Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Digital Storytelling Toolbox

Digital Stories are created through the use of audio, images, video, and text. The first three categories (audio, images, video) are presented below.  A multitude of digital tools exist for creating and manipulating media into stories. With that fact in mind, we have chosen our favorite digital tools that we believe will be useful for a novice or expert storyteller.


Audio is often thought of in terms of how it can enhance other forms of digital media to create a story. However, a well recorded audio story can be as effective as other DST formats when creative correctly. Audio stories are typically shared in the form of a podcast, or on one of the two platforms described below. Since audio stories often require manipulation of multiple recordings, an audio editing program is also provided.
  • Audacity 2.0.2 - a free, open source audio editing program that allows users to edit multiple layers of audio easily and quickly. The lame_mp3 plugin allows audacity to export MP3 files. Listen to Saving a Tree, an audio story created with Audacity.
  • iTunes U - a platform for students and educators to share their audio stories. iTunes can be used from a computer or mobile device that has the iTunes U app installed.
  • SoundCloud - a platform that allows users to share their audio stories that also allows listeners to embed comments for others to view within the track. Listen to Haleye Fox's Story Project, an audio story posted on SoundCloud.


A collection or series of images can be used to express meaning and create a story.
  • Flickr - image hosting website that allows users to create collections of images to tell a story. View Gender Miscommunication, an image story posted on Flickr.
  • Pixlr - a free online photo editor that will allow students to manipulate images for their digital stories


Videos can tell stories by themselves, as well as through the incorporation of additional text, audio, and images.

Social Media

Many of the tools mentioned could be classified as social media. There are a few platforms that incorporate media from all categories, which are explained below.
  • Twitter - a micro-blogging social media platform that allows users to upload images, link to videos, and link to websites. Students can use Twitter for digital storytelling in two different ways:
    1. collaboratively through a common hashtag. Invading Earth is a record of a hashtag story.
    2. By creating a Twitter account specifically for the the purpose of the story. William Grudgings is a Twitter profile story.
  • Facebook - allows students to tell stories through the posting of images, videos, and text descriptions. The new Facebook timeline has enhanced the visual representation of these stories in a chronological fashion, thus making each individual’s Facebook page the digital story of their life. Anne Frank of Facebook is an example of a historical use of a Facebook story.
  • Storify - allows students to tell stories through social media via Tweets, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, and other social media. Storify pulls this information into one cohesive page. Wichita Firefighters Rescue a Dog from a Swollen Creek is an example of a Storify story.
  • Tumblr - a blogging platform that allows users to post images, videos, text, links, and quotes. Users can create individual blogs or collaborate on one blog. I Could Be Trayvon is an example of a collaborative Tumblr story.
  • VoiceThread - a collaborate slideshow that uses images, documents, videos, and audio. Users can comment on slides using text, video, audio, and can draw on video slides through a comment. Conversations in the cloud is an example of a VoiceThread story.
  • Prezi - a nonlinear presentation program that allows the incorporation of images, videos, text, and audio. While Prezi provides a “blank canvas” for users to create on and viewers to explore, a bath can be created for a viewer to follow. Almost Midnight is an example of a self-directed Prezi story.

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