Reflection #4: Digital Storytelling

What is Digital Storytelling? Icons for a computer, video camera, microphone, camera and music.

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

Czarina, K. (2009). Digital storytelling in practice. Library Technology Reports, 45(7), 5-8. Retrieved August 16, 2011, from EBSCOhost.

4 responses to “Reflection #4: Digital Storytelling

  1. Amanda Limcaco

    Hi Hope – Thank you for writing this. I fully agree that digital storytelling has empowered marginalized community members to share their stories. This speaks to the ability of online technologies and especially social media to increase access to public forums and remove some of the barriers and traditional gatekeepers. While there is still a lot of work to do in terms of restoring narrative control to these community members, utilizing digital storytelling is a good place to start.

  2. Emrys Holmes

    I love that you chose to write about digital storytelling! It’s a topic that’s very near and dear to my heart, so I really loved reading your perspective on it. I also appreciated your referencing the use of digital storytelling for libraries themselves, and great work on the cover image!

  3. I played the video and the suggested video after it was called “Empathy.” Makes sense – story leads to understanding. Thanks for this post.

  4. Fredy Gonzalez

    Hi Hope,

    Thanks for the great write up. It is amazing to see all the different possibilities that can be accomplished with digital storytelling, and seeing how the youth really use it to its full potential. I wanted to add that digital storytelling or storytelling in general, is a great way for the community to express themselves, and most important keep their culture and language.

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