Digital office

Digital Storytelling

It’s easy to assume everyone is comfortable with digital tools and tips when getting digital in the first place can be a bit scary. Digital storytelling ticks multiple boxes. It involves working with text, images, audio and video and by the end of a storytelling workshop, everyone will have learned something new.
Digital storytelling title slide from Jisc workshop

People often think multimedia production needs a professional studio with lights and mics and high-end kit. I don’t agree. When it comes to learning and teaching resources, DIY can be ‘good enough’. Mobile devices take ‘good enough’ images and free software can make a ‘good enough’ video. To demonstrate this, earlier this year, Jisc facilitated a set of digital story workshops at the university. The TEL-Team want to repeat these as part of our plan to develop individual digital confidence. Institutional investment in what I call the big three – Canvas, Panopto and Pebblepad, provides the latest software for supporting learning and teaching. Now we need to develop the skill-sets for everyone to use these technologies for enhancing the student experience. The Jisc Digital Capabilities framework (below) shows the range of different elements becoming digitally confident might involve.

Jisc Digital Capabilities model

Stories or anecdotes are great teaching tools. More engaging than a book or report, a story can explain a problem or show a different point of view while contextualising knowledge within stories provides aids for understanding. They can also make something a little dull become more memorable. When the story is captured in digital format it’s reusable. If you have the original materials it’s repurposable too. As you can probably tell, I’m an advocate. To build a story requires critical questioning and reflection, making decisions about what to put in and what to take out and above all, they’re opportunities to be digitally creative. What’s not to like?

During the workshops, we used Audacity for recording audio and We Video for uploading and editing. For more information on the workshops visit this Sway presentation. Final videos were uploaded to Vimeo and YouTube and linked to on different social media sites and blogs.

If you key ‘Digital Storytelling on Social Media’ into google it’ll bring up a host of ideas and examples. Google ‘Digital Storytelling’ and you can see how many UK universities are using them as learning and teaching tools.   If you think you might be interested in exploring the use of digital storytelling within your own school or department please do get in touch with the TEL-Team

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Sue Watling

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