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Digital Storytelling: Introduction

A guide for students, faculty, and staff.

Four banner images described from left to right: camera lens, storyboard, computer screen, and a clapper board.

Joe Sabia - "The Technology of Storytelling"

Watch Joe Sabia narrate a digital story about storytelling technology in real-time using an iPad. How meta of him!

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What is digital storytelling?

Digital storytelling elevates the age-old tradition of storytelling to new and emergent heights by coupling stories with digital tools that aid in their telling. From Microsoft PowerPoint to video editing software to web-based applications, the tools at a digital storyteller's disposal vary widely in terms of complexity and effect. A digital story can be stripped-down, as in the case of a narrated PowerPoint; or it can be artsy and embellished, as in the case of a highly produced video. The possibilities are as numerous as they are exciting.

One way to gain footing in this dizzying realm of possibility is to approach digital storytelling as a multistep process that is best negotiated one step at a time. The below diagram, created by K12 educator Samantha Morra, should prove helpful in this regard.




Web Resources


All would-be digital storytellers need to get a better sense of how digital tools can aid in the telling of stories. One way to do this is by watching a few digital stories from the University of Houston's repository while paying special attention to how symbols, images, music, sound, video transitions, and other media conventions are used to convey meaning. It is also useful to think about the role of the narrator in each story.



Academic Technology Specialist

Image Attribution

Page banner images are listed from left to right.

CC BY-SA image, "Camera Lens, " courtesy of

CC BY-SA image, "Storyboard," courtesy of 3:19 on Flickr.

CC BY-SA image, "My Workstation," courtesy of Rego on Flickr.

CC BY-SA image, "Clapperboard," courtesy of 88ben88 on Pixabay.





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