Humans are natural storytellers. It has been THE FORM of passing on knowledge from generation to generation. Storytelling existed in some shape or form in all civilizations across time. In the 21st century, which we have the luck to live in, Digital Storytelling, has opened up new horizons, inconceivable without the use of technology. Storytelling is evolving, as humans are adapting, experimenting and innovating with the use of ever changing technology, the growth of human networks and our ability to imagine new paths.
Maybe as part of a natural process, we tend to stick first to the familiar and “substitute” our task. Substitution is not enough to explore and experience the potential of digital storytelling. Over the years, I have seen in classrooms and created myself many stories, that are: merely substitutions to what I could/have done/told in analog ways created in isolation, without any connections to a larger concept, idea or community created only to be read by a teacher for a grade, without the possibilities of ever reaching a larger audience for feedback or being able to take its place as a puzzle piece of a larger picture/story
Digital storytelling is not about how to use VoiceThread or iMovie. It is not about the ability to create an MP3 recording and adding it to an XML file, so people can subscribe to our podcast channel.
Digital storytelling is about different types of skills we are developing in the process, such as: writing, speaking and communication skills; oral fluency; visual literacy; language skills; drama skills; listening skills; information literacy; media literacy; auditory skills; presentation skills; publishing skills; Smartphones and other mobile devices have made the ease of filming, recording or taking images easy, available anytime & anywhere as well as relatively economical compared to earlier times. The amount of media that is being created and uploaded per minute is exponentially growing and mind blowing. Although there is value in contributing your perspective to a larger pool, the emphasis of the stories we share through different media is about creating meaning and about making that meaning visible to others, not about the act of creating the media itself.
Digital storytelling is not only about telling the story, but tapping into the potential of being a contributing perspective, example, unique experience to a much larger story. The question grows from “How can I tell my story?” to “How does my story fit in and add value to the stories of others?”. How do we create a much larger story comprised of individual stories?
It is a powerful realization that we all have something valuable to share with others. Digital storytelling takes that isolated story, living in our thoughts, potentially shared with people we know or meet face to face and connects it with a much larger community. Digital storytelling is NOT just a story told/created/published on a digital platform.
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