Enhancing Historical Biography through Digital Storytelling

This audio and slideshow are from presentations delivered at the National Council for History Education's Annual Conference in Louisville, Kentucky on April 5, 2008 and International Society for Technology Educator's National Educational COmputing Conference in 2009. Note that the presented virtual museum is available at "Educational Virtual Museums" and the Rhyolite video is available via iTunes on the "Visualizing History" podcast. The "History Remembers" video is available via iTunes on the "Podcast Central" podcast. You may also link to the session slides and handout.

 Sample Audio Digital Stories

The stories linked below were developed by 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teachers as part of the Teaching American History Grant in Clark County School District (Las Vegas, Nevada). Their assignment was to script a digital story using a R-A-F-T (Role-Audience-Format-Topic) strategy, record it with an iTalk attachment to their video iPods, and edit/embellish their stories using Audacity. Their topic had to relate to the Civil War era and had to be suitable for use in an intermediate level classroom.

Feel free to review the assignment expectations and module blog (including links to the lectures and class slideshows). In preparation for this assignment, students read a content book about the Civil War and completed a book review using the following R-A-F-T strategy:
  • Role: KNPR Book Reviewer
  • Audience: KNPR Listeners
  • Format: 1-3 minute audio book review
  • Topic: The assigned text
KNPR Book Reviewer Samples:
Civil War Digital Story Sample and Reviews:

Audacity for Audio Editing

Audacity, a free, open-source audio editing application, is available at http://audacity.sourceforge.net/. The program works well for students editing self-recorded audio clips.

This two-page tutorial provides an excellent overview tools within Audacity. It was provided by Craig Cuddihy of VEGAS PBS.

This slideshow was developed by Craig Cuddihy of VEGAS PBS to train teachers in the use of Audacity, an audio editing program available for free on both PC and Macintosh platforms.

The below video introduces basic of Audacity, audio editing software available for free online. The video demonstrates features such as adding sound effects from downloaded files, adding audio files recorded using iTalks on iPods, and using basic features of Audacity such as the envelope and time shifting tools.


Digital Storytelling Resources

The below sites include information about digital storytelling as well as examples and links to resources (e.g., websites offering free audio resources):

iTunes Basics

The below video introduces the basics of iTunes including development of playlists, syncing with an iPod, and downloading voice memos.