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Digital Stories

What are they?

Digital stories combine the art of traditional story-telling with the use of new technologies, making stories more compelling, educational, engaging and creative. Digital story-telling allows students and teachers to tell their own stories by using simple multimedia software to combine the use of video, photos, art and audio such as music, narration and/or sound effects into a single presentation. See also Animation and Presentation Tools.

What do they look like?

Image of various pieces of children's school work

What's happening in Victorian schools?

  • Saving Nak − the students at Thornbury High were stirred into action when they learned a popular student was forcing deportation. They protested, sang, and discovered politics. Their film was featured on the ABC's Video Lives: Your place your story.

Ideas for the classroom

  • Connect Primary and Connect Secondary − these Department sites include an excellent range of digital stories. Search for 'online stories' or 'digital stories'. You can also click 'listen', 'watch', 'make a movie', 'animate', 'read' under the Backpack heading on the Primary site. See: FUSE Primary and FUSE Secondary
  • Youth Central − digital stories vault and excellent tutorials on Microsoft Photo Story, see: Youth Central. You can download a free version of Photo Story from Microsoft
  • Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) − student and teacher digital stories workshops. These workshops are supported with funding from the Department. For information on sessions, see: ACMI Digital Stories. There are also a selection of digital stories at: Made by Kids.
  • ePotential − there are many excellent examples and resources to assist teachers in the creation of digital stories in ePotential. You can find them by logging in using your 8 digit pin/TO number and then searching for 'digital stories'.

Tools for creating digital stories

  • Microsoft PhotoStory 3.1 − is a free application that allows users to create a show and tell presentation from their digital photos. The software allows adding narration, effects, transitions and background music to create a Windows Media Video movie file with pan and zoom effects.
  • Kahootz − all Victorian government schools received Kahootz 3.0 at the beginning of Term 2, 2008. The Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF) developed Kahootz to provide students with dynamic tools to create, share and collaborate with digital curriculum content. With a range of exciting new features, Kahootz 3.0 provides students with even more ways to create amazing stories, inventions, habitats, games, movies and soundtracks.
  • Microsoft MovieMaker − is video creating/editing software that is included in recent versions of Microsoft Windows. It contains features such as effects, transitions, titles/credits, audio track and timeline narration.
  • Microsoft PowerPoint − is a presentation program and part of the Microsoft Office system that runs on Microsoft Windows and Macintosh OS operating systems. In PowerPoint, text, graphics, movies, and other objects are positioned on individual pages or 'slides'. The slides can be animated, and voice, sounds and hyper-links can be added to create a story, games or movies.
  • iPhoto − is a software application made by Apple Inc. exclusively for their Mac OS X operating system. It is part of the iLife suite of applications and comes bundled with every new Macintosh computer. iPhoto can import, organise, edit, print and share digital photos. It is often compared to Google's Picasa and Adobe's Photoshop Album.

Working online

Please note: This page is a teacher resource. Teachers are advised of the need to check the terms and conditions, privacy, and age restrictions of digital resources before using them with students. Teachers need to be aware of how and where their students’ information and content is used and shared by the digital technologies they plan to use. Parental consent must be obtained to use a student’s personal information to generate accounts and provide access to online services. Non-identifiable information should be used by students working online.

iCan

How it works − iCan is found on the Sfett.com website. It is a short film festival inspired by Marco Torres, produced by students from San Fernando, CA, USA. The movies are projects for school assignments as well as projects for community building. Digital storytelling is their way of promoting the arts, celebrating culture, and improving communications with the world.

Safety information − videos are selected for uploading to the site. There are no stated guidelines for appropriate content.

Portable Film Festival

How it works: the Portable Film Festival is an Australian-based international festival of short films just for portable devices including play station portables (PSPs), iPods and MP4 players, 3G phones, netbooks and laptops. The site is also a portal to digital video resources and collections.

Safety information: the site is available for use by people over the age of 13. Minors are advised they require parental consent to submit content.

The One Minutes Jr

How it works: sixty second videos made by young people aged 12 - 20 years from all over the world. The One Minutes Jr site is a project of the European Cultural Foundation, The One Minutes Foundation and UNICEF. 'The network gives young people, especially those who are underprivileged or marginalised, the opportunity to have their voices heard by a broad audience.' Workshops are run throughout the world and there is an annual competition for youth-created videos.

Safety information: videos are approved before they are published on the site. There is copyright information. There are no stated guidelines for appropriate content.