Week 11 – Digital storytelling


  • Face-to-face and online: The class has met this week, and activities to do on your own are also on deck.
  • Synchronous and asynchronous: Live conversations have occurred during class time, and everything else will be on your own time.


Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, the power to retell it, rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts.

– Salman Rushdie

The debate over whether the Net is good or bad for us fills the airwaves and the blogosphere. But for all the heat of claim and counter-claim, the argument is essentially beside the point: it’s here; it’s everywhere. The real question is, do we direct technology, or do we let ourselves be directed by it and those who have mastered it?

– Douglas Rushkoff, author of  Program or be Programmed


Stories have the power to make us feel and understand life from the point of view of someone else. From the alphabet to the iPad, new technologies have always had the power to encode and share stories in new and creative ways.

Learning objectives

  • Be exposed to digital stories, and feel their power.
  • Experience multi-modality in storytelling.
  • Create a simple digital story by yourself.

Action items

1. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch Michael Welsh’s classic A vision of students today.

2. Watch Joe Sabia: The technology of storytelling.

3. Watch A Conversation With My 12 Year Old Self: 20th Anniversary Edition.

4. Watch ECMP 355 Final Summary of Learning.

5. Read Five Things You Need to Know About Visual Storytelling In Social Media.

6. Read Linked text is different from Darren Kuropatwa.

7. Explore 50+ Web 2.0 ways to tell a story from Alan Levine.

8. Read 10 ideas for classroom digital projects from Alec Couros.

9. Read Giulia Forsythe’s post on digital graphic facilitation.

10. Browse some of the following additional resources:

11. Create something. For the sake of time, I suggest you try to find a meme, find a meme generator (once you find a meme you want to use, Google “[meme name] generator”), and create an image or video that shares an educational message. Another option would be to find a Creative Commons licensed image on Flickr and add a quote to put on top of it (advanced search).

As examples, see Laura Gibbs’ Latin LOLCats on Google+, ideas from the ds106 community, and Clint Lalonde’s image below.

Deleted = Doesn't Matter by Clint Lalonde on Flickr

Other ideas include animated GIFs, infographics, video mashups, etc.

12. On your blog, explain your creative process, the sources of your materials, and the overall message you want to convey. Embed your artifact to your post (if you have a hard time embedding the image or object, post a screenshot of it and link to it. You will need at least an image or a video on the post to be able to pin in in step 13).

Submit the URL of your blog post to the assignment titled Week 11: Blog post on Canvas. The submission is due by 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 14, EST, and will be graded as a part of the weekly projects.

13. Pin your post containing your creation to our Digital storytelling Pinterest board. You will be asked to vote on your favorite stories later for extra credits.

14. Check the course’s class feed for other posts by colleagues, and comment on their posts. You should at least read and comment on two or three posts, but you’re welcome to visit as many as you want. As a part of the online participation grade, you should also contribute and discuss on the different social media outlets, such as Diigo, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

More to explore

Check our our Diigo group and Pinterest boards, and look for related tags.

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