Digital storytelling is the practice of combining narrative with digital content, including images, sound, and video, to create a short movie or multimedia blog, typically with a strong emotional component. The process of creating a digital story is often a deeply personal journey into one’s own history and experience of identity formation. Remember that sharing online examples of digital storytelling with your students should ideally form part of a broader study on identity formation and the power of narrative across different cultures.
About digital storytelling
- “What is Digital Storytelling?” by NSW Country Areas Program
- “7 Things You Should Know About Digital Storytelling” by Educause [PDF]
- University of Wollongong’s Digital Storytelling Guide
NSW Schools “A day in my life” Project
In this project, schools from around NSW created digital stories portraying a typical day in the life of students, reflecting the diversity of NSW schools and students. Professional development in digital film making was provided to teachers, who then developed films with their classes. This was a joint initiative of NSW DET, Macquarie ICT Innovations Centre and Multicultural Programs Unit.
For more information, visit the NSW Schools ‘Day in my life’ Project.
National Literacy & Numeracy Week: Read for Australia
For National Literacy and Numeracy Week 2011, students from primary and secondary schools around Australia had the opportunity to create digital stories to be featured on the NLNW website. Students and teachers together chose from books listed on the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s shortlisted books list or a personal favourite to base their digital story on. Examples of digital stories were created to help students get started.
For more information, visit the National Literacy and Numeracy website.
UNICEF’s Voices of Youth
Voices of Youth digital diaries is for young people interested in discussing and learning about major social issues, such as the environment, HIV and AIDS and human rights. The site includes first- person/eyewitness accounts by young people in conflict zones around the world, as well as resources and articles on ways to share and contribute to the global discussion.
For more information, visit UNICEF’s Voices of Youth.
Australian Centre for the Moving Image’s ‘Story Generator’
ACMI’s ‘Generator’ is a online creative studio space for teachers and students to explore exemplary work by their peers and industry professionals. Students and teachers can download and upload work to the free media library, submit creations to be showcased in the video gallery, and browse videos by relevant education themes, including: ‘Indigenous Australian Voices‘, ‘Immigration‘, & ‘Community‘.
For more information, visit the Australian Centre for the Moving Image’s ‘Story Generator’.
Heywire is an online space for young people from regional Australia to share their stories via audio, text, photos or film. Over 7,000 young people have submitted stories about their lives to Heywire. These stories are searchable by 42 different categories, including “Indigenous”, “Small Town Survival”, and “City vs. Country”. Winning stories are heard throughout the ABC network – on triple j and nationally on Radio National, via ABC online and through social networking spaces.
For more information, visit ABC’s ‘Heywire’.
Adobe Youth Voices
Through Adobe Youth Voices, youth ages 13 to 18 – predominantly from marginalised communities around the world – create videos, animations, photo essays, presentations, music, and other pieces that contribute youth perspectives to critical topics such as domestic violence, environmental degradation, and the impact of war.
For more information, visit Adobe Youth Voices.
Also check out these other Australian and international websites featuring digital stories by young people:
Past digital stories
Additional digital stories that are no longer available online or actively running. These have been included as a stimulus for ideas.
On March 31 2011 Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE) launched a showcase of the screen project called ‘DigiDiaries’, which provided platforms for creative expression via two-minute digital stories by young people from Western Sydney’s Muslim Communities. 49 Stories are available to watch online and also on a DVD with an accompanying book that details some of the highlights of the project. For more information, visit DigiDiaries.
The Story Exchange
In June 2009 ICE and Penrith City Council partnered to run a series of workshops for young people from the suburbs of Londonderry, Cranebrook and Oxley Park. Participants created photographic and digital stories that explore themes of neighbourhood strength, pride in place, local identity and passion for the environment. The final phase of the project resulted in 4 digital stories by three young women from Cranebrook and one young man from St Marys.
The ‘Changing Lives’ Project
This project engaged Arabic speaking young people with digital arts and Community Cultural Development, empowering them to make and tell their own stories and share them on the net via their own video blogs, or vlogs. Young Iraqi women living in Western Sydney made digital stories about their experiences of harrowing journeys by boat to Australia, their time in detention, stories of longing for family left behind, and dreams of future lives in a new land.
Forgotten Diaries is a unique project which offers young people aged 15-29 from conflict zones around the world online training on basic reporting techniques and how to use digital media and web technologies. Participants upload stories and videos to the site about themselves and their situations in countries such as East Timor, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Nigeria, and Kosovo. For more information, visit Forgotten Diaries.
Yumi Piksa – The University of Goroka, PNG
YUMI PIKSA is a community-based digital storytelling workshop at the University of Goroka in Papua New Guinea, through which students learn how to make films with local Highland communities in order to record local stories and local knowledge. The website contains several videos and a large number of photos, as well as an online “diary” documenting the processes covered in the workshops.
Koori Story Exchange
A project of Information + Cultural Exchange (ICE) of Western Sydney, the Koori Story Exchange project engaged over 35 young Aboriginal people from Cranebrook, near Penrith, in digital storytelling and hip-hop music production workshops over a series of months in 2011.
One Day in Cabramatta
One Day in Cabramatta is a community storytelling project created by ICE in partnership with and running alongside the SBS Series ‘Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta’, which is the untold story of how the Vietnamese community overcame adversity and found their place in modern Australia.