Sharing Your Voice & Digital Storytelling

“To address the most important issue first: there is no such thing as digital storytelling. There’s only storytelling in the digital age. . .Digital is not the difficult part in digital storytelling. Storytelling is.” ~ Jasper Visser

Bella & Jules

After developing and facilitating a digital storytelling exploratory course for middle schoolers for nine years, I am rejoicing in the fact that digital tools have been getting easier and easier to use.  I began by using Pinnacle Studio on a standalone desktop PC–not connected to our SLOW school network.  I liked it but always ran into issues with rendering…crashing, taking FOREVER, formatting, etc.  Eventually, we bought Flip cameras and were able to also purchase Adobe Premiere Elements and a new, much faster desktop PC.  What a difference!  The only problem is that we only had one editing computer in the school and of course each of the groups of students I was working with needed that one computer at the same time.  This was always frustrating because I only had the students three times a week for 30 minutes each day.  I was eager to learn about new online editing tools and applications through #etmooc Topic 2 Digital Storytelling and took the opportunity to explore several of them, along with some other digital storytelling options, which I am sharing below.

Video using iMovie:

The video I created for the #etmooc project, “Bella & Jules,” is my first attempt at using iMovie.  I was inspired to give it a try by the Digital Storytelling for K12 webinar by Darren Kuropatwa and his unbelievable demonstration of creating a video, using iMovie, called “etmooc Beauty” during the webinar.  So, I filmed my granddogs playing, stripped the audio, found a piece of royalty free music, added some sound effects to key action, adjusted the audio to make the sound effects stand out, adjusted the sound effects file size, duplicated a couple clips and used slow motion to enhance them, and added popup messages.  I’ve done many of those things before, but not in iMovie.  From a review standpoint, iMovie doesn’t have the functionality that Pinnacle or Adobe Premiere Elements have, but does it really matter when you are working with students with such a limited amount of time?  Some students ask to use my movie editor before or after school or during their lunch periods, but some students don’t have that kind of time.  That’s why I wanted to explore some online movie editing applications.  I’m going to checkout PopUp Video and PopcornMaker in the future.

Six Word Stories

Love this idea to use with students at all grade levels.  It would be great to create a Six Word Story hub for students, which could be used to share learning, feelings, ideas, reflection, etc.  I chose the Six Word Story format using and comparing two digital storytelling tools to complete my #etmooc reflectionThe Six Word Stories hub could be open to your school, grade level, or globally!  My Six Word Stories:

Social learning–friends educating each other (adapted from Basil Yeaxlee, 1925). 
Social media–friends educating each other (adapted from Basil Yeaxlee, 1925).
Passionately curious educators inspire and engage.
Inspiring educators say, “Let’s find out!”

Six Songs of DebbieFuco:

“From your first song to your funeral song, what music makes you, you?  Handpick your tracks and help us uncover the music that matters most.”  I don’t know where I found out about this sort of storytelling site.  I thought it was through the #etmooc resources, but I can’t find who initially shared it.  It was an interesting exercise trying to pick songs that fit each stage of my life.  Ideal for middle school and high school students.  It might even work with faculty members as a way to explore different methods of digital storytelling.

Five Card Flickr Stories (Visualize): 

Loved playing this addictive game.  You could use this with students as young as 4th grade for all subject areas.  I really want to try this as a poetry writing exercise.  You could use the #etmooc Flickr images or have the students create a gallery themselves.  

Five Card Story: Evenings with ETMOOC an #etmooc story created by @debbiefuco

Spicy beverage, warm fire, ready to cuddle, connect and run!

flickr photo by cogdogblog

flickr photo by debbie.fucoloro

flickr photo by cogdogblog

flickr photo by mrsdkrebs

flickr photo by cogdogblog

Spicy beverage, warm fire, ready to cuddle, connect and run!
(I wish the 5 Card Story displayed horizontally like it does on the original site, grrrr!)

Storytelling is a way to share this human experience we are living, to document our time here on Earth.  The ability to digitize our stories makes storytelling much easier to share, whether with family, friends, colleagues, peers, or the world.  Sharing our stories gives us a voice.  Our voice can be negative or positive; defeating or inspiring.  Through our storytelling others might learn, laugh, cry, reflect, and/or become aware.  The possibilities are endless!

I’d love to hear all about your digital storytelling experiences!

  • What have you found works best with students?
  • Have you used any of the above mentioned methods?
  • Do you see other ways to use these tools?