Storytelling – First Thoughts

What first comes to mind when I think of storytelling is the oral storytelling tradition.  I think of Icelandic sagas, nursery rhymes, fairy tails, myths, and stories that get passed from generation to generation orally.  I tend also to think of stories as having a narrative.

Next I think of books, both textual and picture books.  I think storytelling is very much associated with children, not because it is primarily for children but because it is such a basic part of childhood and integral to human development.

Beyond the oral and text traditions, there are many other ways to tell stories – paintings, images, moving images, sculptures, collections of items.  It is woven through the entire human experience.

Opening segment from Jackanory television programme

A few story-telling experiences stand out in my memory.  I don’t remember being read to as a very young child, but I do remember having some longer books read to me that spanned several nights.  These included the Paddington Bear books, A Secret Garden and Enid Blyton’s The Christmas Book.  I also remember watching the television programme Jackanory that featured famous luminaries reading stories.  When I was slightly older I recall listening to a storyteller, Dan Yashinsky, who came to the public library in our small town, and being amazed by how he was able to hold the attention of the audience.   Another storytelling memory involves being out walking in a small cemetery with a group of people and trying to create a story by each of us contributing a line at a time to the story.

At this early stage of DS106 I think of digital storytelling as making use of new media to tell a story.  At its most basic a digital story is a collection of bits and bytes with a computing device as its container.

Storytelling has been in existence since the beginning of human kind and has taken many shapes from the pre-literate (oral, cave drawings, petroglyphs) through writing, printing and now on through digital expressions.