What is Digital Storytelling?

Digital storytelling is the practice of combining narrative with digital content, including images, sound, and video, to create a short movie, typically with a strong emotional component. The Center for Digital Storytelling in Berkeley, CA, is known for developing the ‘Seven Steps of Digital Storytelling’:

Step 1: Owning Your Insights—finding and clarifying what the story is about
Step 2: Owning Your Emotions—identifying the emotions in the story and how to convey them to the audience
Step 3: Finding the Moment—identifying a moment to shape the story and share an insight
Step 4: Seeing Your Story—using visuals to bring the story to life
Step 5: Hearing Your Story—using sound to bring the story to life
Step 6: Assembling Your Story—composing a script and storyboard
Step 7: Sharing Your Story—determining the audience and how to present the story

In our process, we took an inductive approach to data collection in order to allow the stories to emerge after the students’ experiences abroad. During and upon returning from their trips, the students engaged in individual and group reflection activities to identify one story to script and eventually create a short movie.

Why Storytelling?

  • Storytelling is part of humanity because we make sense of the world though narrative
  • Stories are a core part of culture, belief systems, organizations, business strategy, and the list goes on
  • The best stories draw us in and inspire action
  • Stories allow us to connect with people and build empathy
  • EVERYONE has stories…many of them
  • Stories allow us to share lessons learned, as well as communicate abstract and complex ideas
Sites DOT MIISThe Middlebury Institute site network.