Digital Storytelling: Using Photo Story 3 to Create Digital Stories

Article excerpt


torytelling is the original form of teaching (Pedersen, 1995). It is a simple but powerful method to help students to make sense of the complex and unordered world of experience by crafting storylines (Bruner, 1990; Gils, 2005). Although storytelling is not new, the idea of digital storytelling is new (Meadows, 2003).

Within the last 10 years, digital cameras, editing software, authoring tools and electronic media outlets have encouraged teachers to utilize many more approaches and tools than ever before to help students to construct their own knowledge and ideas to present and share them more effectively (Standley, 2003). One of these powerful approaches to multimedia production is digital storytelling.

The Digital Storytelling Association (2002) describes Digital Storytelling as:

A modern expression of the ancient art of storytelling. Throughout history, storytelling has been used to share knowledge, wisdom, and values. Stories have taken many different forms. Stories have been adapted to each successive medium that has emerged, from the circle of the campfire to the silver screen, and now the computer screen.

Gils (2005) suggested many advantages of using digital storytelling in education: to provide more variation than traditional methods in current practice; to personalize learning experience; to make explanation or the practicing of certain topics more compelling; to create real Ufe situations in an easy and cheaper way; and to improve the involvement of students in the process of learning.

Teachers usually need assistance to develop the nature of teaching and learning through any particular application of digital technologies that may result in a shift in technology utilization. By providing a clear picture of what and how teachers and students use digital storytelling, much can be learned to facilitate meaningful integration of the technology into K-12 schools.

Within the last few years, a variety of nonlinear applications have become available that can be used in the creation of classroom digital stories. One of these applications is Microsoft Photo Story 3 for Windows. Photo Story is available for free and helps students create video stories from their photos that are captured using a digital camera or downloaded from the Web. In a few simple steps, students can import and edit their photos one at a time, insert titles, record narration, add background music, specify locations for zooming and panning and add visual and transition effects.

Students can talk about a photo as much or as little as they like. When they are done, they click the mouse button to go to the next photo. The authoring task is done when they complete the last photo. Students can then save their stories in WMV (Windows Media Video) format and use any program that plays WMV files, such as Windows Media Player, to playback their stories.

Since creating a digital story requires skills and concepts that teachers need to teach, teachers must introduce their students to the digital storytelling concept, equipment, and software resources required to develop digital stories. …