Digital Storytelling

ELLs in our district are using Digital Storytelling to apply their newly acquire writing skills and to tell their stories. Click here to enjoy and comment on some of their stories.

What is Digital Storytelling?

Digital storytelling is audio/visual rich way to tell a story. Center for Digital Story Telling defines DST as a “short, first-person video-narrative created by combining recorded voice, still and moving images, and music or other sounds.”

What is the process of creating a Digital Story?

1- First the writing.

First students will write a story they want to tell. Students will need to define what is the purpose of their story ~the author’s purpose. They will also work on the organization, word choice, language structures and everything your students do in the Writers’ Workshop. They will also need to create an illustration for each event in their story. Students may also want to use pictures of themselves, their families, neighborhoods, etc. Please consider students privacy and safety when using such pictures.

2- Then the technology…

After students are finished writing and illustrating, and are ready to create the digital story, you may follow the 1, 2, 3 steps below:
Step 1- Use Photo Booth (tutorial) to digitize your students pictures.
You can use a digital camera to capture each of your students stories’ pictures or, if your Mac laptop or desktop is new enough to have a built-in camera at the top of your screen, you have a powerful tool for yourself and your students.

  1. Use Spotlight to search for the word “booth” and press return to open the Photo Booth application
  2. Under the “Edit” menu click on “Auto flip new images”
  3. Capture “still” images with iSite camera by clicking the round red camera icon.
  4. Click on a picture in the tray and then click the iPhoto icon on the left above the photo tray.
  5. –  Hold “shift” & click on the first & last pictures to “select all”
  6. –  Click on the iPhoto icon to import your pictures to iPhoto for later use in the making of the digital story. (PDF) PhotoBooth Handout

Step 2 – Use iMovie (tutorials) to create a digital story.

Step 3 – Publish on Global Youth Radio, DSCast, or WordPress. Please contact Laura Bartels ~ or Holly Tracy ~ for support on publishing. We would LOVE to hear all of our students stories.


Various Examples
Teacher Tutorials
George Town University – Films and Digital Stories
Digital Stories at UMBC
Center for Digital Story Telling
Where do I publish?
Please contact: Laura Bartels at or Holly Tracy at for support with publishing.
Some possible publishing outlets are: Global Youth Radio , DSCast, WordPress

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3 Responses to Digital Storytelling

  1. Juanita Corona says:

    Digital storytelling has helped my students find out if they have used their introduction, and other elements in their story.

  2. Cindy Peterson says:

    Digital storytelling is a lot of fun for both the teacher and the students. My students really enjoyed drawing their pictures and recording the voice for the digital part. The teacher occasionally was a little frustrated by the recording part but eventually was able to get the procedure down and finish the project. This teacher will be doing digital storytelling again this year since it’s a great writing and technology tool and a great way to communicate what the students are doing in the classroom.

  3. Pingback: Global Youth Radio Highlight – Tech Tools 4 Teaching

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