Adventures in an open digital storytelling course

I’m excited to be taking Jim Groom’s digital storytelling open course, ds106. (I’m taking George Siemens’ Learning and Knowledge Analytics course, LAK11,  as well, but more about that in a different post.)

What is digital storytelling?

The definition of digital storytelling, like the art itself, is a fluid one. The one I like is this:

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.

Leslie Rule, Digital Storytelling Association (as cited by Helen Barrett, 2011).

The processes of digital storytelling and learning are intimately connected. As noted in the Digital Storytelling Cookbook, “Stories are the large and small instruments of meaning, of explanation, that we store in our memories” (Lambert, 2010).  They’re the way we make sense of things.

A history of digital storytelling

Some of the people and events that have contributed to the digital storytelling “movement” are described in this  Slideshare by Jolandra White.

It should be apparent that because storytelling is part of our human natures, “[s]tories have been adapted to each successive medium that has emerged, from the circle of the campfire to the silverscreen, and now the computer screen” (The Digital Storytelling Association, as cited by Lambert, 2010). For each new bit of technology that appears, you’ll find someone experimenting with it to tell a story.

Experiment alert

There are many applications of digital storytelling: to share personal narratives, to reflect on learning, to create compelling learning experiences, and  to create fictional stories. I’m interested in the use of digital narratives both as a way to create compelling learning experiences and as a way to create fictional stories. I’m particularly interested in how digital storytelling transforms traditional approaches to writing fiction.

There will some experiments as the course progresses and I’ll share those with you, but I’ll try to keep my posts related to instructional design applications for digital storytelling as well.

My digital storytelling resources

Here’s my Diigo list of digital storytelling resources and tools: Digital storytelling.

You also might be interested in joining the open Diigo Group (Digital Storytelling) devoted to collecting digital storytelling resources. (This group is not associated with ds106.)


Barrett, H. (2011). Digital Storytelling.

Lambert, J. (2010). The Digital Storytelling Cookbook, Center for Digital Storytelling. Retrieved from


Left-brain-right-brain by vaXzine

3 responses to “Adventures in an open digital storytelling course

  1. Pingback: Vuvox: a tool for digital storytelling | Instructional Design Fusions

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  3. Pingback: Storytelling meets Web 2.0 | Instructional Design Fusions

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