Digital storytelling

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Wide definitions

Digital storytelling refers to a variety of emergent new forms of digital narratives, e.g. web-based stories, interactive stories, hypertexts, narrative computer games (such as Neverwinter Nights), audio and video podcasts, etc.

“Digital Storytelling is a fantastic way to engage students, teachers and just about anyone else who has ever wanted to be the next Ken Burns or Steven Spielberg. There are many different definitions of "digital storytelling," but in general, all of them revolve around the idea of combining the longstanding art of telling stories with any of a variety of available multimedia tools, including graphics, audio, video animation, and Web publishing.” (Introduction to Storytelling), retrieved 15:44, 23 May 2007 (MEST)

Narrow definitions

“It is an emerging term, one that arises from a grassroots movement that uses new digital tools to help ordinary people to tell their own 'true stories' in a compelling and emotionally-engaging form. These stories usually takes the form of a relatively short story (less than 8 minutes) and can involve interactivity” Wikipedia, retrieved 15:44, 23 May 2007 (MEST).

Daniel Meadows defines digital stories as "short, personal multimedia tales told from the heart." The beauty of this form of digital expression, he maintains is that these stories can be created by people everywhere, on any subject, and shared electronically all over the world. Meadows goes on to describe digital stories as "multimedia sonnets from the people" in which "photographs discover the talkies, and the stories told assemble in the ether as pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, a gaggle of invisible histories which, when viewed together, tell the bigger story of our time, the story that defines who we are."” (Introduction to Storytelling), retrieved Daniel K. Schneider 15:44, 23 May 2007 (MEST)

“Digital Storytelling is the modern expression of the ancient art of storytelling. Digital stories derive their power by weaving images, music, narrative and voice together, thereby giving deep dimension and vivid color to characters, situations, experiences, and insights. Tell your story now digitally. - Leslie Rule, Digital Storytelling Association” (Digital Storytelling), retrieved 15:44, 23 May 2007 (MEST).

Components and structure of digital stories

According to Paul and Febich (2006) Digital Story telling can be defined by five elements:

  • media
  • action
  • relationship
  • context
  • communication


Basically any technology to create multimedia formats, but maybe one could distinguish between two kinds "integrated" and "distributed".

Specialized software

  • Microsoft Sway is an online presentation software that can integrate contents from various sources. It requires a microsoft account since contents are stored on microsoft servers.

Various authoring software

Almost any authoring environment can be used to create digital stories, e.g.

Read The 5 Best Free Cartoon Making Tools for Teachers (Jan 2014)

web site creation software

Either individual web pages or sets of pages (e.g. a blog or a portfolio) also can define a story.

Example web services:


References and links

(not complete, but should get you going a bit ...)

Resource sites

Blog entries and reports

  • Tuttle, Harry Grover, Digital Storytelling or Digital Reports?, Blog Entry, HTML