One of the big buzz terms of the last few years has been “Digital Storytelling.” Teachers of all grades want to integrate digital storytelling into their curriculum to enhance student learning. This has the added benefit of being fun and creating a pretty impressive final product that can be published and viewed anywhere. You can’t escape digital storytelling workshops and seminars at conferences these days.
One thing I wanted to clarify is the difference between digital storytelling and simply creating a movie. I combed through an old issue of Discovery Education’s Classroom Resource Guide from November 2005 (sorry, I don’t have a link to it) and found an interview Hall Davidson did with Bernajean Porter, the author of Digitales: The Art of Telling Digital Stories. Porter describes a good digital story as having a personal angle. The author needs to connect with the story using a variety of media, not just give information using that media, such as a documentary would.
On Porter’s website, six elements for a good digital story are listed. Check out the complete website for more information on how to create a great digital story of your own. Documentarys are very valuable, but it is important that we, as teachers, recognize the difference between a documentary and a digital story. Happy filmmaking!