Skip to main content
Create interactive lessons using any digital content including wikis with our free sister product
. Get it on the
Open Thinking Wiki
Various Resources compiled by Dr. Alec Couros
"... refers to using new digital tools to help ordinary people to tell their own real-life stories." (
“Digital Storytelling is the modern expression of the ancient art of storytelling. Throughout history, storytelling has been used to share knowledge, wisdom, and values. Stories have taken many different forms. Stories have been adapted to each successive medium that has emerged, from the circle of the campfire to the silver screen, and now the computer screen.” (
Leslie Rule, Digital Storytelling Association
Why (Digital) Storytelling?
Storytelling is the expression of common cultural artefacts shared by individuals & societies with roots extending to the emergence of prehistoric humans.
Stories help us make sense of ourselves, our cultures and societies, in rich and meaningful ways.
Storytelling may give voice to individuals and groups who have been oppressed by a culture of literary dominance.
Stories will help us leave a rich legacy of expression for future generations.
Storytelling helps us reclaim our narratives from corporate and commercial interests.
Stories and the process of storytelling can be used as a rich means of assessment.
Storytelling proves to be an engaging alternative for many learners.
Is Digital Different?
Digital stories are inherently easy to replicate and share.
Digital stories are not constrained to text, but can make use of imagery, audio, video, and social affordances available in the medium.
Digital storytelling can foster innovation and creativity as there are unlimited genres & forms available for expression.
50+ Storytelling Tools from CogDogBlog
has done much background work in finding some of the best tools available for developing web-based stories. Take a look and try some of the tools that Alan has listed.
Digital Storytelling from Wes Fryer
: Wes Fryer's digital storytelling wiki is one of the best resources on the subject. Beyond listing tools, Wes looks at some important issues such as copyright, fair use, and intellectual property.
Center for Digital Storytelling Examples
: This Center is a non-profit organization that helps individuals and institutions build digital stories. The examples of digital stories, and resources related to digital storytelling, may be useful.
Digital Story Telling Workshop
: This is an excellent resource from Patrick Woessner, MICDS (St. Louis) featuring a step-by-step workshop for teachers.
Meg's Digital Storytelling Resources
: An excellent resource with many good examples of digital stories and links across curriculum.
Digital Storytelling Collection
: Great resource from David Jakes including articles, media resources and examples of digital stories.
: An excellent article that points to "Thirty Plus Places to Find Creative Commons Media"
: A great resource from Helen C. Barrett.
: "From essay to multimedia collage" by Jason Ohler.
: The art of telling digital stories.
Video in the Classroom
: Excellent resource for elementary students by Matthew Needleman.
AFI Screen Nation
: Learning resources and examples from the American Film Institute.
21st Century Educator's Handbook (PDF)
: From the American Film Institute.
Digital Storytelling Tools for Educators
: A free book on Lulu by Silvia Tolisano.
One Minute Movies
: How to make a one-minute movie from the BBC.
: Elements for building digital stories (point-of-view, dramatic question, emotional content, your voice, soundtrack, economy, pacing) from the Center for Digital Storytelling. See other treatment of these steps
Digital Story Telling Cookbook (PDF)
: Excellent guide for creating digital stories.
Making Stopmotion Movies
: Useful resource for making stopmotion videos.
: An important site licensing your work under copyleft licenses, and finding other copyleft licensed work.
Flickr Creative Commons
: Flickr is the largest photo-sharing site on the Internet. Many of the photos are shared via copyleft licenses, and this link will take you directly to this space.
: The site contains high-resolution stock photography images free for either corporate or private use
: An excellent Flickr search tool.
: Excellent place to find classic, public domain audio files and video footage.
: A community music site with files that you can sample, remix, or mash-up.
The online music factory
: High quality sound effects, some free per month, but you need an account for unlimited downloads. There are
: A collection of high quality clips that are available under a Creative Commons license.
The Open Video Project
: A shared digital video collection.
Finding Media for Your Story
: A comprehensive list of media resources compiled by
Examples of Digital Stories:
Digital stories take a number of forms, and I am very liberal with the interpretation of what is considered a digital story. I believe that inspiration can be found from a number of digital story types and formats. Here are a few to consider below.
Commercials & Commentaries:
: An essay about the future from Nokia.
Mr. Winkle Wakes
: An animated, retelling of a classic story (by Matthew Needleman)
Ze Frank Wants Respect
: Master storyteller Ze Frank in his
Time news series
. I would also highly recommend Ze Frank's earlier series,
(not all content appropriate for younger viewers).
The Canal & The Closet
: What makes a great story? This commercial may help us consider this.
Mother of All Funk Chords
: Not a story, per se, however this video demonstrates the art of the mashup to make a beautiful, artistic piece. See other tracks at
Star Wars Uncut
: Stitch together the movie Star Wars, 15 seconds at a time.
: Remixing movie trailers to create the appearance of a different genre has become quite popular. See other examples such as
School of Rock
Forest Gump, One Minute, One Take
: This short story takes a different approach to story summaries, and could be a motivational format for students. See also
28 Days Later
, and the
Story of Johnny Walker
(this one is a professional advertisement).
Behind Every Tweet
: Trailer made for a presentation regarding Twitter, used only archive.org (public domain) footage.
: An example of a personal attack ad made as a presentation trailer. This is another genre of story/video that is worth exploring.
Stop Motion & Other Innovative Techniques:
: This is a classic in the genre, a film from 1952 from Norman McLaren. The stop-motion technique used here is known as
. More about the film
Tony vs. Paul
: Excellent example of a stop motion video. Long, but gives many good ideas.
Sorry I'm Late
: Innovative film which includes a 'making of' section for ideas and processes.
: This is a wonderful music video featuring
. In other words, these are real scenes videoed in a way that make them look as if the objects are fake miniatures.
Last Day Dream
: This is a powerful short video that signifies an individual's life in 42 seconds. (Language/content warning)
Her Morning Elegance
: This is a brilliant stop motion video. It is soft, smooth, and romantic, and accompanies the soundtrack beautifully.
The PEN Story
: This a beautiful, nostalgic stop motion video celebrating the Olympus PEN series of cameras. Two things strike me here. First, we are beginning to see an increase by advertisers as they push the boundaries of marketing through the creation of emotional, artistic productions. Second, the video reminds me of how much influence the camera has on our society, and how it ultimately frames our messages and our memories.
The Time Machine
: An Interactive Adventure: A story created using annotation linking in Youtube, similar to choose-your-own-adventure books.
: A very personal photo essay of one's daughter.
Days with My Father
: Haunting photo-essay about a photographer's relationship to his elderly father.
Mankind is No Island
: A story filmed entirely with a cellphone camera.
: Story told through Google searches.
Public Service Announcements:
: Ontario’s Workplace Safety Insurance Board released a number of gruesome safety ads that really pushed the boundaries of the PSA. This ad was one of the more popular (and gruesome) of the series.
U.N. Landmine Commercial
: This startling commercial brings home the reality of landmines. It calls out for action from those with privilege with the message “If there were landmines here, would you stand for them anywhere?”
Belt Up In the Back
: A surprising and horrendous seat belt safety commercial from the UK.
: This eerie video was produced by the Israeli AIDS Task Force.
Children See, Children Do
: This is an effective Australian PSA regarding the imitation of behaviors by children of their parents.
Clean House: Meth
: This is an interesting (and strangely catchy) meth prevention PSA, typical of those provided by A Partnership for a Drug-Free America.
Student Created Stories:
- Created through the Life 'Round Here Project by
(Grade 6). See many other stories from the
Life 'Round Here
Calgary Science School
- These resources were contributed by
Calgary Science School
. See examples of
stories and processes.
Journey of an Unclaimed Life
: Powerful story from an adult student shared by
: Excellent short story by
Student & Teacher Movies
: Long list of examples shared by
Research Based Stories
: Shared by
, these stories were created using Nokia N95 mobile phones.
Mysteries of Harris Burdick
: An award-winning collaborative writing project.
Stories Made With The Tools
shares more examples of stories made with various tools.
: This is a great digital story from ECMP student, Alana Bashforth.
Other Resources & Stories:
Ira Glass on Storytelling
: Glass helps us consider the purest form of storytelling.
The Story of a Sign
– This is a beautiful, award-winning short film. Other than being an excellent piece for studying film grammar, it also portrays a wonderful message about the importance of carefully framing and designing one’s message.
60 Second Recap
: Classic stories in 60 seconds.
: By Henry Jenkins
Best Job in the World
: Videos from the 16 finalists for the "best job in the world"
In My Own Language
: An autistic woman "speaks" her own language, then ours.
How to Create a Great PowerPoint Without Breaking the Law
: An informative presentation by Alvin Trusty.
Wanna Work Together?
: A video about the Creative Commons.
: The TED site has many examples of great thinkers telling their compelling stories.
: An excellent presentation by Larry Lessig (who really changed they way people design presentations.
Water Buffalo Movie
: A story based on bringing a Water Buffalo to a poor family in China.
5 X 5
: Five shots, five seconds each.
: A question of balance - featuring mountain unicycling.
help on how to format text
Canadian Educational Bloggers
Copyright and Fair Use
Dark Side of the Internet
Open Source, Content, Publishing
Social Justice & Technology
Tech & Media Literacy Videos
Tools & Software
Pages and Files
Contributions to http://couros.wikispaces.com/ are licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 2.5 License
Portions not contributed by visitors are Copyright 2017 Tangient LLC
TES: The largest network of teachers in the world
Turn off "Getting Started"