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Digital Storytelling: An Option or a Necessity?

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Child: Mumma tell me a story
Mother: Wait baby! Let me take out the Story Book.

Same scenario in today’s world:

Child: Mumma tell me a story
Mother: Wait baby! Let me take out my I Pad.

Hasn’t our lives changed altogether with these gadgets? From Shopping to Connecting with Family & Friends, our life is increasingly getting digitized. “Storytelling”, a word that takes us back on the laps of our parents and grandparents, who enact fairy godmothers, kings, and charming prince tales. They often did multitasking – creating sounds, making faces, singing to make those characters look real.

Digitization of stories has made our lives simpler and exciting, as these digital stories contain mixture of computer-based images, text, recorded audio narration, video clips, and/or music. Storytelling surrounds the child with imaginative language, introduces unfamiliar words in a narrative context, introduces narrative structure and allows children to give voice to their own ideas in their own language.

Accordingly to Wikipedia, Digital storytelling refers to a short form of digital media production that allows everyday people to share aspects of their life story.

Digital stories often present in compelling and emotionally engaging formats, and sometimes can be interactive too. These can be instructional, persuasive, historical, or reflective. The resources available to incorporate into a digital story are virtually limitless, giving the storyteller enormous creative latitude.

Thanks to Digital Media, storytelling has become so innovative and interesting. It is now being practiced everywhere be it neighborhood community centers, schools, libraries and businesses and by everyone from novice technology users to those with advanced skills. In fact this technique has taken storytelling to next level whereby popular stories and their protagonists have opened way to new dimensions like games, mobile applications and other merchandising.

A popular example is Harry Potter, a series of seven fantasy novels that have gained immense popularity and commercial success worldwide. As of June 2011, with sales of over 450 million copies, Harry Potter series is the best-selling book series in the history. The eight series film adaption of Harry Potter by Warner Bros is again one of the most successful examples of film series in the history and has led to the licensing of over 400 products (including an iPod) making Harry Brand worth as much as $ 15 billion.

Another example is “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, a story very popular among toddlers. Can you believe that this story was published in 1969? Even after 44 years, this story is still one of the most popular books among primary schools. Digitization has contributed to its success.

Our superheroes Chota Bheem and Krishna have also leveraged Digital Media for the phenomenal popularity they have among today’s children. Amar Chitra Katha (ACK), the bestselling children’s publication in India has recently decided to go Digital. Appealing to the net-savvy generation, the publisher will launch Amar Chitra Katha across Android, Windows and Apple applications.

A number of NGOs and Healthcare companies are riding on the opportunity of Digital storytelling to raise awareness for Social causes.

Given the impact its make, Digital storytelling benefits the entire publishing ecosystem comprising of authors, publishers and readers (or viewers). The growth of Digital Media especially Social Media along with sophisticated tools and applications will place more power into the hands of every stakeholder in the publishing world.

As a publisher or an author, you might not have been present to the opportunity of Digital storytelling or even might have resisted it so far. However, it’s still not too late to embrace the power of this new medium to disseminate knowledge and information in a creative and entertaining manner. In addition to enriching the experience of your audience through Digital storytelling, Digital Media also provides you newer ways to reach out to wider audience and also help you create newer avenues of business.

Are you excited to reap the opportunity of Digital Media? Join us in our upcoming hands-on Digital Marketing course.

Digital Storytelling Resources
1. What is Digital Story Telling: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_storytelling
2. 7 things you should know about digital storytelling: https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7021.pdf
3. 64 sites for Digital Storytelling Tools and Information: http://fluency21.com/blog/2013/04/03/64-sites-for-digital-storytelling-tools-and-information/
4. The Cause: Power of Digital Storytelling for Social Good: http://www.thecausebook.com/
5. Digital Storytelling for Healthcare: http://bit.ly/digitalst
6. Harry Potter: http://harrypotter.scholastic.com/
7. Amar Chitra Katha: http://www.amarchitrakatha.com/
8. Chota Bheem: http://www.pogo.tv/chhotabheem
9. The Official Eric Carle Website: http://www.eric-carle.com/home.html

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