Creative Use of Digital Storytelling

Messer, David and Critten, Valerie (2022). Creative Use of Digital Storytelling. In: Grove, Nicola ed. Storytelling, Special Needs and Disabilities: Practical Approaches for Children and Adults. Abingdon: Routledge.



Story telling has probably existed in some form since we started as humans to use language. In contrast, digital storytelling has only been possible in the last decade, a very recent innovation in human history even when compared to writing and print. Even so it is clear that digital technology can be harnessed to open up different forms and contents when storytelling (Kucirkova, Messer, Critten & Harwood, 2014).

By describing the Our Story app, which we have been involved in developing and using in schools, we can outline and what we mean by creative digital story telling, and its possibilities. This free app for smartphones, tablets and iPads (to download search for Our Story 2 in App Store or Google Play) can be used with many different formats of digital storytelling (Kucirkova et al., 2014). In this way, the app does not narrow the choices made by anybody using the app. What they choose to do can be their own ideas and a means of self-expression, especially important for people with communication difficulties. Because of this approach we are less concerned with focusing on a particular type of story (fictional, traditional, descriptive, etc.); instead, we emphasise the flexibility in what is told and how it is told. The aim is for children and adults to express their own voice in a story format that has a ‘professional’ look.

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