Storytelling has been a way of human communication and human connection since the beginning of time. Through storytelling, narratives have been passed along from generation to generation and classics and folktales have survived throughout time. Now in the 21st century, the arise of digital storytelling has now combined multimedia forms such as audio and visual elements along with people’s narratives.
Digital storytelling integrates reflection for deep learning, student engagement, technology integration, and project-based learning. By combining these ways of learning into digital storytelling, the process has now become a way for people to creatively tell their own stories with the use of technology. Libraries have recognized the power of digital storytelling and have even used digital storytelling within their own ALA, “Libraries Transform” Campaign (Boekesteijn, 2010).
Marginalized communities have also greatly benefited from the use of digital storytelling. Histories of underrepresented people have come to light and community involvement has been able to recognize the shortcomings such as social and racial inequities. For example, Faculty at the University of Colorado Denver partnered with community group Project VOYCE to facilitate youth engagement through digital storytelling. The high school students who participated created videos that reflect on their personal experience (Czarina, 2009).
In one example, a high school student shared her own digital storytelling experience by creating a multimedia video that shared her experiences of gentrification and community action. This impacting story fully represents the essence of digital storytelling and the potential it has to humanize social issues. It is through community engagement and the sharing of oral histories that these stories can be heard throughout the digital and global community.
Boekesteijn, E. (2010). What’s your story?: Dutch library DOK’s new cutting-edge community tech projects. Library Journal (online). Retrieved August 16, 2011, from http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/home/886170-264/whats_your_story_dutch_library.html.csp
Czarina, K. (2009). Digital storytelling in practice. Library Technology Reports, 45(7), 5-8. Retrieved August 16, 2011, from EBSCOhost.