Digital storytelling is a lot like what it sounds like! It's telling narratives using digital means--whether it's textual, image-based, or multimedia. Despite that simple explanation, though, actually embarking on a digital storytelling project isn't always so straightforward. In addition to learning how to be a deft storyteller (in the medium of your choice), the digital brings with it tools to learn and to weigh against each other, copyright issues to consider, research skills to build to support your project, and a sense of awareness and empathy to tell your story inclusively (especially when working with primary sources).
Each page in this guide with offer you a perspective on one popular digital storytelling tool. While many of these tools have robust how-to guides and comprehensive literature online to get you started, the goal of this guide is to provide more of a qualitative overview that breaks down what these tools are, what they offer (and don't), and what makes them different from other tools that might appear to serve a similar purpose. That being said, we will also provide as many links to those brass-tacks guides and manuals so that you can go from brainstorming to executing.
For each tool, we'll be discussing four primary components to consider when selecting and brainstorming around a tool. These are:
A web-based tool that generates interactive timelines from data provided in a Google spreadsheet. Timelines can display a variety of media. Results are shared via a URL link or embed code.
Similar to the aforementioned Timeline JS tool, TimeMapper uses data provided in spreadsheets to generate timelines, maps, or a combination of the two.
Create a guided tour of images accompanied by text in an interactive viewer that supports panning and zooming. Images must be provided via IIIF, a standard adopted by many institutions with digital collections, including Ohio University’s Digital Archives.
Digital collection and exhibit publishing platform with a range of hosting and feature options depending on your project needs. Omeka.net offers a free trial (no expiration) with limited plug-ins and storage.
Digital collection and exhibit publishing platform with metadata-based visualizations such as maps, timelines, and word clouds. A well-documented GitHub Pages template provides detailed instruction for creating a free, hosted instance.
A low-cost hosting service that caters to the education sector.
Free podcast creation platform with beginner-friendly tools for recording, editing, and publishing.