Digital Storytelling and ISTE Standards for Students

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

Last year, we published a blog post which detailed the benefits of digital storytelling in the classroom.

Digital storytelling is a fun and creative way for students of all ages to illustrate their knowledge and learn through the process. But digital storytelling also has many real world benefits.

In fact, the process of creating a digital story forces learners to think analytically and visually, as well as practice their communication skills.

These are traits which are also represented in ISTE’s standards for students and teachers, and with the 2017 conference just days away, we thought we would examine just how digital storytelling fits ISTE’s standards.

Keep on reading!

NOTE: Only ISTE standards that are representative of digital storytelling are included in this blog post.

Standard 1: Empowered Learner

Students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences.

Digital storytelling empowers students to show what they know creatively and actively. For instance, if a learner is studying Photosynthesis in Science class, he or she can create a digital story illustrating all the steps involved. Not only does this show their competency, it helps them retain their knowledge and also provides a platform for them to go back and re-watch the lesson that they themselves created.

Students collaborate to create a digital story using 30hands Storyteller Web.

Standard 2: Digital Citizen

Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical.

Digital storytellers can use the practice to be responsible citizens and act against injustices. For example, citizen journalists can use digital storytelling to provide the public with information. This is something we here at 30hands have created a guide for, so do check it out

Standard 3: Knowledge Constructor 

Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others.

Digital storytelling is one of the most effective ways for students to turn their classroom knowledge into engaging projects. For example, students can create short documentaries and explainer videos which they can then share with their peers. In doing so, learners must gather all relevant information, as well as critically analyze how they are going to present such information. For an example, see how two students used 30hands Pro to create a short documentary on the Dust Bowl.

Standard 4: Innovative Designer

Students use a variety of technologies within a design process to identify and solve problems by creating new, useful or imaginative solutions.

App smashing is one of the most fun ways for students to create digital stories. This allows learners to use a variety of apps and take advantage of certain features from each one. Using these technologies helps students identify problems within a lesson and solve it through the integration of technologies and digital storytelling as a learning method. In addition, digital storytelling itself gets students involved in different aspects of content and  learning from text and audio to visual imagery and video. Multimedia is a foundation of the process.

Standard 6: Creative Communicator

Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.

This is especially relevant for digital storytellers as their communication skills are tested in the process of creating their stories. The most engaging and effective digital stories are expressed clearly through a variety of tools, such as speech, video, images, and drawings. 

BUT it is also important to remember that this is an iterative process. A students’ first digital story will have many aspects that can be improved upon, but as Onur Mustak Cobanli, OMC Design Studios founder, once said: “Great design is iteration of good design”. 

Standard 7: Global Collaborator

Students use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally.

With digital storytelling, students use various digital tools to enrich their learning as it allows them to collaborate with peers from both nearby and across the globe. Digital storytelling encourages group projects, and what could possibly be more fun than creating a project with a students from a completely different culture? Not only is the student learning about their lesson in a fun and engaging way, they are broadening their perspectives on the world.

Young students want to be entertained in their learning, and digital storytelling is a magnificent way to develop their imaginations and keep them engaged in the classroom. ISTE’s standards promotes the fun in innovative learning as they learn to leverage technology and digital tools. Digital storytelling is a way of empowering students in their learning, and this too is something ISTE encourages.

ISTE 2017 takes place June 24-28. For more information, visit or follow ISTE on Twitter, @isteconnects. 

Check out our popular Digital Storytelling product for iPads, 30hands Storyteller Pro, and our new browser-based version for laptops and Chromebooks, 30hands Storyteller Web!


Share this Post