When is it a digital story?

In a previous blog post, I wanted to know if storyboarding takes away from creativity. Feel free to read here if you missed it. I got varying responses but it has been on my mind. I have moved forward as does my digital story for #etmooc. I’m using goanimate.com and it’s fun. I think I picked a topic that is well quite revealing and quite personal so I’m never sure how much to add and where it ends. I’ve changed my storyboard several times so I’m starting to wonder if I should just do something made up? I guess we will all find out. Moving on, I have been reflecting a lot on the concept and definition of digital storytelling.

Alec Couros was kind enough to send me a link for Ira Glass on Storytelling. It was the first movie in a series and of 4 which I highly recommend. It discusses having an antedote ( a sequence that keeps people interested) and a moment of reflection, the point of the story. My question lies in do all digital stories have to true point? Is it OK, as I have been teaching it for a while, to just have a perspective or a sequence that is well predictable? As the technology educator, do I stick to the literary steps I know make up a good story or as a digital technology teacher, am I exempt??

I participated in the great session on digital storytelling by Alan Levine, find here it the #etmooc archives. He also discusses having a hook, “entice me” into your story, yet he also introduced us to “how to tell a story through flickr” where pictures appeared and the participants made up a few sentences on the pictures surrounding the topic “connections”. When we did this were we participating in true digital storytelling or were we just having fun?? I again have taught the same but I feel like I’m being hypocritical to the literacy aspect of a true story.

I’ll explain, I teach Scratch Programming by MIT, and each story must indeed have a full storyboard, a hook, an antedote and a good conclusion. These stories vary but feel free to take a look at one of the stories HERE.

I also teach digital photography sometimes and I have my students do what we call “stories” from a series of pictures. I have embedded one here. Yes it is mine.

See it is cute, but it really is sentences that seemed appropriate for the picture. Does it tell a story?

Last year, I worked on some integration projects with voicethread and students decided to do their essay’s on planets in voicethread. Again emebedded below, and begs the question as they are truly giving us facts, are they not telling a story?? It took a lot of storyboarding and collaboration for the students to bring it all together in a logical manner.

So do we stick to the steps of digital stories via literacy practices everytime? Do we hold to the storyboards, the hook , the antedont and the climax and ending or do we in the 21st century decide that we need a better definition for digital stories?