Posted by Carole Kirk

Digital Storytelling

Digital storytelling is a way of using images, narrative, text, sound and transition to create a ‘movie’ that tells a story.  This can be done simply using PowerPoint, or by using software such as Microsoft Photostory 3.   You may also find our document on sourcing and preparing images to use in a Digital Story useful.

We have two tutorials on ways to use Digital Storytelling:

Our post on digital storytelling for reflection shares some ideas about tools and lenses that you can use when developing or reflecting upon a digital story.

You may also be interested in Claudia Sternberg’s case study on the use of digital stories to complement text-based learning.

Software that you can use for making digital stories includes:-

PhotoStory 3

This is a free download from Microsoft, which will run on Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7.  It is very simple to use.  The only drawbacks are that you can’t import video, and there isn’t a MAC version available.  If you need to edit the audio, see our post on using Audacity to do so.


Windows MovieMaker

If you need to use video you could use MovieMaker, which is available for Vista or Windows 7.  It is a little more complicated to use than Photostory 3, but still quite straightforward.  You can use the tutorial below, or we have made a more comprehensive tutorial on video editing.  There is lots of help available on the Microsoft website.

PowerPoint 2007

Another tool that can incorporate video is PowerPoint.  Here is an example digital story created using PowerPoint 2007:

And here is a tutorial showing how to create a digital story using PowerPoint 2007:

iMovie for MAC

For MAC users, you can use iMovie to create digital stories.  There is full guidance on using iMovie on the Apple website.

Case Studies

In the Design Presentation module for second year Performance Design students, the project trialled the use of PhotoStory3 as a way for designers to tell a story through visual means.  The full case study is here.   We created bespoke learning resources (click to view here).

In Museum Studies, the ‘Leeds Collections in Context’ module enhancment aimed to use PhotoStory 3 to produce video from audio recordings and still images collected during the process of doing research for a virtual exhibition.  The full case study is here, and the learning resources are here.

The Reflect 2.0 project also created some useful resources on the i-reflect website.  There is also an online version of a study guide that includes case studies and descriptions of how to use digital storytelling software – digital approaches to academic reflection: a digital storytelling study guide.