Digital Storytelling Examples

Digital storytelling can take many forms. These vary depending on the type of media included, editing software used, and the amount of editing time. Each category below is linked to a YouTube playlist of examples:

An "audio story" is a recorded audio interview, which may or may not be accompanied by a photo / image. Audio stories can be edited or unedited, and may be normalized.

A photo story includes still images / photographs with a narration track, often created with a script and sometimes including recorded interview audio. Photo stories may include background music, image transitions, and text annotations.

More "Photo Video" digital storytelling examples like this are available on in this YouTube Playlist of "Celebrate Oklahoma Voices" video projects.

A “quick edit video” is an edited digital video including full-motion video footage, audio, still images, and/or text captions, edited AND published online using only a wireless, digital device like a smartphone or touch tablet computer. (Source:

Video stories can include the same elements as a "quick edit video," but require more TIME to edit and publish because of their larger number of media elements and complexity.

Sketchnoting or visual notetaking is a process of representing ideas non-linguistically from a presentation, video, lesson, article, book, or other experience or media source. ("Representing ideas non-linguistically" is a fancy of way of saying, “drawing pictures,” but sketchnotes can include words as well as images.) Sketchnote drawings are usually simple, using icons to represent ideas and concepts.

Narrated sketchnotes are videos of sketchnotes which include explanatory narration. These may be static or moving images, which creators can "pinch to zoom" on or annotate with a telestrator pen for emphasis during narration. (Source:

Learn more about creating sketchnotes and narrated sketchnotes on the page for sketchnotes and on my media literacy unit of lessons on sketchnoting. My book "Pocket Share Jesus: Be a Digital Witness for Christ" includes chapters on sketchnoting and narrated sketchnoting as well.

"Polished documentary videos" are often created by paid professionals, as opposed to amateur / non-compensated video creators, but not always. The number of media artifacts / elements and overall complexity of a polished documentary video, as well as its "overall production quality," is noticeably higher than those in "video stories."

Multimedia-Enhanced Stories

A multimedia-enhanced story uses additional media modalities to present a linear or non-linear path to the audience to watch, listen, explore, and experience story elements. GeoMaps and interactive timelines can be examples of multimedia-enhanced stories. (Thanks @hickstro for suggesting this category!)

Why We Need Pi

A March 2009 digital story integrating video, a screencast, and Google Earth. More background is available in this blog post.