Resources for the Digital Storytelling Project

According to the Center for Digital Storytelling, a digital story is a short, first person video-narrative created by combining recorded voice, still and moving images, and music or other sounds.

Narratives can include character stories about important people in our lives, memorial narratives, stories about events or places in our lives, historic narratives, or stories about what we do or have achieved among other topics. As personal narratives, digital stories contain an emotional component or a point of view.

Learn more about digital storytelling and watch a video example.

Digital Storytelling Tips and Resources- Great overview and specific resources including rubrics, links for copyright-free media, etc.

31 Favorite Digital Storytelling Websites A list of web-based multimedia software tools for creating digital stories

The 7 Elements of Digital Storytelling Great diagram of these elements

What is Digital Storytelling? A list of many resources and examples.

Article discussing The Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling Excellent PowerPoint Presentation about the educational uses of digital storytelling

Did you know that creating digital stories provides students with opportunities to practice and develop:
  • Research skills
  • Writing skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Technology skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Interviewing skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Assessment skills
Students also use each of the 21st century literacies: Digital Literacy, Global Literacy, Technology Literacy, Visual Literacy, and Information Literacy.

Teachers might use digital stories as an effective tool to:
  • Introduce lessons (the Hook)
  • Integrate multimedia into content
  • Make difficult content more understandable
  • Facilitate classroom discussion
From College of Education at the University of Houston

Digital Storytelling Process:

  1. Brainstorming- Students share and refine their story ideas
  2. Scripting- Students author their narrative (about 200-300 words)
  3. Storyboarding- Students synch the words to images
  4. Recording and editing- Students record their narrative and add other audio components
  5. Finetuning and titling- Students add transitions, effects, titles, and credits
  6. Rendering- Students process the final version of their movie
  7. Sharing

Resources for Students to Use for the Digital Storytelling Process

The first step is to compose a compelling story.
Once your story has been created, you will be ready to assemble the digital media to enhance your storytelling.
Possible digital media might include:
  • Scanned photos, illustration or memorabilia
  • Digital photos
  • Images collected from the Internet (document sources and consider Copyright limitations)
  • Video clips
  • Music
  • Sound effects

Create a storyboard of the story. Consider what the audience will see and hear as your story progresses. Remember that the role of the media is to enhance your main component-the story.

external image pdf.png storyboard_template 3.pdf


Add a project folder to your school directory (your Y drive). Collect your digital media and add it to this folder.

Watch the presentation below explaining your project options.It includes directions for working with media.

external image pdf.png Digital Storytelling Project.pdf

Movie Making Software

Basic directions for using Photo Story 3.

Basic Directions for using Windows Movie Maker.

Audio Recording and Editing

While you are able to add audio files and record narration in both Photo Story 3 and Windows Movie Maker, you may wish to create your own audio files with narration, music, and sound effects using Audacity.

You can download Audacity software from here. Make sure to also install the Lame software that is needed to export .mp3 files.

Basic directions for using Audacity to create and edit an audio file: external image msword.png Audacity Audio Recording and Editing Software.doc

Audio and Video Conversion
Supported audio files:


  • Photo Story 3: Windows Media Audio (WMA), MP3, or WAV format

  • Windows Movie Maker: .aif, .aifc, .aiff .asf, .au, .mp2, .mp3, .mpa, .snd, .wav, and .wma

  • Audacity: Most audio files


Supported video files in Windows Movie Maker:

  • Windows Movie Maker support these video files:.asf, .avi, .m1v, .mp2, .mp2v, .mpe, .mpeg, .mpg, .mpv2, .wm, and .wmv
  • Use the YouTube Downloader to convert others to .wmv files.

Audio and video files can be converted using YouTube Downloader software.

Directions for downloading video and converting video and audio files.
external image pdf.png Using YouTube Downloader to Download and Convert Files.pdf

Ripping Music from CDs
Directions Use Windows Media Player and format as an mp3 file.

Image Editing
Directions for editing pictures using Microsoft Office Picture Manager. Installed with Microsoft Office Suites.

external image pdf.png To Open and Edit Images in Microsoft Office Picture Manager.pdf

About Microsoft Office Picture Manager.
Use this to rotate and flip images, crop, brighten and sharpen, remove red-eye, and compress the pictures.

Additional free online image editor called: picnik

Scanning Images, illustrations, and other memorbilia
Consider adding scanned images, illustrations, and mementos.
Directions for scanning and cropping images at school are found posted above the scanner and below.

external image pdf.png Directions for scanning and cropping pictures .pdf


Uploading digital images and video from school cameras:
Once you have taken the pictures on the camera you will need to upload them to your project folder. Use the directions below.

external image pdf.png Uploading Pictures and Videos from the School Cameras.pdf


Resources for media files
Audio Files
Find Sounds Locate sound effects. Copyright-free, but cite the source.
Free Sound Effects Permission to use these for projects but not to distribute commercially. Cite the source.
Partners in Ryhme Sound Effects Permission to use most for educational uses. Cite the source.
Freeplay Music Many different types of music. Search by genre, style, or feel. Perfect for background of projects. Preview and then download mp3 version. Copyright permission granted for school projects distributed within the school.

Image Files
Pics 4 Learning Copyright friendly images donated for educational use. Cite the source.
Search engine for copyright-free images for classroom projects Ookaboo


Copyright law
It is important to acknowledge the intellectual property of others and to follow the copyright guidelines for usage. Fair Use allows a portion of work to be used as long as the source of the work is cited and it is distributed only within the classroom. Creative Commons copyright varies depending upon the rights the creator chooses to allow. Read information carefully from websites or e-mail the creator to ask for permission when in doubt. Always cite the source.

Information about copyright and multimedia for students

Excellent digital story copyright information for teachers and students