When using a storyline approach to education, it is important to reify – make a product – as a concrete result of the learning process. A digital story can be a very efficient reification, individually as well as for a group.
Digital Storytelling is the modern expression of the ancient art of telling stories. Digital stories derive their power by weaving images, music, narrative and voice together, thereby giving another dimension and vivid color to characters, situations, experiences, and insights. Tell your story now digitall (Leslie Rule).
My experience so far indicates that students or workshop participants become very eager and active once they get the grip on the technology involved and understand the approach to storytelling. Digital storytelling engages; the participants take initiative themselves, they quickly learn to assess and evaluate each other’s as well as own contributions critically. When working in groups they learn by dialogue and by trying out. They do research for a clearly defined task. They keep on doing critical editing until they are all content and proud of the product.
The Seven Elements of Digital Storytelling
A digital story as a rule has seven parts:
- Point of View – what is the perspective of the author?
- A Dramatic Question – a question that will be answered by the end of the story.
- Emotional Content – serious issues that speak to us in a personal and powerful way.
- The Gift of your Voice – a way to personalize the story to help the audience understand the context.
- The Power of the Soundtrack – music or other sounds that support the storyline.
- Economy – simply put, using just enough content to tell the story without overloading the viewer with too much information.
- Pacing – related to Economy, but specifically deals with how slowly or quickly the story progresses.
Dramatic, funny, and original storytelling can astonish us, challenge us, and push us to think anew about addressing climate challenges.
Some points that might be worth considering or avoiding when you construct your stories: