ICT teacher handbook/Digital story telling

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ICT teacher handbook
ICT in teaching learning Digital Story Telling Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge TPACK

The focus of this activity is to develop a digital story for a teaching-learning situation - examples, creating a photo essay for documenting an event or a place, comic strips to tell a story, an audio recording for sharing understanding. The focus on all of these activities is to demonstrate possibilities of using digital stories to express understanding and learning without focusing exclusively on text based methods.


  1. Capturing information in multiple (non-only-textual) ways; what to use when
  2. Understanding that digital stories can be picture albums, picture story books, audio books, audio visual books or videos or a combination of these
  3. Combining text, graphic and audio visual methods, developing a story and scripting by combining multiple digital methods
  4. Learning the effectiveness of digital stories for communication in classrooms; in the case of language teaching-learning how this can be used for learning and assessment. It can be used to document community institutions for social science or explore a topic in science or mathematics.
  5. Evaluation of digital stories (by teachers for assessment)
  6. Possibilities for inclusion using digital story telling (by teachers for children with different learning needs and abilities)

Understanding digital stories

The first step is in understanding the effectiveness of different kinds of communication. Take a given multimedia communication and discuss with the students the overall message and the role and effectiveness of each of the pieces of the digital story in communicating the idea. For example, take a sample of resources - sequence story of pictures, an animation, a poster, an audio clip or a video - and ask the children to tell the story.

Notes for the teacher

Use the following pointers to evaluate a digital story:

  1. What pictures/ images/ sounds/ videos have been captured? How are they important?
  2. How different media (audio, video, image) are different?
  3. Why has a video been used for a particular message or could it have been captured (better) by a photograph?
  4. How have text, images and audio/ video been combined?
  5. When to use what?

Student Outcomes

  1. Comprehension, verbal (oral) expression from a given story/ resource/ audio/ video
  2. Ability to coherently tell a story. Making a story line for a given idea. This is likely to be an iterative process, initially many 'story ideas' can be brain stormed by the students and then a few selected, by explicitly assessing these stories on parameters they use
  3. Identifying key ideas for getting photos / images/ drawing pictures
  4. Creating, accessing, modifying images and photos and adding descriptive text to develop stories
  5. Creating, accessing, modifying audio and video and combining with images and text to develop stories
  6. Technical skills of creating multimedia digital stories

Making a digital story with images and text

1. Telling a story with pictures

Digital story with photographs

Here, we have to create a photo / image essay. This could be either be a documentation of an event or a set of images that can be tied to tell a story or an explanation of a process. These images can be created through taking photographs of actual events or taking photographs of hand drawn illustrations. The photographs can be stitched using a slide show.

Making a story with digital art images

In addition to taking photographs, images can be digitally created using paint/ drawing applications. Images can also be created using digital art creation tools like Tux Paint or MyPaint. Screenshots of a digital art creation or snapshots of a video are also methods of generating digital images. Such creations can be combined with photographs in a slideshow.

Pedagogical possibilities from picture essays

There are multiple pedagogical possibilities from picture stories. Picture stories can be used as ways for building communication and expression in students. The choice of what to photograph or illustrate will determine the effectiveness of the photo essay.

Another skill to be built here is the ability to tell stories using photo or image essays. Unlike text, images can give rise to multiple interpretations and hence, multiple stories. This can be used effectively in a classroom to create an inclusive environment for all students to participate.

By asking students to illustrate a given story or a song or a poem, it is possible to assess their comprehension. Students can also be encouraged to make collaborative stories from pictures shared in a classroom.

2. Editing Images and Adding text

Once a picture story has been created, we may now find it useful to add text. For example, when we work for language lessons, we have to help create the story line using related pictures – related to a lesson/ idea/ author that we want to explore. It can be linked to the textbook chapter/ lesson; it need not be. Images can be added to text using a text editor or even a concept map; a concept map can also be presented with images and notes as a story.

There are different levels of combining text and images:

  1. Editing the image for size, format, scaling and cropping, inserting into a document.
  2. Editing images to improve image quality.
  3. Adding a caption to an image.
  4. Inserting text into images.
  5. Adding descriptive texts and labels to an image; sequencing and telling a story.

Together, the images and text can tell a story. Examples will include a picture story book, a comic strip, or even a poster or brochure. This method of communication can be useful to combine art with other subject areas.

Pedagogical possibilities from picture stories

Picture stories can be effective in allowing students to express their understanding in text, based on their language ability. Pictures can support the narration. The teacher can assess how the students are able to tell a story and their coherence of expression for a given idea. Picture essays and picture stories can also help teachers determine students' levels of documenting and their practices of documenting knowledge (their sources of information, permissions, etc), their skills of combining text and non-textual methods for communicating.

Other examples of picture stories

  1. Create a process flow (science) diagram and label it. (Using draw tools, scan from hand drawn process charts and take a screenshot from an existing image of a diagram/ process chart).
  2. Even a Geogebra file is one such image / text story.
  3. Explaining an experiment using screenshots from simulations is an example.

Digital learning resources to be used for making picture stories

  1. Learn Image Viewer
  2. Learn Freeplane
  3. Learn LibreOffice Writer
  4. Learn LibreOffice Impress
  5. Learn Tux Paint
  6. Learn MyPaint
  7. Learn GIMP

Audio and video stories

While we may not be using this very often, even simple audio clips can be used to tell stories. Using sounds and narrations to tell stories as well as adding sounds to embellish a story are possible. Determining when to add an audio or a video is a function of the story telling ability. There are multiple ways of creating audio and video files:

  1. Audio recording using a voice recorder or mobile
  2. Video recording using a camera or a mobile
  3. Screen cast video recording of any application or process being done on the computer
  4. Using a voice recorder, narrate the explanation, description or commentary of the process or event to create an audio clip.
  5. Combining the audio clip with videos and/or images to create video stories

Pedagogical possibilities from audio visual stories

Audio visual methods can add to the effectiveness of a message. Look at this video below of a short video combining audio(song),video (dance and protests) and animations.

Like in the case of picture stories, deciding on a story line, and correct choice of image or other media will determine effectiveness. Audio visual stories allow for different forms of expression including narration and music to be added and allow for more possibilities for creating an inclusive environment in a classroom.

Other outcomes will depend on the specific objectives of the digital story, whether of supporting deeper understanding of community/social institutions (in case of social science), of nature and natural processes/events (in case of science) and of expression/production (in case of language). Elements of art and music can also be blended into the digital story by the students. The style of presentation and quality of the output can also give the teachers an indication of the student's engagement with the idea/ concept as well as their technical skills.

Digital learning resources to be used for making picture stories

In addition to the tools mentioned, the following tools are to be used:

  1. Learn Audacity
  2. Learn Record My Desktop
  3. Learn OpenShot Video Editor

Assessment of digital stories

Digital stories can be used for assessment of student learning.

  1. How well story is developed?
  2. The quality of the script and the quality of the images, audio, video, text material used
  3. The quality of the language
  4. Analysing information presented in multiple formats
  5. How well ideas are connected?
  6. Accuracy

For a language lesson, you can assess the following:

  1. Coherence and the flow of story
  2. Language style
  3. Vocabulary
  4. Richness of ideas and extensions presented
  5. Linking of ideas

For social science topics, or projects in mathematics and science, we can assess the following:

  1. Coherence and the flow of story
  2. Richness of ideas and extensions presented
  3. How critical questions are asked and expressed, how dilemmas and challenges are explored
  4. Linking of ideas

Some examples of digital stories in schools

Looking at digital stories created by schools for different topics/issues/locations can give an idea of the immense possibilities of this as a pedagogical tool.

Video of a local handicraft making shop

Fire station jayanagar digital story telling.jpg

Picture essay of a fire station