When a digital story is finished it should be remembered for its soul, not the bells and whistles of the technology tools. (Bernajean Porter)
DigiTales, The Art of Telling Digital Stories, is the website of Bernajean Porter providing ideas and resources for enhancing the art of storytelling with digital tools. Digital storytelling invites a multimedia approach to personal narratives, family stories, and oral history, as well as informative and persuasive stories in various subjects across the curriculum. The technology that is readily available today provides opportunities to create new types of communication weaving written text with images and sound giving voice to the author’s story in creative and compelling ways.
In the “Storykeepers Gallery,” there are examples of stories that demonstrate how storytellers translate raw information into personal understanding, share defining moments, create docudramas, produce original poetry, topical reflections and memories with a moral. These types of digital stories illustrate an author’s engagement with the subject and showcase meaningful and appealing tales.
“DigiTales Tools” provides an overview of the software and hardware needed for creating digital stories along with tech tips and recommendations for younger children. The technique of voiceovers is explained emphasizing the importance of clear, quality technical recording without white noise or other distracting sounds.
In the section “Evaluating Projects,” Bernajean discusses the balance between crafting the soul of the story and not overdoing the bells and whistles of technology. Peer review guidelines are presenting in the form of a Gallery Walk. Digital Media Story Guides are available for the traits and elements of various communication types with an option to customize each one.
The “Resources” section includes Bernajean’s Del.icio.us Bookmarks, Tutorials, Classroom Connections, Sources for Images, Sound and Music, Discussion of Copyright Issues, and lists of Storytelling Books and Articles. Storymaking files provide tools used to help digital storytellers organize and develop their storymaking steps. This section concludes with Seven Steps to Create a DigiTales Story, a comprehensive view of the process used to craft a 3-5 minute digital movie with having fun as the most important element of a successful digital story.
Bernajea Porter’s book, DigiTales, The Art of Telling Digital Stories, is meant to help beginning digital storytellers select and use hardware and software as well as provide ideas and resources to enable them to take first steps in digital storytelling. The book conveys a magical feeling while providing the history, craft and detailed steps to become a ‘DigiTales StoryKeeper. ’
Anyone taking first steps in learning the artful mixing of narrative and multimedia tools to create digital stories will find the resources of the website and book, DigiTales, The Art of Telling Digital Stories, instructive and inspiring.