The Digital Storytelling Project

I want you, first and foremost, to have fun with this project. Make it creative. Remember that your audience will be other classmates.

Here are a few tips on how to think about this project:

-Remember that it should be documentary-style (think Ken Burns’s Jazz)

-Think about the historical context of the magazine. This information should be primary in your presentation.

-What are some of the more unique aspects of your magazine? Show your audience what is so interesting and unique about your magazine.

-Think about your project as having some sort of narrative arch.

-Where and why does the magazine begin? What was the major problems (with society/    with poetry/ with the arts) that the magazine attempts to address?

-How is this problem addressed?

-Was the magazine successful in addressing the stated problem?

Another way to think about this is with Jason Ohler’s book on how to create successful digital stories in the classroom. He has three main components that help frame the story you want to tell:

1. The central challenge that creates the story’s tension and forward momentum. This can be a question, a problem, an obstacle, an opportunity or a goal that needs to be addressed by the main character in the story.The challenge creates tension that gives the story its forward momentum, which in turn produces listener involvement. FYI: the main character can be anything from a rock, to a group of animals, to a student, to, in some cases, the audience itself.

2. Character transformation that facilitates the response to the challenge. Transformation is difficult and is often resisted, a portrayed in the picture below. Transformation is the essential change that a character needs to undergo to address the challenge, obstacle or opportunity. Sometimes the transformation occurs at the end, and, rarely, at the beginning. But it is usually most powerful when it occurs in the middle and facilitates the response to the challenge. Typically, change is a struggle. Either “life” or the “old you” pushes back as new circumstances or a “new you” struggles to emerge. If change comes too easily in a story, the audience disengages.

3. The response to the challenge that resolves the tension and leads to story closure. The character addresses the challenge made possible by the transformation. This can mean solving a mystery, slaying a dragon, reaching a goal, applying new academic knowledge or learning processes, overcoming an obstacle… anything that addresses the challenge, resolves the tension and leads to closure. Closure by no means implies a happy ending, just a resolution of events.

-from Digital Storytelling in the Classroom: New Media Pathways to Literacy, Learning, and Creativity (2008)


-Again, we will start the scripts in class, but it will be up to you to finish it in a timely and efficient manner.