At the beginning of the semester, we were asked for our first assignment to define digital storytelling. For that post, I argued that digital stories were like traditional stories, but were markedly different for a variety of reasons. I argued that they do not always follow Gustav Fretag’s theory of the dramatic arc, at least not in a ways that are immediately recognizable (Mechler, 2012).
I meditated on the line between storytelling and voyeurism, noting that some forms of digital storytelling are geared more at attracting attention than creating a quality product. According to a study conducted in 2015, many humans now have shorter attention spans than goldfish, thanks to the wide-spread use of handheld devices (Watson, 2015), which means we must ask ourselves whether we are creating stories or distractions.
While I still think the lines are sometimes blurred, my perception of what digital storytelling is has changed. We have experimented with a variety of media this semester, and although the platforms we used, such as Aurasma and Twitter, seemed very alien in comparison with more traditional storytelling forms, I have come to the conclusion finally that they are not so different.
For my Remixes and Mash-ups assignment, I chose to create a video using Adobe Spark. Because it was so open-ended, there were a lot of ways I could approach this assignment. Ultimately, I decided to return to that initial question of, “What is Digital Storytelling,” which has been the crux of my inquiry this semester. Even when I was not directed to consider it, even when I was experimenting with different programs and thinking about storytelling from different angles, I was always coming back to that question.
This was my first experience using Adobe Spark, and while I have not played with all the features, I can see how it could be a useful tool. The program itself was fairly easy to figure out, and while there were limitations in regards to the layout options, there were lots of of choices for free visuals and music.
I also liked the way I was able to control the speed of each slide. Controlling the speed made it easier for me to control the pacing and the tone of the presentation. Although I am not exactly telling a story (or am I?), I had the idea of a narrative arc in the front of my mind as I was putting everything together.
I did encounter some issues when trying to create a shareable link to the presentation. Looking online, it appears this is probably a software glitch. While annoying, it was not enough to completely turn me off of the program. I would suggest it for others and I will likely use it for the classes I teach.
Melcher, C. (2012, October 3). Empathy, Neurochemistry, and the Dramatic Arc: Paul Zak at the Future of Storytelling 2012 [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1a7tiA1Qzo
Watson, L. (2015, May 15). Humans have shorter attention span than goldfish thanks to smartphone The Telegraph. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/