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Digital Storytelling Resources

Digital Storytelling is the modern expression of the ancient art of storytelling. Digital stories derive their power by weaving images, music, narrative and voice together, thereby giving deep dimension and vivid color to characters, situations, experiences, and insights. Tell your story now digitally. – Leslie Rule, Digital Storytelling Association

The following curation is from, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 2.5 License.

Digital Storytelling


  • “… refers to using new digital tools to help ordinary people to tell their own real-life stories.” (Wikipedia)
  • “Digital Storytelling is the modern expression of the ancient art of storytelling. Throughout history, storytelling has been used to share knowledge, wisdom, and values. Stories have taken many different forms. Stories have been adapted to each successive medium that has emerged, from the circle of the campfire to the silver screen, and now the computer screen.” (Leslie Rule, Digital Storytelling Association)

Why (Digital) Storytelling?

  • Storytelling is the expression of common cultural artefacts shared by individuals & societies with roots extending to the emergence of prehistoric humans.
  • Stories help us make sense of ourselves, our cultures and societies, in rich and meaningful ways.
  • Storytelling may give voice to individuals and groups who have been oppressed by a culture of literary dominance.
  • Stories will help us leave a rich legacy of expression for future generations.
  • Storytelling helps us reclaim our narratives from corporate and commercial interests.
  • Stories and the process of storytelling can be used as a rich means of assessment.
  • Storytelling proves to be an engaging alternative for many learners.

Is Digital Different?

  • Digital stories are inherently easy to replicate and share.
  • Digital stories are not constrained to text, but can make use of imagery, audio, video, and social affordances available in the medium.
  • Digital storytelling can foster innovation and creativity as there are unlimited genres & forms available for expression.

Important Resources:


  • One Minute Movies: How to make a one-minute movie from the BBC.
  • Seven Elements: Elements for building digital stories (point-of-view, dramatic question, emotional content, your voice, soundtrack, economy, pacing) from the Center for Digital Storytelling. See other treatment of these steps here and here.
  • Digital Story Telling Cookbook (PDF): Excellent guide for creating digital stories.
  • Making Stopmotion Movies: Useful resource for making stopmotion videos.

Examples of Digital Stories:

Digital stories take a number of forms, and I am very liberal with the interpretation of what is considered a digital story. I believe that inspiration can be found from a number of digital story types and formats. Here are a few to consider below.

Commercials & Commentaries:

  • The Essay: An essay about the future from Nokia.
  • Mr. Winkle Wakes: An animated, retelling of a classic story (by Matthew Needleman)
  • Ze Frank Wants Respect: Master storyteller Ze Frank in his Time news series. I would also highly recommend Ze Frank’s earlier series, The Show (not all content appropriate for younger viewers).
  • The Canal & The Closet: What makes a great story? This commercial may help us consider this.


  • Mother of All Funk Chords: Not a story, per se, however this video demonstrates the art of the mashup to make a beautiful, artistic piece. See other tracks at thru-you.
  • Star Wars Uncut: Stitch together the movie Star Wars, 15 seconds at a time.
  • Shining Recut: Remixing movie trailers to create the appearance of a different genre has become quite popular. See other examples such as Scary MaryHome AloneThe TerminatorSchool of Rock and others.
  • Forest Gump, One Minute, One Take: This short story takes a different approach to story summaries, and could be a motivational format for students. See also 28 Days LaterKill Bill, and the Story of Johnny Walker (this one is a professional advertisement).
  • Behind Every Tweet: Trailer made for a presentation regarding Twitter, used only (public domain) footage.
  • Open Doctrine: An example of a personal attack ad made as a presentation trailer. This is another genre of story/video that is worth exploring.

Stop Motion & Other Innovative Techniques:

  • Neighbours: This is a classic in the genre, a film from 1952 from Norman McLaren. The stop-motion technique used here is known as Pixilation. More about the film here.
  • Tony vs. Paul: Excellent example of a stop motion video. Long, but gives many good ideas.
  • Sorry I’m Late: Innovative film which includes a ‘making of’ section for ideas and processes.
  • Bathtub IV: This is a wonderful music video featuring tilt/shift photography. In other words, these are real scenes videoed in a way that make them look as if the objects are fake miniatures.
  • Last Day Dream: This is a powerful short video that signifies an individual’s life in 42 seconds. (Language/content warning)
  • Her Morning Elegance: This is a brilliant stop motion video. It is soft, smooth, and romantic, and accompanies the soundtrack beautifully.
  • The PEN Story: This a beautiful, nostalgic stop motion video celebrating the Olympus PEN series of cameras. Two things strike me here. First, we are beginning to see an increase by advertisers as they push the boundaries of marketing through the creation of emotional, artistic productions. Second, the video reminds me of how much influence the camera has on our society, and how it ultimately frames our messages and our memories.
  • The Time Machine: An Interactive Adventure: A story created using annotation linking in Youtube, similar to choose-your-own-adventure books.
  • Alison: A very personal photo essay of one’s daughter.
  • Days with My Father: Haunting photo-essay about a photographer’s relationship to his elderly father.
  • Mankind is No Island: A story filmed entirely with a cellphone camera.
  • Parisian Love: Story told through Google searches.

Public Service Announcements:

  • Top Chef: Ontario’s Workplace Safety Insurance Board released a number of gruesome safety ads that really pushed the boundaries of the PSA. This ad was one of the more popular (and gruesome) of the series.
  • U.N. Landmine Commercial: This startling commercial brings home the reality of landmines. It calls out for action from those with privilege with the message “If there were landmines here, would you stand for them anywhere?”
  • Belt Up In the Back: A surprising and horrendous seat belt safety commercial from the UK.
  • Doubt: This eerie video was produced by the Israeli AIDS Task Force.
  • Children See, Children Do: This is an effective Australian PSA regarding the imitation of behaviors by children of their parents.
  • Clean House: Meth: This is an interesting (and strangely catchy) meth prevention PSA, typical of those provided by A Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

Student Created Stories:

Other Resources & Stories:

  • Ira Glass on Storytelling: Glass helps us consider the purest form of storytelling.
  • The Story of a Sign – This is a beautiful, award-winning short film. Other than being an excellent piece for studying film grammar, it also portrays a wonderful message about the importance of carefully framing and designing one’s message.
  • 60 Second Recap: Classic stories in 60 seconds.
  • Transmedia: By Henry Jenkins

More Resource Collections

digital storytelling

Open Resources about photo, music and videos

Video tools and resources

Photo tools and resources

Free digital storytelling resources in classrooms (from pre-writing to publishing) for teachers (K-5) from Discovery Education 

Open online course

digital storytellingDS106 is free for anyone, it offers digital storytelling course happens at various times throughout the year….but you can join in whenever you like and leave whenever you need.

10 Responses

  1. What is the address for the open online course you mentioned, DS106? I was hoping the corresponding image linked to it. Thanks.

    Also, thanks very much for the wealth of information and resources here!


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