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Digital Storytelling

Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling

Getting Started

In 8 Steps to Great Digital Storytelling, Samantha Morra provides a great overview of the digital storytelling process, as shown in the following graphic.

Handouts and storyboards

Select a story prompt or use one of your lesson/unit ideas:

    • I'll never forget the time I .......
    • There’s no place like home 
    • My mother/father never . . .
    • If I had a time machine . . .
    • My life as a movie
    • My biggest regret
    • My dream
    • My last lecture
    • My greatest love
    • My journey
    • I shouldn’t have . . .
    • My favorite pet
    • A memorable vacation
    • My super power
    • Me as a vegetable, car, flower . . .
    • My favorite “teacher”
    • Your favorite prompt . . 
  • Storyboard, script, collect images and other media across our digital story types
  • Produce!
  • Embed

Lesson Plans

Digital Storytelling Lesson from Digitizing the Writing Workshop
The lesson plan is suitable for students in grades 4-10.

Students work in groups of 4 to write a collaborative story. Each student chooses a picture or visual image for their story prompt and begin to compose their story on a computer. The amount of time spent writing will depend on the grade level. After the allowed time, each person in the group will rotate to the next person's computer to build upon their story. Once students have contributed to every group member's story once they will return to their original computer. Students then finish their story by adding additional images and text. They will then use Microsoft Photostory 3 to create a digital story.


Many educators, such as Barrett (2006)Ohler (2008), and Teehan (2007-08), have developed rubrics that educators can use to assess digital stories created by students. These rubrics include categories related to the overall quality of the story such as “How well did the story work?” (Ohler, 2008), categories related to image quality such as “Did the images create an atmosphere or tone?” (Teehan, 2007-08) and categories related to audio quality such “Is the voice quality clear and consistently audible throughout the presentation?” (Barrett, 2006).

In a 2012 paper, McNeil and Robin propose an evaluation framework for digital storytelling that has three main categories: evaluation during the design process, evaluation during the development process, and evaluation after the project is completed. Each of these categories is divided into self- evaluation by the creator or group of creators if the project is team-based, peer-evaluation by other students, and educational evaluation by the teacher.

   Assessment Tools Evaluation Tools
Evaluator:   During
the Design Process
the development process
the project is completed
The Creator(s) 
  • Guidelines and specifications about story
  • Checklist of story artifacts
  • Graphics checklist
  • Audio checklist
  • Grammar/spelling checklist
  • Self- evaluation form
Creator’s Peers
  • Story circles (story script)
  • Story Screenings (story draft)
  • Peer evaluation
The Teacher
  • Evidence of planning process (script, storyboards, etc.)
  • Interview with creator about development process
  • Development rubric
  • Checklist of story artifacts
  • Rubric
  • Reflective paper/ video by creator
  • Evaluation of story traits such as engagement, character, and development


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