When people talk about digital storytelling, they usually mean the use of some form of media production to share a story. I want to propose a session in which we explore possibilities for designing assignments that ask students to present information with digital tools and share their artifacts publicly. Thus, we will think about the process of digital story telling broadly, as a synthesis between research (or information gathering) and narrative (or argument).
For example, I’ve been working with a history professor at my school to develop an assignment where students practice historical reflection with data sites like Google’s Ngram Viewer, Baby Name Wizard, the Oxford English Dictionary, and the U.S. Census Bureau. Students can create narratives that show changes in time, and with tools like Timeline JS, they can create a product that looks good and can be shared almost anywhere online. My example looks at the language we use to describe people who serve us on airplanes.
In this workshop, we can talk about digital tools that invite students to locate information, ideas, and data and construct narratives that can be presented to others on websites. We can also look at other tools like Storify, History Pin, Sliderocket, and others, and we’ll actually try to build some content (so you may want to bring a laptop or tablet).
Has anyone else used web tools to have students generate digital stories? What are some of the challenges involved in facilitating digital storytelling projects?