Digital Storytelling in Higher Education
AbstractBefore the first Sumerian scribe tapped cuneiform characters onto a clay tablet, the Epic of Gilgamesh made its way through Sumerian hearths as oral tradition.Digital Storytelling is a non-textual medium that empowers the common person to create and communicate their personal stories and insights. Digital Stories incorporate Audio and/or Video tools to publicize their narrative(s). Social Media venues – such as blogs, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – are the democratized outlets for Story promotion free from editorial encumbrance or traditional publishing space limitation.Digital Storytellers employ film-making, podcast/slide-show narration and animation as the means to broadcast their multi-media content. The modern home computer routinely includes popular film and sound editing programs, such as Final Cut and Audition, embedded into their suite of productivity software applications.This utilitarian media environment has enabled a subculture of Digital Storytellers developing trends and themes devoted to personal narrative creation. The stories are powerfully intimate and unique to the Storytellers. This helps to engage a potential audience in the consumption of the tales of everyday people. This emerging communication trend stands in contrast to the usual mainstream media fixation on important historical events/people or celebrity fascination.One of the goals of this paper and presentation is to embrace the techniques of Digital Storytelling in pedagogy. Digital Storytelling helps increase multi-media literacy in students. It also helps to improve student writing skills while empowering the Storyteller through the sheer act of telling their stories. “Here is what I think.” “This is what I am feeling.”This paper will describe research in desired learning outcomes through Digital Storytelling practice.The second part of this paper is experiential. In 2010, the University of Utah’s Marriott Library created a new technology services unit called the Digital Scholarship Lab (DSL). This included the creation of both an Audio and Video Studio. The Marriott Library was forward-thinking in developing services, within a Research Library, beyond the scope of typical collections management and traditional library outreach/service.The two Studios have served to incorporate multi-media learning objects into student and faculty curricular projects. The authors serve as the Engineer/Project Consultants providing the New Media expertise component to complement the professional media creation hubs.Digital Storytelling is a major focus of the work provided by the authors within the Digital Scholarship environment. They will describe examples of their typical DSL Storytelling projects. Such project outcomes will hope to serve as a guide and inspiration to peers seeking examples of New Media content creation via story and narrative.
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