The Art of Digital Storytelling


After a story is finished, it should be remembered for its soul, not the bells and whistles of technology. Bernajean Porter, DigiTales: The Art of Telling Digital Stories.


DigiTales_campfire.jpgGather round the campfires as the ancient art of storytelling is being revived into an emerging communication mode called digital storytelling! Stories are as old as humans and more important than ever for our minds, spirits and human progress. Telling stories together about things that really matter has an extraordinary effect on people even more so when their digital storytelling is distributed quite literally to a world community through the World Wide Web. What an experience to guide a new generation into becoming 21st Century StoryKeepers™ knowing their personal narratives will endure for others long after the fires die down! By telling thoughtful stories, we clarify our own thinking, experiences and understandings in order to share it with others. Digital Storytelling has become a vehicle for mastering multiple 21st century skills considered essential for the modern workplace. Participants will be introduced to the joy, processes, elements of good storytelling, and technical tools, along with viewing memorable examples from kids of all ages creating digital storytelling of bringing together voice, graphics, animation, and sound in artful ways.

Explore TYPES of Communication for Storytelling

  • Short Stories
  • Myths and Legends
  • DocuDramas
  • Describe and Conclude
  • Public Service Announcements

Learning Objectives


Storytelling as a dynamic communication mode engages many skills and technologies. This topic can be delivered as a session for awareness; one (1) day workshops for understanding; or be extended to either 2 day or 3-5 immersive camp days for hands-on crafting your own digital storytelling project while learning processes, digital tools and assessment. An Artist-in-Residence Program is also available.

  • What distinguishes digital stories and photo essays from digital storytelling?
  • What is the role of storytelling as a dynamic communication form for shaping data into enduring understandings?
  • How do we define and apply the "Take Six: Elements of a Good Storytelling?"
  • What are the Classroom Connections with Digital Storytelling?
  • What coaching strategies can teacher use as critical friend feedback for polishing content from good into great?
  • What are "Baker’s Dozen" skills and other national standards developed through storymaking?
  • What content-building steps would guide students to develop rigor in their narratives or storylines?
  • What media-making steps would guide students to create effective craftsmanship?
  • What digital tools, technical tips, and classroom management strategies will ensure GREAT projects?



Choose Your Own Chapter Topics ~ Mix and Match for Time, Outcomes and Audience Needs

All presentations and workshops are interactive but hands-on, make-your-own digital storytelling projects require at least two days for immersive experiences. While other dynamic digital storytelling based workshops can be viewed from navigation bar at the left, the options for introducing basic understanding of digital storytelling are listed below based on time and outcomes wanted for participants. Mix and match the following chapter "topics" to best suit interests, time durations and audience needs. Customized proposals available!
  • One-hour Presentations / Sessions
  • Half-Day Sessions
  • One-Day Workshop
  • Two-Day Camps ~ more information on hosting Digitales Camps
  • Three-Five Day Camps ` more information on hosting Digitales Camps


Chapter One: Digital Storytelling or Not

Stories are as old as people and as important. Through the appropriate use of multimedia tools, teachers can help students deepen their understanding of content as well as increase the visual literacy and communication skills. It is the act of telling our personal story of what we know and understand from an event or topic that provides a "sense-making" process enabling our brains to organize a myriad of factoids while also increasing “sticking power.” Participants will understand how digital storytelling differs from digital stories, photo essays and film-making along with practicing the art of incorporating the Take Six: Elements of Good Digital Storytelling in narratives and visual storytelling.

Chapter Two: Making Classroom Connections with Digital Storytelling

Participants will experience using the mode of digital storytelling with TYPES of communication, understanding the scope of skills identified by the Baker's Dozen as well as state and national standards addressed, the practice of coaching student's developing effective narrative content (meaning-making) before moving into using technology tools (media-making.)

Chapter Three: The Craftsmanship of Digital Storytelling

"The medium is the message" is a phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan. Starting with worthy content is a non-negotiable. However as authors begin their media-making, an understanding is needed to appreciate that each technology medium not only shapes the experience of the message, but also has its own unique grammar and fluency that can unleashes its unique communication power IF mastered. Participants will understand the seven essential steps to creating exemplar multimedia communication useful for ANY media-making project, review tool options along with incorporating classroom management strategies needed to ensure GREAT projects.

Chapter Three: Becoming StoryKeepers

Tell your stories, make them true. If they endure, so will you. ~ James Keller

Participants will learn their way through story-making from start to finish while crafting their own digital storytelling project. The process of developing their own narrative –deeply experiencing the coaching process and storyboarding for an authentic purpose – along with the personal enchantment of living through their own learning curves prepares participants to effectively lead others in reading/writing all forms of multimedia. Participants will be fully ready to facilitate others in the new communication literacies that are less about mastering technical skills than about being able to design information that artfully uses sound, images, transitions and special effects in ways that dance ideas together into illuminated understandings.