. 

As an instructional designer, I have helped to create learning experiences that incorporate storytelling, Township Theatre, poetry, song, QTVR technology, photography and art. Designing and developing projects that are interactive learning experiences, both engaging and educational, is an incredibly fulfilling career.


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