Storytelling is enjoying a resurgence of popularity in the modern age: Teachers are using it as a powerful teaching and learning tool. Traditional storytellers are finding their trade more popular than ever. The message is clear: storytelling is a powerful and highly adaptable form of communication that can be used in a multitude of ways for a vari­ety of purposes. So, what is the secret of good storytelling? Create a story that works, regardless of whether you are a traditional or digital storyteller; regardless of whether you are in business, education, art or simply enjoy telling stories for friends
and family.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, think about how effective your instruc­tion can be when students include motion and emotion in their work.On this page you can find information on planning, tools, examples and rubrics as well as important copyright information to help you create valuable learning op­portunities through your students’ own stories.

But before rummaging around the toolbox, have you thought about the story you want to tell? Is your story idea or presentation idea outlined, developed? Create a storyboard, do not rely on making it up as you go! You can think about these things as you are planning:

The Process

The Story

  • Who is your audience?
  • What is the message that you wish to convey to your audience?
  • What is the goal of your project?

Try a Prompt

So if you are stuck for ideas, here are some prompts:

Think short, and be sure to choose something that you can easily find or create media to go along with.

Here is a great example of a prompt outline from Alan Levine's wikispace 50 ways to tell a digital story...
So, let's say I try the question on "Where is a place in the world you'd like to visit?". This is how I might sketch out my story as an outline.
  • I've never been to Africa, but wish to go on a safari
  • One day I will fly to say, Kenya, and say head out to the bush country, with a set of trusty guides
  • I will see elephants up close
  • We will have a close call with a lion
  • The nights will bring campfires, stories, and camaraderie
  • As I return home, I begin to wonder about the own wilderness in my own land, and if I appreciate it as much as a strange land.

Start with a Visual

Some people need something visual for inspiration, so another way to get started is to find an image that affects you in some way and build a story around it. A great place to start is the flickr creative commons collection:

Find the Media

It is important to think about how your selection of media: Text, Images, Video and Music affect the story you are trying to tell.
Information on finding images online

The Animations

Kids can tend to get carried away with animations and transitions. Be sure to stress not over using these tools in your instruction.

Web2.0 Tools

Online tools for Digital Storytelling
Not long ago producing multimedia/digital content required expensive equipment and technical expertise. Today’s storytellers can create compelling content with nothing more than a web browser. Here are some of my favorite web2.0 tools that can help students bring curriculum to life. Quickly create your story using one of many free web2.0 tools.

Slideshow Tools

"Slide lets you use photos and other digital content to publish and discover the people and things that matter to you." It has a good library of templates, backgrounds, effects but you can also upload your own. You can add music from library the slide library, but you can't use your own audio.
Check out this great

Visit Alan Levine's CogDogRoo Wikispace for even MORE example and to see how he used 50 Tools for telling the same digital story.


Below is a list of workshops I have conducted on Digital Storytelling

Norristown Area School District Tech Flex Day: February 28, 2009
50 Ways to tell a Story The Web 2.0 Way

2008 Keystone Summit
50 Ways to tell a Story The Web 2.0 Way

2007 Keystone Summit: Tuesday, July 17th 3:15
Tell me YOUR Story: The Role of Digital Storytelling in Education

2006 Keystone Summit: August 6th - 10th, 2006
Movies at a Click

Upper Merion Area School District Summer Worskhops
Digital Storytelling with Photo Story