Reading Response Week 11/17/16 — November 18, 2016

Reading Response Week 11/17/16


Digital storytelling to me is clearly a tool that can be used in the classroom for nearly any audience. Adult learners in a corporate environment are the audience that I interact with. The article ‘6 Reasons You Should Be Doing Digital Storytelling With Your Students’ by Anna Warfield touches on the value of digital storytelling in the classroom. I found that this article provides further evidence to support digital storytelling when engaging adult learners and that any learners can benefit from the use of digital storytelling.

Digital storytelling helps learners practice leadership traits. Learners are able to take initiative and learn more about themselves and their audience in the process. I work with adult learners and teaching basic leadership skills is part of what I design and deliver. Asking learners to produce a digital story creates many positive outcomes. The art of self-reflection and building confidence are two of these outcomes. As the author points out, creative and analytical thinking are also developed.

Digital storytelling also provides an opportunity to develop a working knowledge of technology. The workplace continues to evolve and technology is increasingly applied as a tool to perform and complete different tasks. In addition, interaction with digital storytelling allows students to practice giving constructive feedback to peers.

Digital storytelling supports critical thinking and traditional writing practices. Students must ask themselves questions about the message, audience, and many other facets of the storytelling process. Writing is still very much a part of everyday life and the process of composing a digital story is much like writing a story.

The author makes a case for using digital storytelling as a means of assessment. I have not given this idea much attention until know. When I consider the adult learners that I interact with, digital storytelling could be used to evaluate what was learned. Providing a digital storytelling activity would be a change from the usual written assessment. Digital storytelling would provide a greater sense of freedom and application of critical thinking. There would have to be some rules established to keep learners on track, but the overall experience could have a powerful impact on the overall learning experience.

Digital Story Critique 11/17/16 —

Digital Story Critique 11/17/16

Johnnie Walker – The Man Who Walked Around The World


Many companies use digital storytelling to inform us about whom they are and the products they provide. Johnny Walker has a very engaging digital story that informs us of the birth of a product that has become recognized all around the world. This production, which runs about 6 minutes, flows seamlessly in one continual take. It is appropriate that the story is told while the narrator, Robert Carlyle, walks down a road. As we walk along the road there are many props along the way that represent milestones in the story. This is a nice touch because it supports the story and validates that it is true.

We learn about Johnny Walker, the life he lived, the business decisions he made and about his descendants. We also learn about the product, the shape of the bottles, the label intentionally placed at a 24-degree angle, and the blended scotch itself. The pace of the narration, supported by music, contributes to a peaceful walk with the narrator, ultimately moving forward seamlessly.

Before we realize it, the story concludes and leaves the feeling that although this story is over Johnny Walker is walking. Overall, this is a really engaging digital story supported by clever narration, a nice musical score, and props that support the narration as we move along with the narrator.

Using Jason Ohler’s Assessment Traits I have chosen to use Story, Project Planning, and Writing.




How well did the story work? This trait can address structure, engagement, character transformation or any of the other qualities of story discussed in Part II. In fact, an entire rubric can be devoted to evaluating the quality


The story works well. I was impressed with the timing and pace of the dialogue. The introduction of props to support the story is also nicely timed. Overall the character walking down a road, passing milestones and the consistent delivery of narration supports the evolution of Johnny Walker and also plays to the name Walker.
Project planning


Is there evidence of solid planning, in the form of story maps, scripts, storyboards, etc.?


This is a professional production and the time is well spent. The narration is engaging and quickly sets the tone. Planning and storyboarding is evident as we travel down the road and we are supported by the regular use of physical props.


What was the quality of the student’s written work exhibited in the planning documents, research, etc.?


The digital story is about 6 minutes in duration and yet when I watched, this production was over before I knew it. The actor used was appropriate being Scottish and delivered the narration in a forceful manner. When Robert Carlyle first speaks he commands our attention and continues until the end. This is evidence of the quality of the written work used to support this production.
Digital Story Critique Week 11/7/16 HTC — November 11, 2016

Digital Story Critique Week 11/7/16 HTC

HTC Featuring Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) ‘Here’s to Change” HD



In my search to learn more about digital storytelling I have come across an HTC advertising campaign. This is a professional example of a digital story that is produced to inform the audience of a product. HTC is going big here using Robert Downey Jr and other Hollywood actors to let us know of their brand.

This is a memorable story because it uses the acronym HTC for many different things such as “Hot Tea Catapult.” This ad is so engaging, unless you watch really closely, you will not notice the many characters in the this digital story are using HTC devices in the background.

Using Jason Ohler’s Assessment traits, I chose to evaluate this digital story using Story, Originality/Voice/Creativity and Presentation/Performance. I enjoy these more inventive advertisements that use digital stories. The message is closely adhered to in a really fun and inventive way. The message, HTC, is an acronym for many different things throughout the story. Watch closely, the voice of HTC is woven tightly in the entire presentation.



How well did the story work? This trait can address structure, engagement, character transformation or any of the other qualities of story discussed in Part II. In fact, an entire rubric can be devoted to evaluating the quality


The story works well.   A helicopter scene to open is attention grabbing and the introduction of the HTC brand and devices are smoothly added into the background. The use of an acronym, HTC, adds to the engagement by providing humor and just plain ridiculousness. The story has the audience actively thinking about HTC by the conclusion.
Originality, voice, creativity


How creative was the production? Did the student exhibit an original sense of voice and a fresh perspective?


Using HTC as an acronym for many different things is original and creative. Using narration that is backed up with inventive visuals the voice of HTC is heard. The HTC voice shares several things about its devices such as the use of the camera or listening to music that is loud and clear enough to engage the Hipster Troll Carwash.
Presentation and performance


How effective was the student’s actual presentation or performance? This includes burning a DVD, posting the story on the Web site effectively, performing it before an audience, or whatever the assignment required.


The presentation is Hollywood quality. The pacing, music, special effects, Hollywood actors, and many other aspects are professionally managed. The presentation is successful at informing the audience of HTC and its products.
Reading Response Week 11/7/16 Jason Lambert’s Seven Steps of Digital Storytelling —

Reading Response Week 11/7/16 Jason Lambert’s Seven Steps of Digital Storytelling

Digital storytelling is all around and yet, until recently, I never really stopped to evaluate it as the tool that it is. Digital storytelling when composed by applying music, images, narration, and interactivity does a great job to inform, instruct, entertain and sell. After reading the Seven Steps Of Digital Storytelling I have learned even more about what makes a great story. This reading has added to a growing toolbox of ideas and resources that I can use when considering composing a digital story of my own.

The reading refers to what I will summarize simply as preparation and impact. It is important to define the destination first then establish how best to get there. Visualizing the story first is an important step when composing a digital story. This process helps to establish the feeling to be delivered through sound, sight, perspective and pacing. I agree with Joe Lambert when he states that we all want stories, and how a great story can cause a moment of reflection in the audience.

When thinking about owning my own insights I realized how important it is to ask deeper, more meaningful questions. It is easy to tell a story about my first car, but how can I create a connection to the audience that creates a memorable experience. Did I use my first car to visit an important place? Did I have an experience with my Dad that later was significant in shaping who I am? How would this story affect the audience? By adding layers to the story by asking deeper questions and investigating or validating my own insights, I can then shape the story to be more effective. As the reading points out, the story can be shaped for a particular audience or a specific time and place.

It is also important to tell the whole story. If the focus is on just a part of the overall story it may not effectively deliver the intended message, if any message at all. This ties together with owning the emotions within the story. How we use emotions in the story affects the audience and it is important that we share the appropriate emotion at the correct time. As I think about this, it is difficult to comprehend. How can I assure that the appropriate emotion is shared so that my story connects with the audience? The reading provides some good examples to help clarify the difference between inference and evidence, and also how leaving out or adding content can be easily interpreted as superficial. The important theme here is to understand your intended audience and to be honest in your delivery.

When searching for the moment that defines a story it is necessary to incorporate how it is we determined this. This moment led to change or transformation, but it will not be well received without supporting evidence. Providing the complete picture helps build an immersive experience for the audience. The reading points out that we don’t want to restrict the audience’s opportunity for discovery, even though we as storytellers provide the conclusion. We want to invite the audience to become part of the narrative.

These aforementioned concepts were somewhat new to me. They are now defined so I can evaluate and apply these concepts to my own digital stories. The reading continues with concepts that are much more familiar to me. The use of visuals, sound, narration, assembly and sharing are all observations that I have made and evaluated in others’ work. As the reading points out, the appropriate use of images and sounds are important when building a cohesive and meaningful story. They both support the narrative and bring balance to the overall story.

“If an image acts as the hand that leads us into the river, the voice is the riverbed below our feet.”

I appreciate that the reading provides some great points to help compose a great story. It is true that we don’t want to give away our story in the first few seconds. Instead, we strive to build upon a series of events that led to a transformative occurrence. Just as important is the idea of limiting assets and creating a rhythm. By limiting the amount of images, video clips, and narration, storytellers are able to focus more on what’s important instead of adding a bunch of fluff that disengages the audience.

This process, as I have discovered, is definitely a journey. I also have to trust my own voice and do what feels right in accordance to the story I want to deliver. There is no doubt that the story I produce is a projection of who I am and how I interpreted a particular situation or event. Like many things in life, digital storytelling takes practice and we must accept that our final product may never be “perfect.” This reading did provide valuable information that can be applied immediately and that will help a great deal as I move closer to composing my first digital story.

Digital Story Critique Week 11/03/16 — November 3, 2016

Digital Story Critique Week 11/03/16

Digital Story Critique

Digital Storytelling – Starbucks


Who doesn’t want to know more about Starbucks, considering there is one within walking distance no matter where you are located? This digital story about Starbucks is incredibly informative and the pace is very quick. I learned more about Starbucks, and while I’m not a regular customer, I do like to pick up a Doppio Espresso on occasion.

This story is broken into a couple of different parts. There is an intro that establishes the history, a part that focuses on the relationship between Starbucks and the consumer, and a brief section about continued growth and globalization. Breaking the story up into distinct parts keeps the viewer’s attention and allows a succinct story to be told.

Overall this provides a quick delivery and at times the pace is too quick. The story does a great job at addressing the history of Starbucks and the important role of the consumer in its business decisions. I did not know that Japan was Starbucks highest performing overseas market. The next time I visit Starbucks I am likely, even if briefly, to remember this story.

Using Jason Ohler’s assessment traits I have selected sense of audience, presentation and performance, and project planning. This story works in many ways, but there are a couple of misses for me. First, the pacing is too quick at times and some of the information passes by before I can absorb it. Second, The narration is upbeat and engaging, up until the last 30 seconds. At this point the narrator sounds exhausted and short of breath. The music, pictures, and additional content work well together and the narration is well scripted.

Sense of audience How well did the story respect the needs of the audience? While the story worked at being informative I feel that the pace was a bit too quick. Slowing the pace would allow the viewer to engage more fully. I do have to consider if the rapid pace was intentional. Similar to a coffee buzz and the subsequent crash at the end.
Presentation and performance How effective was the student’s actual presentation or performance? This includes burning a DVD, posting the story on the Web site effectively, performing it before an audience, or whatever the assignment required. Overall the presentation is engaging and works well on YouTube.
Project planning Is there evidence of solid planning, in the form of story maps, scripts, storyboards, etc.? There is evidence of solid planning through the use of music, images, and narration.
Reading Response Week 11/03/16 —

Reading Response Week 11/03/16

The Power of Storytelling in the College Classroom by Sal S. Buffo


The power of storytelling is all around us. When we watch a commercial there is often a brief story involved to help retain our attention. During a political campaign narratives are used to help create an emotional response to support audience attention. Storytelling can also be used in the college classroom to support learning. Sal Buffo in his article The Power of Storytelling in the College Classroom shares valuable insights through his experience of using storytelling in his role as an educator.

Storytelling not only allows an instructor to keep students’ attention, but it also allows students to better understand. This engagement allows them to build empathy and define a more meaningful learning experience. As Buffo states in his article, well told stories can hold a student’s attention and sets the stage for learning to take place.

“Our brains need the opportunity to classify and file information that is in relationship to each other. It doesn’t like that catchall closet of miscellaneous bits of information, it likes order, context, and continuity. “

  • Professor Sal S. Buffo

In a learning environment this storytelling approach makes sense. Incorporating a story to connect with learners on an emotional level leads to a greater willingness to learn. This is due to the student’s being able to think about how the story and subsequent learning content relates to them. I agree with Buffo’s reflection on hearing a well told story as a child and how immersive the experience is. This same experience can be created in the college classroom. Students will be able to recall the content learned for a longer period of time because of the personal connection that was made through the use of a story. This prolonged retention of knowledge allows the student to more easily apply what was learned.

Professor Buffo wraps up the discussion by acknowledging storytelling as what may be considered the oldest form of education. I can’t argue with this. Cultures are based on storytelling passed down from one generation to the next. I also liked how the Professor used a story about his early childhood to help build a case for storytelling in the classroom.

Storytelling is a universal means of communication. Through storytelling we can build empathy and keep the attention of an audience. This is powerful in almost all situations, in particular the classroom where instructors are increasingly challenged to keep students focused.

Daily Create 11/01/2016 — November 2, 2016