Digital Story Telling: A Story of Languaging


Words are powerful, but they have limits especially when people don’t share common ground in their understanding of certain expression. A picture can tell a thousand words, but it can also be interpreted in many different ways. This digital story telling practice has been an interesting experience of combining these two symbolic forms together. By using pictures, I was able to deliver a “feeling,” a more embodied visual cue to my audience. Words may not do it, as my understanding of “a beautiful flower isolated from the bigger world” could be very different from yours. So instead of trying to describe it, let me show it to you. In other words, let me build the common ground for us. By adding narrations and texts, I was able to direct my audience’s attention to certain details of the pictures, so that intended information instead of others would register in my audience’s mind. The video technology certainly affords such combination to happen.

But the video technology presents new challenges and questions. First, since I finished this assignment, I have been thinking what the difference between my digital story and a recorded presentation is. In terms of combining visual cues with narrations/explanations, I think they are very similar. But the process of making this video allowed me to record the narration multiple times to improve the quality. In other words, I could make mistakes without risking the quality of the final product. That is relieving. But the downside is: once I let the “perfectionist me” come in, this 4 min video became a very time consuming project. The final product is still not what I expected, but I had to let it go because I have spent too much time on it. Another concern I had when making this video is how many pictures I should use. I have pictures of my past practice, but due to the nature of my teaching practice, most of the pictures have my students or other people in them. I just don’t feel comfortable sharing others’ photos without their consent. Meanwhile, I didn’t feel comfortable sharing my personal photos at a public channel either. So eventually, I opted for comics.

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