Thanks to a blog post from Lawrence Lessig I discovered this delightful, short digital story by Jonathan Coulton composed entirely with Flickr Creative Commons images.

This will make an excellent assignment for the updated version of my Advanced Multimedia and Video spring course. Since students are only given the option of using Windows XP in a Dell computer lab, I’m going to have them use PhotoStory3 (free, thanks Bill), Flickr Creative Commons images, and FreePlayMusic to create a similar copyright-respectful and creative digital story as their first mini-project.

We’ll also use (later in the term) David Jakes’ excellent blog The Competitive Voice and Digital Storytelling collection website to author additional masterpieces!

It will be fun and instructive. I’m sure of it! 🙂

If you enjoyed this post and found it useful, consider subscribing to Wes' free, weekly newsletter. Generally Wes shares a new edition on Monday mornings, and it includes a TIP, a TOOL, a TEXT (article to read) and a TUTORIAL video. You can also check out past editions of Wes' newsletter online free!

Did you know Wes has published several eBooks and "eBook singles?" 1 of them is available free! Check them out! Also visit Wes' subscription-based tutorial VIDEO library supporting technology integrating teachers worldwide!

MORE WAYS TO LEARN WITH WES: Do you use a smartphone or tablet? Subscribe to Wes' free magazine "iReading" on Flipboard! Follow Dr. Wesley Fryer on Twitter (@wfryer), Facebook and Google+. Also "like" Wes' Facebook page for "Speed of Creativity Learning". Don't miss Wesley's latest technology integration project, "Show With Media: What Do You Want to CREATE Today?"

On this day..

Share →

3 Responses to Great digital storytelling example and assignment

  1. david Jakes is a great source for how writing is impacted with the use of digital storytelling! As we gather together our assignment ideas for using the power of technology tools, it seems we would benefit from looking at the VERBS AKA Bloom’s Taxonomy along with the communication PURPOSE for each task. Is the communication piece expected to demonstrate higher order thinking or the use of technology? How rigorous is the intellectual task? Are the images / transitions / special effects etc decorating, illustrating or illuminating the message? As a multimedia communication piece of any kind is constructed, each choice of medium is organized around designing information for an intentional message. What was the message? Who was the message for? Digital Storytelling uses six essential elements: Living in the Story; Unfolding a Lesson Learned; Creating Story Tension; Economizing; Showing NOT Telling, and Technical Craftsmanship. Visual essays and/or narrative storytelling both need to incorporate exemplar uses of these elements for powerful, memorable storytelling. I close with one of the quotes I use in my book DigiTales: the Art of Telling Digital Stories: When the story is finished it should be remembered for its soul NOT the bells and whistles of using technology. What joy it is to find students reaching for these higher outcomes in their communication pieces! May their stories be heard far and wide!

    PS My understanding from the copyrights on FreePlayMusic is no distribution of any kind outside the classroom without paying royalty fees. In talking directly to their producer, he was adamant that his music was not available for anything but use within classroom walls. I have noticed many people pointing to this webiste as if . . . it provided free music. Read the fine print and be careful!

  2. An interesting example of digital storytelling be found at BBC’s Telling Lives initiative.

    This would be a great activity to organize in a school with the help of a technology consultant or tech savvy teacher. The concept is this:

    – Session 1: students attend small group sessions and play games designed to help them discover a story they want to tell

    – Session 2: guidance is given to develop a short script and ideas for assets that could be useful (family photos, existign video etc.)

    – Serssion 3: each student works with a specialist to create a digital version of their story using available video, audio and/pr multimedia (In a school setting this could be a one-on-one, 1 hour after class session with a teacher.)

    At the end of the program you end up with a seies of personal stories told by kids and enhanced using technology.

    A simple power-point + audio example from an early years class in Scotland can be found here: (unrelated to the BBC program but similar end result and proving it can be done with all ages as long as the parameters and level of guidance are adjusted accordingly.)

  3. Wesley Fryer says:

    Wow, thanks to you both for ideas and clarifications. I hadn’t read the fine print for freeplaymusic obviously, sounds like we should stick with creative commons licensed audio sources instead that permit remixing. I have some sources listed on my free audio sources page, if you all or anyone else knows of good ones I am missing please let me know. I think Bernajean’s challenge to elevate the expectations and specify what many of those are is a great idea. I plan to use many of the resources David Jakes shared at his TechForum Austin presentation in November in helping students storyboard and create ideas for their digital stories. I think some of what they’ll create will be more formative and less constricted by a rubric– one of my goals for the course is to have students create several digital stories during the course of the term, rather than just 1 at the end as a culminating activity. Thanks to Stephanie for the good suggestions too. I agree that the planning process for developing the ideas of the digital story is extremely important. I am thinking of having students start some type of digital story idea workbook that they can use during the course of the term to jot down ideas and elaborate on them. Some might become full fledged digital stories, some may not.

    It occurs to me that it would be good if teachers could earn some type of certification to serve as the sort of digital storytelling facilitators that Stephanie is suggesting.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Made with Love in Oklahoma City