Digital Storytelling


"The novelty and technical fun of multimedia can sometimes divert and endanger the quality of the story. When the digital storytelling is finished, you want your story to be remembered for its soul, not the bells and whistles." Bernajean Porter

There are many excellent digital storytelling web sites on the Web that provide ideas, materials, and examples for integrating this process into your instruction. However, we will focus our workshop on Bernajean Porter's Digitales web site and discuss the software and other resources that are readily available for digital storytelling at Keystone Elementary.

Get inspired! Watch the story of Granny Smith.


Software or Online Tools for Creating Digital Stories

1. Photo Story 3 (free download; installed on all computers at KES; images, text, music, voiceovers)

2. Animoto for Education (Uses images, text, video clips, and music to create videos; no voiceovers)

3. Voicethread for Education (Uses images, text, and voiceovers to create stories.)

4. ToonDoo (Create comic strips!)

5. Digital Storytelling Tools for Educators by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano is a FREE book that includes step-by-step directions for many popular digital storytelling tools such as Voicethread, Photostory 3, Windows MovieMaker, and Mixbook. Download a free pdf version of this helpful publication.

6. Digital Storytelling Teacher Guide (FREE resources from Microsoft)



Bernajean Porter's 7 Steps for Creating Digital Stories

From Digitales: The Art of Telling Digital Stories

Pre-Production Phase

1. Writing a Narrative Script
    • First-person narrative that tells your story and that will later be made into the voiceover for the digital version
    • The heart and soul of the story
    • Expectation that the story expresses a personal meaning or insight
    • Brainstorm story ideas or plots using Kidspiration (primary students) or Inspiration (intermediate students) software
    • Revise until the narrative reflects your personal conversational style.
    • See "Take Six: Elements of a Good Digital Story ."
      • KES Resources: paper/pencil; Microsoft Word, Kidspiration or Inspiration

2. Planning the Project
    • Storyboarding (on paper or electronically) to work out the details of the story. Teachers will want to "sign off" on the quality of the content after reviewing student storyboards and before the students move to the next step.


    • Place script in storyboard first.
    • Add ideas for images (photos, drawings, artifacts, clip art, video clips) and then music or sounds lists.

3. Organizing Project Folders
    • Create a "project folder" on the network in which to store all files that go with the story.
    • Create additional folders within the project folder: Images, ImagesEdited, MusicSounds, ProductionCopies, Script, Voiceover

Production Phase
4. Making the Voiceover
    • Recording the script in your own voice to add meaning to your story
      • KES Resources: Borrow microphones from Lab 210.

5. Gathering and Preparing Media Resources

Post-Production Phase
6. Putting it ALL Together
    • Mix all of your elements together.
    • Add images and/or video, titles, transitions, and music and sound effects.
    • Save every 5 or 10 minutes in your ProductionCopies folder, renaming your story every time you save in case things stop working! (Example: Story1, Story2, Story3, etc.)

7. Applause! Applause!


Other Resources