Digital Narratives - Digital Storytelling -
Using still images and movement to tell a story, either be factual or fictional.

Jennifer Lebeau

Tim O'Riordan

The idea of using still images in conjunction with audio and motions (Ken Burns effect) has a very powerful impact on the audience. Here are two visual interpretations of the song 'Pretty Saro', the first by filmaker Jennifer Lebeau to illustrate Bob Dylan's version, the other by Tim O' Riordan using a openly licensed song by Piers Cawley. Both examples use copyright free images of the 30's and 40's from the US Library of Congress. although the Lebeau version is copyrighted, it serves as a good example to stimulate further work using these techniques.

Just as importantly, comparing the the two, both in terms of content and rights usage, can provide some excellent opportunities for discussion and research.

There are many examples on using these techniques to tell stories such as the Khan Academy’s SmartHistory series which uses the authors' own photographs of works of art to tell us about the works. with many more museums now allowing photography this is becoming increasingly feasible. This type of work is closely related to or could be carried over into screencasts.

Other Examples and Formats'Comic Strip' tools are a great way to introduce digital storytelling, some free one's are listed here


made with comic life

Types of Digital StoriesPersonal Narratives
Documentaries (contemporary and historical)
Creative Fiction
Informative or Instructional stories

Learning Outcomes and Activitiesplease add to the list including links to examples
  • find and select resources that 'tell' stories
  • creative writing inc. online blogs
  • sequencing, planning, storyboarding
  • gather resources and assets
  • develop multimedia skills
  • understand language of media
  • communicate for an audience
  • time management

Getting startedPossible sources for Music: Jamendo & FMA with its featured 'for videos' category (you may be familiar with this track from Chris Zabriskie (CC BY 4.0) from a number of educational resources.
Possible source of images include Flickr Creative Commons, FlickrCommons, Internet Archive BooksA search for "media contributed" by on Wikimedia Commons provides sets from museums and collections, this is useful because thye usually have a linking theme or topic, making theme very useful for this type of work.DS106 or Digital Storytelling is a free open online course (MOOC) that runs throughout the year, people can join or leave at any time, there are some wonderful examples of creative stories, a great place for inspiration.There is an example 'teaching kit' (lesson plan) template here this also links well with the remixing example.If you fancy some web coding - here's a comic book template from Mozilla you can remix
Example story telling activity using maps from Rob Ellis
Processes that could be included in this activity include: Remix , Copyright and Digital Literacies

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