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Telling stories digitally

May 10, 2010

Digital storytelling involves ordinary people using basic technological tools to tell real-life personal stories. The best known format of digital story includes an audio recording, still images, and a musical soundtrack. The media elements are mixed with friendly software, like iMovie or MovieMaker, to produce a video that runs 2-5 minutes.

It’s not all about technology. A central part of the exercise is carefully writing an original script. I suspect that for many people the problem is not having enough to write about, it’s keeping the story short.

Digital storytelling has been used successfully at many levels, and the content can range from an open-ended personal narrative to a directed academic exercise. It can be a viable alternative to term papers and PowerPoint presentations as a way for students to report on what they have learned. There’s even a Digital Storytelling Program at Ohio State that helps academics share their passion for teaching and research.

The Center for Digital Storytelling in Berkeley, CA is the main hub of activity. They offer regular workshops, their website has a great set of resources, and the group recently published the second edition of a book on the topic.

Learn more:

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