What is Digtial Storytelling?

Storytelling is an art that been in existence since the dawn of humankind. Digital storytelling is the art of combining text, music, audio, and images/and or video to tell a story. The result is a compelling narrative that combines design and writing in an emotional piece. It involves using the writing process to plan, map, and publish a story. For a closer look at what digital storytelling is, read the Center for Digital Storytelling's "What is Digital Storytelling?".

The Planning Process

The planning process of creating a digital story involves planning, writing, and refining that writing. Often, the process requires a story map, an essay from the story map, then a storyboard derived from that writing. Here are examples of two storyboards, side versiion and top version, shared by David Jakes, from JakesOnline, who has created and gathered many useful resources for digital storytelling.
After the storyboard is created, resources need to be gathered. These include images, music, and other items included in the storyboard. See the Resources section below to find Creative Commons and other resources that can be used in digital stories.

The Production Process

Production involves using the prepared storyboard and multimedia software to compose the digital story. Many free tools exist to create digtial stories.
  • Web-based
  • Apple offers free tools with their iLifesuite with every purchased Macintosh
    • iPhoto - Create slideshows with music - iPhoto Tutorial
    • iMovie - Gather photos and video together with music and narration to create a digital story. iMovie Tutorial
    • GarageBand - Add sound effects, music, and additional narration to your iMovie story for more impact. GarageBand Tutorial
  • Windowsoffers free downloads for creating digital stories.
  • Cross-PlatformPresentation Tools
    • PowerPoint - although not free, is included on many computers purchased by schools (especially LAUSD)
    • Impress by OpenOffice - Free alternative to PowerPoint

The Publishing Process

Publishing a final product can be as easy as creating a document to share in the classroom, or powerful enough to reach a larger audience through sharing online. Students are motivated to create their best work when they know that the audience is larger than the four walls of the classroom.
  • Podcasts: The most efficient way to publish and share digital stories would be through a podcast. Podcasts allow an audience to subscribe to a podcast so that new episodes can be easily accessed and downloaded. To learn more about creating podcasts, please visit: http://lausdpodcast.wikispaces.com/
  • Fliggo: Easily upload digital stories to Fliggo to share. The service allows you to create a public url or embed the video in another online published document like blogs or web pages. YouTube is another popular online video sharing site, but it is blocked in LAUSD.
  • By phone, use Yodio to create digital stories.
Use the EMBED code to publish to your blog, wiki, or website.



Creative Commons

Copyright and Fair Use

Teaching Copyright is a fair and balanced curriculum on teaching copyright.


Places to find creative commons (and other) images that are free to use with attribution

More Image Resources

Check out this document by Terry Richards
30 Places to Find Creative Commons Media

If you are going to use Google Image Search for published works, please search with the Creative Commons filter.


  • ccMixter - browse this site to hear some of the great remixes people have built from sampling music on this site, all licensed for use under Creative Commons license.
  • GarageBand for Apple has many great music loops that can be used. Students can also create their own music using this tool.
  • Podsafe Music - Artists share their music through CreativeCommons
  • Incompetech - Music sorted by genres. Easy to navigate and download, but limited selection of instruments.
  • Common Content
  • GarageBand - A collection of independent music

Digital Storytelling Examples

Digital StoryTelling Resources

Dennis Grice's Digital Storytelling Wiki