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The "Digital storytelling" module is focused to adults learners interested in exploring the possibilities of managing multimedia tools of hight level. This module brings users the opportunity to learn how to create a 3-5 minutes video in a professional way
This module is part of a set of materials designed and developed in the project Telecentre Multimedia Academy (Lifelong learning - Grundtvig (2012-2014)) project.
The Telecentre Multimedia Academy is a project where Fundación Esplai worked with a consortium of 8 partners from Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Serbia and Hungary, whose coordinator is Telecentre Europe.
You can learn more about the Telecentre Multimedia Academy project in:
PROJECT MANEGEMENT MODULEADVANCED COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY 1
COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY
COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY
Authors: Skaidrite Bukbãrde, Žarko Čižmar,Antra Skinča, Ivan Stojilović.
Partners: Telecentre Europe, DemNet, Fundatia EOS - Educating for An Open Society,
IAN,Telecentar, LIKTA, Langas ateit, Fundación Esplai.
Coordination of the content development: Alba Agulló
GRAPHIC DESIGN AND DESIGN
Fundación Esplai (www.fundacionesplai.org) & Niugràfic (www.niugrafic.com)
Under Creative Commons
Attribution - NonCommercial - CompartieIgual (by-nc-sa)
To obtain permission beyond this license, contact
Access to Multimedia Toolkit
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission
cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information
2.1 Introduction to Digital Storytelling P.4
2.1.1 What is digital storytelling
2.1.2 The role of digital storytelling in media literacy
2.2 Storytelling techniques P.8
2.1 Elements of a good storytelling
2.2 Types of Digital stories
2.3 Interview and report P.13
2.4 Media news P.17
4.1 Steps of digital storytelling
2.5 Activities P.25
2.6 Bibliography P.27
DIGITAL STORYTELLING MODULEADVANCED COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY 4
Introduction to Digital
With the development of new media tools it is becoming more
popular to create a 3-5 minute video telling either a personal sto-
ry-about one’s life events, family celebrations, travel adventures,
professional carer, or create an imaginary story or develop such
videos for educational or professional purposes, e.g. a video re-
This module will introduce you to the method when with the use
of new digital tools everyone can tell their own ‘true stories’ in a
compelling and emotionally engaging form. The module will an-
alyse what elements oral, written and digital storytelling have in
common, what skills you need to create a digital story and what
role these skills play in developing media literacy - one of the key
elements for 21st century learning.
The module will deal with the development of storytelling skills-start-
ing with getting to the idea, analysing what themes can make the
basis of a story and what elements you should concider in order to
create emotionally charged and a powerful digital story.
There are several steps in the process of creation a digital sto-
ry-the first steps are connected with the creation of the idea, gath-
ering and organising the information. In this process graphic or-
ganisers might be helpful as they in a visual way help to organize
information, convert a lot of seemingly disjointed pieces into a
structured, simple-to-read visual representation. When the story
map is prepared the next step is to write the script that will be
recorded. If you want to make your story digital then before the
actual technical implementation starts, the author should “see”
the story already finished, that means it should be decided what
media-sound, video, still photos, graphics and interactivity is nec-
essary. This process of organizing media and text in a coherent
ways is called story boarding.
The module will show some practical methods how to easily cre-
ate a story map and a story board.
2.1.1 What is digital storytelling
Tell me a fact, and I’ll learn.
Tell me a truth, and I’ll believe.
Tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.
From ancient times humans have been telling stories, that is
conveying events in words and images. We tell and listen to
stories every day-we meet friends and tell about ourselves, the
things that have happened or describe how things were done.
Sometimes we want to look into the future and imagine what it
might be like. Stories are told about personal life and used in the
classroom for teaching purposes and to inform society about the
events, discoveries, inventions, good practice and many more. In
our professional life we also use storytelling technique. In some
cases the process of documentation and sharing our experience
DIGITAL STORYTELLING MODULEADVANCED COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY 5
can be rather academic and therefore has no power to inspire
the reader. Certainly the facts and analytical aspect is essential,
but to make good practice memorable, persuasive and powerful
you have to add your personal touch or attitude.
Storytelling is an ancient form of communication and an art that
has been used as a tool for entertainment, education, to pass
over cultural and moral values, share knowledge and experi-
ence and has been developing over time with each technologi-
cal development. It has been proved that communities originally
communicated with body language and then progressed to oral
communication, after the development of hieroglyphics passed
over to written communication. With the advances in new media
technology digital communication evolved.
According to Leslie Rule from Digital Storytelling Association,
”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 dimen-
sion and vivid color to characters, situations, experiences, and
Oral storytelling has given rise to digital storytelling. The very
basis is formed by the art of storytelling but adding new afforda-
ble multimedia tools and techniques makes the storytelling go
digital! In digital storytelling the following elements: text, image,
sound, voice and moving images can be combined in a coherent
story and each of them plays a unique role, adding power to the
If we look at digital storytelling in a wider perspective then the
term can be referred to a variety of emergent new forms of digi-
tal narratives, e.g. text based stories, blogs, web-based stories,
interactive stories, hypertexts, narrative computer games, audio
and video podcasts, etc. Digital stories might include only some
elements, like text, images, aidio material. Not always digital sto-
ries should include audio or video to be effective, powerful, or
memorable, there can be image only story utilizing the power of
visual images to tell stories.
There are many various definitions of “digital storytelling,” but a
common trait for all of them is the idea of combining the ancient
art of telling stories with any of a variety of available multimedia
tools, including graphics, audio, video animation, and Web pub-
If some time ago stories and films were created by profession-
als nowadays people of all ages and experience using their life
stories or imagination can create stories using computers, digi-
tal cameras, recorders and software-that has become possible
with the arrival of accessible media production techniques. This
new form of storytelling has emerged and it allows individuals
to share their stories over the Internet, on discs, podcasts, or
other electronic distribution systems. The beauty of this form of
digital expression is that these stories can be created by people
everywhere, on any subject, and shared electronically all over
DIGITAL STORYTELLING MODULEADVANCED COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY 6
Joe Lambert, co-founder of the Center for Digital Story Telling
defines that Digital storytelling in the not too distant future, shar-
ing one’s story through multiple medium of imagery, text, voice,
sound, music, video and animation will be the principal hobby of
the world’s people.” http://members.shaw.ca/dbrear/dst.html
2.1.1 What is digital storytelling
Although nowadays people are fascinated by creating digital sto-
ries and it might seem fun and an easy job, still making a power-
ful story requires fundamental intellectual skills.
In order to make a digital story that is extremely effective and
emotionally powerful you have to acquire a large variety of skills:
the skills you need for a traditional story - oral and written story-
telling skills, as well as digital and art skills, communication skills
and critical thinking skills.
Digital story is a comination of oral presentation and media, but
at the basis of it is a story, that involves imagining or remember-
ing scenes, then describing them to your listeners in a vivid way.
While preparing a story, you have to think about the plot - how to
link the characters with the setting and the events and how they
will interact and accomplish each other, it develops the skills of
sequencing, constructing a logical and persuasive arguments.
If written language relies chiefly on words, then passing your sto-
ry to someone, you describe scenes using oral language (spo-
ken language), which differs from its close relative, written lan-
guage. Oral language has its own operating principles, strengths,
and limitations and many communicative elements in addition to
words can be used, e.g.:
Tone of voice;
Expression of eyes;
Orientation in space (facing toward or away from listeners)
Furthermore, many of the communicative elements of oral lan-
guage, such as tone of voice, are powerful enough to completely
In the process of digital story production video plans and scripts
are written where writing and conventional forms of literacy are
There are three key areas that are crutially important while writing
Use of language;
Identification of audience;
Formulating a point of view.
The use of language for writing includes vocabulary and the or-
ganization of story. The audience is whom the writer is address-
ing and it is crucial to understand what is your purpose. Writing,
revising and editing scripts for digital stories help to organize the
story. Digital stories is a synergy of creative writing and personal
reflection with clarity and organization. In the case of academic /
DIGITAL STORYTELLING MODULEADVANCED COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY 7
educational digital stories, writing is used to plan, script and cre-
ate a story that demonstrates content area understanding.
The key questions to ask yourself to check the structure and con-
tent of the story:
Is it focused?
Is it logical? Is the thinking clear and concise?
Is it easy for the reader to understand?
A written story becomes more fascinating with the use of visual
images that have become a predominant form of communication
delivered across a wide range of media and formats. Visual lit-
eracy can be defined as ability to construct meaning from visual
images. Visual literacy is about interpreting images of the present
and past and producing images that effectively communicate the
message to the audience. When creating a digital story you have
to interpret, create visuals, select images to convey a range of
meanings. Digital stories are essentially multimedia art projects,
shaped by story. No matter what technologies await us in the fu-
ture, we will try to tell stories with them, and to do so we will need
to understand design.
With the present day development of technologies there are var-
ious tools for producing excellent digital stories. Skills needed to
produce a digital story include the ability to search, collect and
process information and use it in a critical and systematic way,
assessing relevance and distinguishing the real from the virtual
while recognising the links. You should have skills to use tools to
produce, present and understand complex information and the
ability to access, search and use internet-based services. Use of
ICT requires a critical and reflective attitude towards available in-
formation and a responsible use of the interactive media. Becom-
ing proficient in digital skills is fundamental to student’s success
in 21 st century.
Digital storytelling, like traditional storytelling, is an exercise in
communication and a creative process that requires participants
to visualize and use their imagination.
Communication plays an important role in the preparation of a
digital story. You have to discuss the ideas, analyse, criticise,
present information and show your unique point of view - it is
done through discussion with groupmates or colleagues. When
publishing your digital story either on school portal or a website
you make it public and become a member of a larger community
with voice and a sense of responsibility to others and always try
to make positive contributions to the digital culture.
On the other hand, to communicate and express your idea effec-
tively and clearly you need very practical skills - how to use the
available tools adequately, use of correct language, and convid-
er all other aspects that take the context into account to achieve
an effective communication.
While creating digital stories it is essential to see and realise the
persuasive power of technology and media - how media makers
use technique to influence our way of thinking and our emotions
and feelings. As media is so powerful, we need to be especially
aware of its power to persuade and be in control of this important
aspect of our own lives.
DIGITAL STORYTELLING MODULEADVANCED COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY 8
21st century will require ability to apply criteria for responsible
use of ICT, acknowledging potential risks as well as the use of
rules of behaviour that promote an adequate social exchange on
the web. Critical thinking, responsibility and decision making are
skills that are related to this.
Media literacy education teaches people to access, analyze,
evaluate, and produce media. A media literate person can think
critically about what they see, hear and read in books, newspa-
pers, magazines, television, radio, movies, music, advertising,
video games, the Internet, and new emerging technology. It also
includes learning how to create messages using print, audio, vid-
eo, and multimedia.
2.2.1 Elements of a good storytelling
Today when we live in the digital age how do you tell a story that
stands out, captures people’s attention and gets them engaged?
As a digital story is a combination of the art of telling stories and
the creative potential of digital tools where digital images and
graphics, text, recorded narration by the author, video, transi-
tions, and music are combined to construct personal tales on a
specific topic both parts are extremely important - only the right
balance between an exciting story and meaningful use of digital
tools can result in a powerful presentation.
There are endless approaches to crafting and constructing stories
depending on purpose and audience, but there are some funda-
mental elements that should be observed during the writing and
planning phase when scripts are drafted and revised, and story-
boards designed. During this stage the storyteller decides what
the story will say and how the story will look during this stage. Once
the script and accompanying storyboard are completed, the con-
struction of the story can start using various tools. The construc-
tion of a digital story is not a simple process that follows a recipe or
a prescribed formula. Deciding how the various elements will form
the structure of each individual story and determining the balance
between these elements can take a lot of thought and effort.
There are several issues to concider for creating efective and
A digital story likewise traditional story has its structure, a
beginning, middle and end.
by asking a question, providing dilemma, or controversal state-
ment. It should compel the viewers to continue watching, and
make them want to see how the problem is solved.
The middle usually describes the course of events: What
happened? How was the dilemma/problem solved?
The end of a story reveals a conclusion/sollution: How did
the situation turn out? The end of your story should also reveal
your meaning or point.
DIGITAL STORYTELLING MODULEADVANCED COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY 9
Stories are not a mere presentation of facts. Stories are
told to convey some message. It is important to define the key
message or the main point you are going to convey to the au-
dience. Consider the audience and direct the story to this par-
A good digital story begins as a good story telling person-
al experience. One of the most unique features of this specific
digital storytelling style is the expectation that each story ex-
presses a personal meaning or insight about how a particular
event or situation touches you, your community, or humanity.
Digital stories are advised to be constructed from person’s
own experience and understanding and reveal the writer’s or
storyteller’s personal expression. Using the first-person pro-
noun „I” rather than the more distant third-person point of view
is essential. The digital story reveals the writer, as opposed to
offering facts about a distanced topic.
A good story creates intrigue or tension around a situation
that is revealed in the beginning of the story and resolved at
the end, sometimes with an unexpected twist. The tension
of an unresolved or curious situation engages and holds the
viewer until reaching a memorable end.
The most effective digital stories evoke an emotion from
the audience. Emotional content can help to hold the audi-
ence’s attention. The different elements (e.g. images, effects,
music and tone of voice) all can contribute to adding emotion
to a story cauising laughter, tears, and expressions of pleasure
or other emotions.
A good story should tell the message in a concise way.
An effective digital story might use only a few images, a few
words, and even fewer special effects to communicate intend-
ed meaning clearly and powerfully. It is not necessary to in-
clude every tiny detail of the story, the audience will fill in the
blanks from suggestions made by sights and sounds. The art
of shortening a story lies in preserving the essence of the tale -
using the fewest words along with images and sound to make
your point. Economy is the most difficult element for both nov-
ices and experienced writers to attain. Setting limits to a digi-
atl story helps to make the construction process manageable,
and it also makes it possible for an audience to view the stories
in a short period of time. To achieve conciseness makes the
author focus the story, deciding what is essential and what
can be omitted. A compact, fast moving digital story will con-
tain only those elements necessary to move the audience from
beginning to end.
The rhytm of the story is what keeps the audience’s atten-
tion and interest. Be careful not to make the story „monoto-
nous” that can be a synonym with „boring” because an un-
varied pace will not hold the audience’s attention. There is an
important interaction between economy and pacing. Novice
storytellers often attempt to manage the script into a two-min-
ute digital story by reading it as rapidly as they can. This is
achieved at the expense of pacing, because this approach
does not allow them to pause or vary the pace. It is important
to confront these decisions during the script revision process,
in order to allow a natural pace and varied flow when the digi-
tal story is constructed. Changing the pace at different points
DIGITAL STORYTELLING MODULEADVANCED COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY 10
can facilitate moving the audience from one emotion to anoth-
er. Music tempo, speech rate, image duration, panning and
zooming speed all work to establish pace. Generally pace is
consistent throughout a story, but once in a while it will pause,
accelerate, decelerate or stop.
As the digital stories reveal personal emotions, experience,
attitude the storyteller’s voice (the pitch, inflection, and tembre)
is essential to convey meaning and intent in a very personal
way. This is one of the most essential elements that contribute
to the effectiveness of a digital story. There is no substitute for
using your own voice to tell your story. It is advisable to take
time to learn and practice the script so that the speaker tells
it in a conversational tone. If the script is simply read from the
print-out, then the voice will not sound natural to the audience
and they will be unsure how to respond.
Unlike traditional oral or written stories, in digital stories im-
ages, sound, and music can be used to show a part of the
context, create setting, give story information, and provide
emotional meaning not provided by words.
A good story incorporates technology in artful ways,
demonstrating skillsof communication with the help of imag-
es, sound, voice, color, white space, animations, design, tran-
sitions, and special effects. Ask yourself whether your media
resources are decorating, illustrating, or illuminating. Music is
an important element of the professional cinema and can be
concidered as an essential element to make a powerful story.
Properly employed music can enhance and underscore the
accompanying story, adding complexity and depth to the nar-
2.2.2 Elements of a good storytelling
In general a "digital story” is any narrative that is told using digital
media. However, the Centre for Digital Storytelling in California,
USA, associates it with a 3-5 minute video produced by everyone
who is not a media professional, and they believe that everyone
has many stories to tell. People see, hear, and perceive the world
in different ways and this means that the forms and approaches
they take to telling stories are also very different.
There are all kinds of stories in our lives that can be developed
into multimedia pieces.
As to the content the stories deal with it is possible to categorize
them into the following three major groups:
Personal narratives. Stories that contain accounts of signifi-
cant incidents in one’s life.
Historical documentaries. Stories that examine historical,
dramatic events that help us understand the past;
Stories designed to inform or instruct the viewer on a par-
ticular concept or practice.
DIGITAL STORYTELLING MODULEADVANCED COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY 11
126.96.36.199 Elements of a good storytelling
These are perhaps the most popular type of digital story. There
the author tells his/her personal experience revolving around
significant events in their life, they can be emotionally charged
and personally meaningful. If you feel strongly about a certain
event or person in your life, you will likely write a powerful script.
These stories are made personal if narrated with your own voice
and they reveal personal discoveries and tell something personal
about the author. The story (the meaning) is expressed through
the narrative and supported visually by the images.
Here are some possible themes for a personal story:
Character/Relationship. Explore how we love, who we are in-
spired by, what our relationships mean to us. We can reveal
how we met our partner, what it was like when the baby was
born, or what our relationship is with our parents, grandpar-
ents, brothers, sisters. We want to compare other people’s
experiences in these fundamental relationships to our own.
These are also stories that tend to have plenty of existing doc-
umentation - e.g. family photoes,videos, etc.
Remembrance or memorial stories deal with memories of
people who have played an important role in one’s life and are
no longer with us. These stories are often difficult but are emo-
tionally powerful and can help with the grieving process.
Stories of challenge. Show how we overcome great obsta-
cles and challenges in our lives and achieve goals. The stories
can analyse and retrospect crucial moments in our lives, tell
about the steps we have taken, decissions we have made and
to what solution we have come.
Stories about a place. Revolve around important places in
our lives: our homes, our towns, and our experiences that con-
nect us to our communities. You may have a story about your
current home, an ancestral home, a town, a park, a mountain
or forest you love, a restaurant, store, or gathering place. Your
insights into place give us insight about your sense of values
and connection to community.
Stories of adventure, a journey or travel. Reflect and depict
places we visit and adventures we have in our travels. Strange-
ly enough, while almost everyone tells good travel stories, it is
often difficult to make an effective multimedia piece from these
stories. We rarely think about constructing a story with our pho-
tographs or videos in advance of a trip. And we do not want to
take ourselves out of the most exhilarating moments by taking
out a camera and recording. Before your next trip, think about
creating a story outline based on an idea prior to your visit, as
well as what sort of images, video, or sounds would be useful
to create the story.
Stories about events in our lives. Deal with significant oc-
currences that we remember and want to share. These can be
stories about achieving a goal, like graduating from school, or
being on the winning team in a sporting event. These events
are often documented, so you might find it easy to construct a
DIGITAL STORYTELLING MODULEADVANCED COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY 12
Stories about what we do. Allow us to talk about our jobs, pro-
fessions and careers when we show what we value and what is
meaninful. For many people a life story is shaped by their job.
People also refer to their hobbies or social commitments when
thinking about who they are. A good story often comes from
looking at the familiar in a new way and with a new meaning.
188.8.131.52 Stories that Examine
Many personal narratives can include historical information to
add context to the story, but digital story can be created from
historical material that has been collected and now used to rec-
oncider and analyse the events from history and add depth and
meaning to these events. People may use historical photographs,
newspaper headlines, speeches, and other available materials to
create a story.
E.g. Audio recordings of statesmen’s or other prominent people’s
speeches and photographs of the events can be used as the ba-
sis of digital stories that explore famous events in history.
184.108.40.206 Stories that Inform or Instruct
These stories reveal the process of learning when we as detec-
tives illustrate how we uncovered the facts to get at a truth, wheth-
er it is in fixing a broken bicycle or developing a new product.
This type of digital story is used to convey instructional material
in many different areas. You can use this type of digital story to
present information on subjects ranging from maths and science,
to art, technology, etc. They can instruct what can be done to im-
prove your skills or how to better use some gadget.
And of course, stories can be created using combinations of
these three methods such as autobiographical stories that use
historical material as the background of a personal narrative.
Life is full of stories, but you have to capture these moments and
use as movies, so, go for it!
Digital storytelling takes many forms. There are stories that are
audio only and rely on words, sound effects, field recordings, and
music. Hypertext environments facilitate the interactive story in
which the „reader” chooses optional paths to explore. Web-based
media facilitate not only stories with words, but also movies, stills,
sounds, and graphics.
One form of digital story is the micromovie. A micromovie is usu-
ally a very short exposition lasting from a few seconds to no more
than 5 minutes in length. It allows the teller to combine personal
writing, photographic images or video footage, narrative, sound
effects, and music. Many people, regardless of skill level, are able
to tell their stories through image and sound and share those sto-
ries with others.
DIGITAL STORYTELLING MODULEADVANCED COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY 13
Interview and report2.3
Data and information can be collected in a number of ways: field
visits to sites, collection of audio clips, video footage, photo-
graphs, intervieews or self-interviews, document study, etc.
There is no shortage of information today - television, radio, news-
papers, journals, books, posters, the Internet and even what we
hear in meetings and on the street. Sometimes we don’t particu-
larly want it all but it keeps on flowing!
Remember that while creating a digital story you will need infor-
mation as source: you will search, select, evaluate and organ-
ise information. A digital story always carries author’s personal
attitude and point of view so we will also create information as
product: the restructured and modelled information and the de-
velopment of own ideas.
The word interview has originated from Latin - the prefix inter–
meaning „between,” „among,” „mutually,” „together,” and to view
–meaning „to see”.
Interview is a conversation in which one person (the interviewer)
elicits information from another person (the subject or interviewee).
220.127.116.11 Tips for interviewing
There are three main types of interviews:
Structured Interview: Structured interviews follow a fixed order
of questions, have fixed response choices, and have fixed num-
ber of questions. Here the interviewer has decided in advance
what questions he/she is going to ask, in what order the ques-
tions will be asked, the information to be collected. Sometimes it
is also called guided interview or respondent’s interview, and the
interviewer directs and controls the interview and the interviewee
answers specific questions.
Semi-structured: These are slightly informal, questions can be
changed to fit the specific context, and follow-up questions add-
ed based on the interviewee’s response. These interviews are
more conversational and the response options are not fixed.
Unstructured interviews: These interviews are not planned
in detail. Hence it is also called as non-Directed interview. The
questions to be asked, the information to be collected etc. are
not decided in advance. These interviews are non-planned and
therefore, more flexible. Interviewees are more relaxed in such
interviews. They are encouraged to express themselves about
different subjects, based on their expectations, motivations,
background, interests, etc. Here the interviewer can make a bet-
ter judgement of the candidate’s personality, potentials, opinion.
However, if the interviewer is not efficient then the discussions will
lose direction and the interview will be a waste of time and effort.
Also called informal or in-depth interviews, these are open-ended
DIGITAL STORYTELLING MODULEADVANCED COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY 14
and guided by the interviewee’s opinion. So, also called informant
interview, suitable mainly for complex and open-ended questions.
Before you record the interview, determine why you want to
have it, what information you need to collect, your goals and
reveal the idea of your story.
Before the interview identify people you want to interview. In
choosing interviewees, you need to ask three questions:
1. Does the person have the information I need?
2. Is the person available for an interview?
3. Will the person provide me with the information I need?
Prepare and write down the questions for interview. Think
over what questions you have put down and why. Heading to
an interview with a sense of what you want to get out of it is
critical to conducting a successful interview.
Distinguish open and closed questions.
1. Open questions begin with words such as “Who,” “What,”
“Where,” or “When.” That is, they give a chance to give a
narrative response, without being confined by the question.
Such questions are good when general or background in-
formation is necessary. Their disadvantage is that they can
cause an interviewee to ramble on endlessly.
2. Closed questions, on the other hand, call for a specific
answer, usually a "Yes” or a "No”. The disadvantage of clo-
sed questions is that in using them, you may be jumping
too quickly to conclusions.
3. Both types of questions have their place during the inter-
view. In general, if you want to get the big picture and to
avoid jumping to conclusions or making wrong assump-
tions begin with open questions. With open questions, you
can receive more informative answers and bring up mat-
ters that you can focus on more specifically.
When you go to interview someone dress appropriately,
arrive on time, and be polite and professional. Check the re-
cording device before you start. Refer to your list of prepared
questions; stay on track, but allow for spontaneous discussion.
Sometimes the interviewing techniques can help you to
tell your story. You may prepare questions and then record
your own answers to the questions. This wil be „self-interview”
when you conduct the interview responding to these questions
directly into a microphone in the place where you feel at ease.
If the idea of talking to a recording device is uninspiring, have
someone interview you. This can be a friend, a colleague or
anyone you trust and can support you.
18.104.22.168 Guidelines for the Interviewer
If you have prepared questions, study and try to remember
them so that you are not reading from the page, and feel free
to make changes. Being able to sustain eye contact assists
the interviewee in relaxing and responding in a natural way.
DIGITAL STORYTELLING MODULEADVANCED COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY 15
Know how to use the recording device and test it before
Allow the interviewee to complete his or her thoughts giv-
ing enough time to think through and restate something that
is a bit difficult to articulate. Interruptions can cause people
to lose their train of thought or become self-aware and steer
away from important, but perhaps emotionally difficult informa-
tion. Let the interviewee tell you when he or she has finished a
question before moving on to the next.
While you always want to have a plan in mind before you
do an interview, don’t be afraid to let an interview go off in
another direction...if it’s an interesting one. You never want to
let someone you’re interviewing ramble on about something
pointless but if the interviewee starts talking about something
interesting, go with it. Recognize when someone is saying
something interesting and react to that. When you have done
with the interesting side, you can always go back to the ques-
tions you prepared beforehand.
When appropriate, use your own intuition when asking
questions to get more detailed responses. Often, a person’s
initial thoughts about a question only retrieves a broad outline
of a memory. Feel free to inquire for specifics or details that
would clarify or expand upon a general response.
If the story is about information that is specifically painful
in the person’s life, carefully assess how far you will go and
how much you will allow the respondent to delve into these
memories. Don’t feel you need to hunt for emotionally charged
material to make the interview effective. The interview should
come naturally and comfortably.
Finally, along with ensuring privacy in the interview, make
sure everyone is comfortable: comfortable chairs, water at
hand, and the microphone positioned so as not to disturb the
22.214.171.124 Guidelines for the interviewee
Keep an open mind and try to keep to the point and message
you wanted to tell to concrete audience.
Don’t try to pretend or fake your answers, be yourself, be
Get natural enjoyment of the process.
Remeber that your voice is a pewerful instrument - so when
speaking vary the pace, volume and inflections of your voice.
Be interested in what you say as it reflects in your voice - it
should carry energy and effectively convey the emotions of the
story message you tell.
Don’t stretch the material, do not beat about the bush, be
concise and precise.
And remember if you miss something in your story or in-
terview you can record it again or add necessary information.
DIGITAL STORYTELLING MODULEADVANCED COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY 16
There are a lot of events happening all around and you can spot
great stories and identify the best people to talk to about the is-
sues you are interested in. So possible stories are all around you
just have to take some steps to make a report.
Before you start making any news report, remember some
simple advice: think how can you tell the story in the most en-
gaging way, without making it too complicated.
In order to keep your story going in the direction you want
it to, you must plan it. Decide how you want to start your re-
port and how you want to end it and then you won’t miss out
any important information in the middle.
As with any story the simpliest way to create your report it is to
follow 5 W questions:
What. What is the report about? Which points do you need to
focus on to attract listeners’ and viewers’ interest? It is impor-
tant to get the facts, necessary information about the event,
issue before starting your report.
Why. Why do you want to make this report? Will your story be
important to your audience? How will you make it important for
Who. Who will be involved? If you are not reporting from the
immediate spot then you have to arrange that the necessary
people are there when you are filming. Do not forget to ar-
range all the necessary permissions (specially if children are
involved, then the permission to film them should be obtained
from their parents). If you can choose, think about the people
who can tell the story in an interesting way.
Where. where would you like to film? Is it possible to do it in
this place or maybe you have to ask for the permission. Ar-
range the appropriate time.
When. If you are going to report an event that is happening
outside your influence, make sure you get there on time! If you
are arranging special shooting time, think about lights, people
involved, technical aspects.
If you think carefully about each of these points in detail, then
you will have a plan with clear understanding as to what
you need to film, where and when.
When you have done detailed planning, arranged all the
necessary people, equipment, done arrangements you can
set the time for filming.
A basic TV news report is made up of five parts:
Introduction. At this stage the reporter introducs the story or
the theme. It is usually short and snappy.
First interview. You talk to the first person/ persons and ask
them to give their opinion on what is happening, and how it
Second interview. It is advisable to talk to someone with a
different opinion, to provide balance.
Extra shots. Include some shots showing more the place and
the people in the story. That will make the report more interest-
ing, lively and give a rounded impression.
DIGITAL STORYTELLING MODULEADVANCED COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY 17
Conclusion. Before finishing try to summarise the outcome, or
possible outcomes of the story.
• For example, reporters can look straight at the camera
when they do their introduction and conclusion. These are
called „pieces to camera”.
• If you have an interviewee, think how to position your inter-
viewee in the shot. Interviewees usually stand on one side
of the frame looking over to the other side of the screen.
• Be very careful to check your audio levels too. Wear your
headphones! Without good sound you won’t be able to use
the video that goes with it.
• Think about the equipment you will need for filming. Take
some extra pieces with you (e.g. spare camera batteries).
If you run out during an interview, you won’t be able to finish
your story. And if you’ve got a tripod, take it with you to keep
the shots steady.
• When filming, you and your team’s safety is top priority. No
film is worth your or your team mates health or safety. Don’t
film in dangerous places - on the road, or roof or any other
place that can be dangerous. If you are going to report
from a place that is not familiar to you - check the way, time
you need to get there, surroundings. Do not do it alone and
inform somebody about your plans!
2.4.1 Steps of digital storytelling
Digital storytelling allows computer users to become creative
storytellers through the traditional processes of selecting a top-
ic, conducting some research, writing a script, and developing
an interesting story. This material is then combined with various
types of multimedia, including computer-based graphics, record-
ed audio, computer-generated text, video clips, and music so
that it can be played on a computer, uploaded on a web site, or
burned on a DVD.
In order to create a digital story it is advisable to follow such se-
quence of steps that will lead from traditional process of storytell-
ing to work with various digital tools and putting it all together and
sharing with others.
DIGITAL STORYTELLING MODULEADVANCED COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY 18
The key steps:
with an idea
Put it all
DIGITAL STORYTELLING MODULEADVANCED COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY 19
Start with an Idea
All stories begin with an idea, and digital stories are not different.
This idea could be your personal revelation, emotions, significant
events you want to share with others, the topic you want to investi-
gate, a question asked or an issue that is raised in your community.
At this initial stage you have to answer 3 straightforward questions:
• What is the subject of the story? What message do I want to tell?
• What is the purpose? What do I want to achieve - convince,
• Whom am I addressing my story? Who will be the viewer and
Working through these questions will help you focus more clearly
on getting the first draft of your report right-complete, persuasive
Gathering information, organization
Digital stories might be fiction or non-fiction. Once you have an
idea you will need to explore, research and organise your ideas.
Graphic organizers (also called concept maps, entity relationship
charts, and mind maps) are useful at this stage as they are a pic-
torial way of constructing knowledge and organizing information.
They help to convert and compress a lot of seemingly disjointed
information into a structured, simple-to-read, graphic display. The
resulting visual display conveys complex information in a sim-
You can do mind-mapping, write outlines, create index cards, or
use online note-taking tools to help keep track of information.
One of the ways how easily organise ideas for a story is using
story maps - graphic representations of the various elements and
sequence of events of a story, which clearly outline the relations-
hips to each other.
Some of the many elements of a story include: the important cha-
racters (their appearance, personality traits, and motivations), the
setting of the story (time and place), problem faced by the cha-
racters, how the problem is approached, and the outcome.
There are many approaches how to create your story that exami-
ne different elements of the story (and reveal different structures
within a story).
• You can write about (summarize) what happened at the begin-
ning, the middle, and the end of the story.
DIGITAL STORYTELLING MODULEADVANCED COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY 20
• Five W's diagrams are a type of graphic organizer that in a
simple visual way help to organize basic information neces-
sary for a story or to describe an event. There are 5 question
words „Who, When, Where, What, and Why" that can be inter-
preted in many different ways, including why the event happe-
ned or why the event was important.
• To create a narrative describing the sequence of events to
5 Wh questions the 6 question can be added - How?
DIGITAL STORYTELLING MODULEADVANCED COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY 21
• Some list the title, setting, characters, the problem, the solu-
tion and the moral or theme of the story.
• This story map prompts the student to summarize the place,
time, characters, problem, and solution of a story.
• Some list a complex chain of events that summarize all key
elements of the story, in chronological order.
Describe the problem
Describe the solution
DIGITAL STORYTELLING MODULEADVANCED COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY 22
• Spider map (sometimes called a semantic map) also can be
used to to organize one’s thoughts, investigate and enumera-
te various aspects of a single theme or topic. The process of
creating a spider diagram helps to focus on the topic, requi-
res to review what is already known in order to organize that
knowledge, and helps to monitor growing comprehension of
Apart from the previously discused techniques you can choose a
technique you prefer or create your own for making a story map.
Whatever technique you use don’t forget to visualize the charac-
ters, settings and events. Pay attention to the sequence of main
events- decide what happened first, next, and then . . . .
Story maps can be used as an outline for creating a story or to
summarize the story events.
As a story map is a visual depiction of the settings or the sequen-
ce of major events and actions of story characters it enables the
author to relate story events and to perceive structure.
PowerPoint can be a very useful tool to create story maps. This
is a fun way to integrate technology and literacy in the classroom
and all the while students will be learning how to use PowerPoint.
You can use online interactive graphic organizers and interactive
Story Map creators
Write the script
After you have organized your ideas, collected and sorted the
necessary information the next stepi s to write a script that will
be used as a narration in your digital story. When you are trying
to write, sometimes it is embarrasing as you have a blank sheet
of paper and a feeling that you do not know where to start. That’s
why the pre-writing steps mentioned previously are recomended
to help with the initial process of organizing your thoughts before
proceeding with the story writing.
DIGITAL STORYTELLING MODULEADVANCED COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY 23
If you have an idea and you have developed the story map, then
with a little bit of editing, it can become a script. If you researched
and explored the topic well, the body of the script should fall into
place like a jigsaw puzzle. The pieces are already there, you just
need to make them fit.
This is also the time where literary decisions come into play. Deci-
de whether you will use first, second or third person. Expand word
choices, do not hesitate to use a dictionary or thesaurus.
www.visuwords.com - Visuwords™ online graphical dictionary
where you can look up words to find their meanings and associa-
tions with other words and concepts.
www.wordnik.com - shows definitions from multiple sources, so
you can see as many different takes on a word's meaning as pos-
Remember that a story is more than just words. A digital Story is
personal. It's told from the heart with feelings that can be revea-
led in both words and pictures.
Remember that your script will be read or told it is not going to
be published. A great piece of writing doesn't always turn into a
great voice-over, for a voice-over is written to be spoken. No one
listening can see spelling errors so write it as you would speak
it, it's not an address or a lecture but it is a considered narrative.
The precise word count is less important than the rhythm with
which the words are delivered.
For a story of two minutes, the script should be about 250 words
long. Be aware, though, that most stories benefit from pauses,
gaps in the voice-over where the pictures are allowed to carry the
narrative by themselves.
In a two minute piece there is plenty of time to lose your way.
A story is like a journey and it is very easy to set off in the right
direction and yet never reach your destination. So, while you are
writing, keep asking yourself: „What is my story about?” Do not
include anything which dilutes the story's intention.
Creating a storyboard
It can be a valuable step in the creative process by allowing the
developer to understand the necessity for sound and images and
to organize images and text in a blueprint fashion before the ac-
tual development begins. It allows the user to visualize how the
project will be put together and what holes exist since you can
see the entire plan laid out in front of you. Storyboarding can also
inspire new ideas as well as rearrange existing resources befo-
re the final development begins and changes may be harder to
make. Simple storyboards will just have room for images/video
and the script. More advanced ones might even include room for
transitions, and background music.
A storyboard is a written or graphical representation of all the ele-
ments that will be included in a digital story. The storyboard is
usually created before actual work on creating the digital story
begins and a written description and graphical depiction of the
elements of the story, such as images, text, narration, music,
DIGITAL STORYTELLING MODULEADVANCED COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY 24
transitions, etc. are added to the storyboard. The elements of the
story are arranged in the storyboard in the chronological order in
which they will appear in the story and this allows the developer to
organize and re-arrange the content for maximum effect.
Storyboards may be created in a variety of ways, both digitally
and manually on paper or artists' board. If storyboards are de-
veloped on a computer, a variety of software programs may be
used, such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Transition Transition Transition
Scene 2 Scene 3
DIGITAL STORYTELLING MODULEADVANCED COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY 25
1. Digital Storytelling
1.1 What is digital storytelling
A. Do you like to tell or write stories? Give your arguments.
B. Work in groups: What do you think is a digital story? Give a
C. What elements do traditional written stories and digital stories
have in common and what makes them different?
1.2 The role of digital storytelling in media literacy.
D. In groups brainstorm and make a list of skills you need to
create a digital story.
E. Watch the digital story and see if you have mentioned all the
skills on the list.
F. Read the text and add the skills to your list.
2. Storytelling techniques
2.1 Elements of a good storytelling
G. Discuss in groups: What elements can make a digital story
memorable and impressive?
H. Watch the digital story. What impressed you in the story? How
was it achieved?
2.2 Types of Digital stories
2.2.1 Personal/Narrative Stories
I. What are the most typical themes of a personal story?
2.2.2 Stories that Examine Historical Events
J. What historical material can be used to create a story?
K. Discuss in groups: What can be the themes of stories that
examine history and what material can be used?
2.2.3 Stories that Inform or Instruct. Activities.
L. In groups choose some digital stories and try to categorize
them (according to criteria - content, theme, media, etc.).
Give reasons why you think it belongs to that category. Pay
attention to the lenth of the story, the author, the message.
DIGITAL STORYTELLING MODULEADVANCED COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY 26
3. Interview and report
M. In what way and what kind of information can be collected for
a digital story?
3.1.1 Tips for interviewing
N. What are the advantages and disadvantages of these types
3.1.2 Guidelines for the Interviewer
O. What three advice do you concider to be most useful for the
3.1.3 Guidelines for the interviewee
P. What is your experience of being interviewed? Mention some
positive and/or negative conslusions.
3.1.4 Reporting. Activities.
Q. Choose a theme you would like to interview your groupmate.
Write questions for an interview.
R. Role play the situation and record the interview.
4. Media news
4.1 Steps of digital storytelling. Activities.
S. What are the main steps in producing a digital story?
T. What could be the theme of your digital story? What would
you like to make it about? Who could be the audience?
U. Choose one of the methods discussed before (mind-map,
graphic organiser, 5 W’s diagram, on – line tools, etc.) and
create your story map.
V. Think what information you need for your story. Who will tell
the story? If necessary search the information, prepare inter-
view questions, write the script.
W. Create a storyboard. Think what elements you will use to make
your story memorable, emotionally impressive and powerful.
DIGITAL STORYTELLING MODULEADVANCED COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY 27
Art, Storytelling, Technology and Education.
Retrieved February10, 2014, from http://www.jasonohler.com/
Bamford, Anne. The Visual Literacy White Paper.
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Digital storytelling: A tutorial in 10 easy steps.
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Digital Storytelling. Retrieved February 17, 2014,
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Digital Storytelling:Capturing Lives, Creating Community.
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munities. Retrieved February 17, 2014, from http://librarydigi-
Framework for 21 st Century Learning, Retvieved March 2,
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Frazel, Midge. Digital storytelling:Guide for Educators.
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Lambert, Joe. Digital storytelling Cookbook.
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COURSE OF MEDIA LITERACY
Project supported by:
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission