The aim of this chapter is to discuss digital storytelling in the context of education. Two questions guide the study: What is a digital story? What is the motivation for making a digital story? I have examined short multimodal personally-told digital stories published on the Internet. As a theoretical framework for the discussion I have compared digital storytelling with storytelling traditions in the oral and the written culture. The result implies that the definition of a digital story depends on what is considered a narrative. By transcending what has traditionally been considered narrative and by defining narrative in a broader sense, digital storytelling is an innovative tool and serves as a promising activity facilitating learning and development in the post modern society.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Descriptive Digital Stories: Are digital stories often about a trip, friend, pet or place. They include events in terms of actions but are based on experiences taken from everyday life. Descriptive digital stories are epic and descriptive rather than climactic. The point of view is neither stressed nor conspicuous. Images serve to illustrate the spoken word.
Digital Story: In the San Francisco tradition is a short (1-3 minute) personally told story based on, for example, a memory or a significant person, place or object. In digital storytelling a variety of modes such as text, image, speech, and sound are combined in an editing program on a computer.
Narrative as Art: Is narrative framed within the humanistic sciences. Narrative is this context is well defined and expressed through literary compositions such as prose and poetry.
Narrative as Communication: In collective human activities is narrative framed within the social sciences, focusing on narrative as action and communication in everyday life.
Dramatic Digital Stories: are influenced by the climactic structure. In dramatic digital stories the tension or conflict and its resolution are central. Images and music are often creatively combined with the voiceover.
Narrative as Process: Is narrative framed within the social sciences focusing on individual change and development such as: identity formation, health, and healing.
Argumentative Digital Stories: Make an explicit message through a statement. A common way to tell an argumentative digital story is to establish a question at the beginning, and to answer the question at the end.
Poetic/Rhythmic Digital Stories: Are characterized by a “flow” of thoughts and feelings in a melodious mode. Alliteration and repletion of both images and words contribute to this feeling. Images and music are often creatively combined with the voiceover.