The use of digital storytelling to teach

People perceive, hear and see the world in different ways.
Digital Storytelling: is the practice of using computer-based tools to tell stories.

Leslie Rue defined digital storytelling almost perfectly, “Digital stories derive their power by weaving images, music, narrative and voice together, thereby giving another dimension and vivid color to characters, situations, experiences, and insights.”

These stories can range from historical events to personal stories and it is because of this great range that storytelling can be used as an effective method of teaching.

Producing a digital story involves the collection of videos, audio tracks, images, or text that is found and put together by the creator to tell a story. It is much more interactive than searching a book and writing a sentence. The great amount of interaction makes the story personal not only for the creator but the viewers. For example the following video I drafted brings the personality of my dogs to the viewer.

Bernard R. Robin of the University of Houston provided 7 elements for Digital Story telling in his article The Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling

1. Point of View – what is the perspective of the author?
2. A Dramatic Question – a question that will be answered by the end of the story.
3. Emotional Content – serious issues that speak to us in a personal and powerful way.
4. The Gift of your Voice – a way to personalize the story to help the audience
understand the context.
5. The Power of the Soundtrack – music or other sounds that support the storyline.
6. Economy – simply put, using just enough content to tell the story without overloading
the viewer with too much information.
7. Pacing – related to Economy, but specifically deals with how slowly or quickly the
story progresses.

I feel that my video embraced elements 4 and 5. The use of the song (element #5) “You’ve got a friend in me” by Randy Newman, supports the loyalty dogs have to their owners and that they truly are a man’s best friend.  Personal photos and use of captions help personalize the video (element #4) to give you a hint of personality into not only the animals story but the owners as well.

Of course the video was created strictly for entertainment purposes but like every story anyone can learn from it in some way.


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