As the name implies, digital storytelling is the process of telling a story through digital means. A digital story is created by combining images, videos, voice recordings and music into a short (ideally 3-5 minute) video that has the potential to communicate a message on a more personal and powerful level. One of the strengths of this process is that digital stories can be produced through a variety of programs and easily shared through platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo.
The Teaching, Learning and Professional Development Center and the Office of the Provost recognizes that digital storytelling can be a powerful and affective learning tool for the distribution and synthesis of information as well as a repository for future discussion and study. While we recognize that digital storytelling is not for everyone, as we focus on the many ways we communicate, we want to provide faculty and students with another option and means of expression.
On this webpage we hope to provide you with some examples of digital stories created by Texas Tech faculty and graduate students as well as examples from other universities. These stories were designed for various purposes and we hope you will find them inspirational as you consider ways that digital storytelling might be integrated into your own classroom.
How can I use digital storytelling in the classroom?
Digital stories can be used effectively as a means to convey content and examples, provide transitions and/or connections between topics, summarize or synthesize lessons, and initiate discussion. This can be a great way for faculty who teach multiple sections or who teach a course repeatedly to ensure that examples/explanations/etc. are being communicated consistently to all students or it might simply be a way to change-up or update a standard lecture.
Digital stories can also provide students with an opportunity to think differently about traditional projects and assignments as they are asked to research and report on a topic, synthesize information, compare topics, create stories, etc. The practice of creating a digital story utilizes and enhances students' content knowledge, critical and creative thinking skills, communication skills, ability to ask and answer questions, as well as their ability to effectively tell a story. Faculty who have used digital storytelling in language classes also indicate that in addition to helping with language development, the process provides opportunities for students to further develop cultural awareness and their own sense of identity as well as finding agency in the product they create.
Examples of DS at Texas Tech
MTEG by Jody Roginson
Processes & Surprises in Digital Storytelling by Idoia Elola, Paola Guerrero, Ana Padial, Josh Prada
It Made a Difference by Karen Alexander
Examples of DS at other colleges and universities
Examples of digital storytelling assignments
Additional resources on how to use digital storytelling in the classroom:
- University of Maryland, Baltimore County - Digital Stories in the Classroom: Profiles from UMBC's Community of Practice
- University of Houston - Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling
How do I create a digital story?
- Get Started with Digital Storytelling (University of Houston)
- The 7 Elements of Digital Storytelling (University of Houston)
- 7 Elements in 4 Minutes (Paul Iwancio)
- Martin Springborg
What technology should I use?
Where can students find media to use for their stories?
How do I assess a digital story?
Assessment – UH