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Digital Media Toolbox: Digital Storytelling

This guide contains information for creating born-digital media projects, resources for finding and using media, and copyright.

What is Digital Storytelling?

Digital storytelling is a short form of digital media production that allows everyday people to share aspects of their life story. The media used may include the digital equivalent of film techniques (full-motion video with sound), animation, stills, audio only, or any of the other forms of non-physical media (material that exists only as electronic files as opposed to actual paintings or photographs on paper, sounds stored on tape or disc, movies stored on film) which individuals can use to tell a story or present an idea.1 There are many forms stories may take and many tools that may be used to create them. Most stories include an audio narrative. There are three main parts to creating a digital story that may be seen in the image below (left).2

This page and those that follow contain information and resources for helping you to create a digital story. As you plan out your story keep the storytelling process on the right in mind. Doing so will help you have the best product at the end. Following these simple steps can help you stay organized and create the best project possible.

Gathering, Writing, Making image.

About Digitial Storytelling Playlist

Project Process

Don't wait until the last minute!
Give yourself enough time to complete each of the steps! 
  1. Writing - Creating your script and/or storyboard is extremely important. The more time you spend and detail you incorporate in your script or storyboard, the better idea you have of what your end product will be, the easier it will be to know what kinds of material you will need to collect and/or create, and the steps you need to take to complete the project. You will save yourself time in the end and have a better product overall by focusing appropriate effort here.
  2. Gathering - This is the part of the process where you are collecting or creating all the materials/artifacts/pieces you will need. This could include finding/creating images, recording and/or mixing audio or shooting/capturing video.
  3. Making - This is where you put it all together. There are many tools that you can use to do this. Some people choose to create a movie or slide show, some people choose to present a glog, podcast or mashup. The possibilities are endless.

Each of these steps may occur at the same time - they are not linear or chronological. There is interplay between each. They all must be juggled and may overlap during the creation of a project.