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Sherry A. Hegstrom

Digital Storytelling – a great way to Integrate Technology in the Curriculum

This course is designed to provide K-12 educators with in-depth, hands-on experiences with multimedia technology and the power it brings to student learning. Educators will discover how multimedia tools enhance project-based learning and authentic assessment while producing a digital story based on an integrated curriculum theme; using computers, information technology, and telecommunications for powerful teaching and assessment of student work; and creating a project through teamwork with new technologies. As educators explore the significance of student-centered learning and teacher as coach, they will see how these new paradigms for teaching connect to their classrooms and schools. Have you ever heard of Alice or MIT”s Scratch Programming. Each of these programming languages are free and easy to use. The benefit, both allow or encourage digital storytelling that will integrate math and Language arts and Literacy standards.


As defined by Alan Levine in his blog,,"
the media is not the story. The story is what is conveyed to the media. In this sense can we say that technology has a bad effect here in the sense that we tend to focus on the digital effects of pictures, sounds, movies etc on our snses than the real value of the story?. Technology can be used to enhance the value of something not to influence the viewer to agree with the author's viewpoint or to incite people to do something without using their own will. Anything in life has its good and bad aspect. So one has to use any tool wisely exploiting the positive aspects for everyone not the positive ones beneficial to a few nor the negative aspect detrimental to everybody or the vast majority of people.". That is the true aspect of this course, let's get a great story and then infuse it with digital media.

Quoted from: Yves Simon
Digital story can have many educational uses as story in general. Digital story can be used to help students understand abstract concepts. In a 5th grade science class a teacher uses a digital story to explain the anatomy of the eye. Digital story using several media such as pictures, sounds, etc can be used to describe many scientific concepts. In this sense many scientific documentaries use sdigital story to explain different concepts to the public. Digital stories can be adapted to different learning styles: visual.auditory, kinesthesic.etc. Educators can use it to introduce any content. Since digital story has been used in class through documentary movies students can learn to make their own digital documentary or story to show their understanding of something learned in class. But here power of choice should be given because educaion has been viewed too dogmatic. If you don't do something exactly as it is said to be done it is not good. An educator might tend for example to tell students to use pictures.sounds, etc to represent something learned in class. But some students might not have skills in all the media and may be more skilled in presenting something using text and pictures. Their work should be accepted as long as long as the media they used served as vehicles of transmission of their work, Several literacy skills can be developed in using digital story telling. These include research skills, writing skills and organization skills. Technology skils can also be developed with the ability of using some media devices and some multimedia authoring software. Presentation skills, interviewing and problem solving skills can thrive through the use of digital story teeling. Historical events can be analyzed from a personal and present viewpoint using digital storytelling. Stories have been part of human life since man's existence. Now we might be more aware of it. Let's use it to our advantage."

Tools to Use/Guide thanks to Alan Levine at : for the following resources:

Digital media:

  1. ImageLoop
  2. PhotoPeach
  3. Picassa
  4. RockYou
  5. Slide
  6. SlideFlickr
  7. Slideoo
  8. Slideroll
  9. Tar Heel Reader
  10. Tikatok
  11. VoiceThread
  12. Vuvox

  1. Kerpoof
  2. Mixbook
  3. Tar Heel Reader
  4. Tikatok
  5. ToonDoo

  1. OurStory
  2. xtimeline

  1. bubblr
  2. ComicSketch
  3. gnomz
  4. Kerpoof
  5. PikiStrips
  6. Pixton
  7. ToonDoo

Our Learning goals; at the end of the course the student should be able to:

• Define and apply the Take Six: Elements of a Good Story

• Understand the power of searching for the story’s “So What”

• Understand the role of Story Making as a communication form moving students from data to enduring understandings

• Define the Baker’s Dozen Skills developed through Story Making

• Define the seven steps of Story Making for all multimedia products

• Coach GREAT narratives and GREAT voiceovers

• Understand managing a multi-task learning environment

• Experience virtual worlds and social networking tools as new landscapes for learning


a. Basic Operations and Concepts

b. Social, Ethical and Human Issues

c. Technology Productivity Tools

d. Technology Communication Tools


• There are four important prerequisites for this course. First, you must have access to a computer where you can install and run Second Life. Second Life requires a robust computer and Internet connection Speed. Please check and test minimum system requirements out before you register and begin this course.

• Second, you must be available for bi-weekly meetings in Second Life. While there will be asynchronously activities that you can engage with on your own time, the course “inworld” synchronous meetings take place at specific times with attendance essential for you and your course mates to have successful experiences that will also influence grades.

• Installation and access to MIT’s Scratch Program.

All students will be required to blog on the topic's for the week. See guidelines and details for blog posts and comments.

Week 1

• Visit and take notes for your blog at

o Learning Second Life tools / processes for on-line learning *

o Friend-ing coursemates and joining SL Learning Groups *

o Nesting in TreeHouse Dorm *

o Learning to navigate AtlantisSeekers.NING.Com

o Learning to use VoiceThread

Week 2:
Learning Practice: Reviewing and reflecting on course requirements

o Learning Practice: Posting introduction to coursemates (Ning Blog)

o Learning Practice: Posting reflections on personal goals (Ning Blog)

o Learning Practice: Reading Tech4Learning’s article “The Art of Storytelling”


• Managing a multi-task learning environment (presentation + chat room)

• Questions to think and blog about:

• Now that we have our personal spaces, (wiki’s, Moodle) what will they look like?

What functionality do they need? Why?

• Now that you have your platform, what are you going to use it for? *What is it you are

interested in narrating? What will be the frame/topic/motivation for your ongoing


• How might this personal space be understood as an ongoing act of digital storytelling?

Week 3: Web 2.0 Storytelling

• What is Web 2.0?

• What is Web 2.0 Storytelling?

• Read Tim O'Reilly's defining essay "What is Web 2.0?"

• Read Bryan Alexander and Alan Levine's "Web 2.0 Storytelling: The Emergence of a New Genre"

• Explore and narrate stories in at least three applications from Alan Levine's 50 Ways to Tell a Digital Story site

• Or

• Visit Download and look thru the guide. How can this program help

with digital storytelling?

Week 4: Storytelling with Digital Media

• Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics, the "A Film in Six Frames" assignment

and general discussion of the elements of storytelling for digital media.

• Go over media on for storyboards and persuasion maps.

• Read Article “Digital Storytelling Across the Curriculum”

o Post observations to blog on Moodle.

Week 5: Digital Storytelling Projects

Rough draft of Digital Storytelling Semester long project due.

Discussion of projects.

Week 6: Digital Photography

• Digital Imagery, Flickr.

• Examples of Digital Storytelling with Images. ( free education site.

Week 7 Digital Audio

• Ira Glass's This American Life, Audacity overview.

• Experimenting with your own audio stories (online audacity directions)

• 3 – 5 minute podcast. Post to your wiki.

Week 8: Digital Audio & Video

• Examples of Digital Video Storytelling – View stories from several sites,

Scratch, Alice, etc..

• Create your own example (3 week project)

Week 9: Digital Audio & Video

• What is screen casting?

• Experiment with screen casting… Gimp, Jing

Week 10: Video games and ARGs

• What does Second Life have to have to teach us about narrative?

• Second life – Can you tell your story or create your story here?

Week 11: Presenting your story

• Final Digital Story due, using any medium that is web 2.0.

Week 12

• Reflections