Archive for August, 2004

26th August
written by Tom Banaszewski

For teachers who have attempted a digital story project in the classroom, you have undoubtedly faced the snarly challenge of explaining how a script for a digital story is different from any other type of written story. The most widely used approach seems to be to focus on the classic elements of effective composition: description, character, setting, and dialogue. BUT is this the best approach for creating a digital story that seems to rely more on the synthesis of images and voice?

When I used the composition approach, I would get a few students who wrote extensively detailed stories, four pages in length, complete with analogies. Fortunately, there were only a few 500 word stories that I had to help students revise. It didn’t seem to make sense to push the students for two weeks to write, revise, add more detail and dialogue and then tell them they could only use a fraction of what they had written. I had a hunch I would run into this problem and when it came time to cross that bridge, I sped on to the production parts of the project.

I still believe that strong composition skills are an important part of the digital story process for young students, not so much for adults. I started using DS in the classroom because I wanted to prove that multimedia production enhanced student’s literacy development. In general, I have plenty of data to support that claim, but when you take a closer look at the specific writing skills that can be evaluated that’s when you see how writing a script for a digital story differs from writing a detailed piece that will meet your English teacher’s standards.

I had a brief conversation with storyteller Jay O’Callahan, who recently embarked on writing his first book, about how writing a story differs from creating a story to be performed. I can only remember that he said that the two processes are very different. I think the same is true of writing a digital story script.

What’s the most effective approach for teaching the most important part of the digital story process?
How does the approach differ for teaching students or those with little to no ‘story’ background?
What can we learn from video production classes and photography writing classes?

19th August
written by Tom Banaszewski

It’s been over a month since my tour of Europe, meeting a bunch of really cool folks doing really cool things in the field of digital storytelling. For those whose brows wrinkle at the sight of the term “digital storytelling,” the Capture Wales project is a good place to start for a clear example of the end product.

How did I get involved with the digital storytelling community

Back in ’98, I was working on a Masters in Creative Arts and Learning. I wanted to develop a ‘multimedia storytelling’ approach that I could use in the 4th grade classroom I was teaching at the time. I found on the web a multimedia live storytelling performance called Next Exit by a man named, Dana Atchley, co-founder of the Center for Digital Storytelling. Later that year, I saw his last performance at the annual Digital Storytelling Festival and began working with Joe Lambert and the folks from the Center.

What did I do as an intern with CDS inPolverigi, Italy?

CDS uses a workshop model where each participant completes a 3-4 minute digital story over the course of 3 days. I assisted with story development, image manipulation, editing in Premiere, post-production and general trouble-shooting.

After a month in Italy, Joe sent me on a tour of Europe to meet people he’s met over the years who are working in the digital storytelling field.

Where did I go after Polverigi?

(after seeing the ancient cities of Assisi, Florence, Siena and Rome)

First stop: Stockholm, Sweden

Simon Stromberg

Second stop: Malmo, Sweden


Third stop: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Henk – Waag: Society for Old and New Media

Fourth stop: Halverston, Netherlands

Frank – Teleac: School TV“>

Fifth stop: Copenhagen, Denmark

Sixth stop: Bristol, UK


Seventh stop: Cardiff, Wales