Storytelling. It’s what dreams are made of. 

And books. And movies. And that coffee-and-catch-up chat with your BFF last Sunday. And ‘round the dinner table that same night.

Fireside tales, cave wall drawings…storytelling isn’t just everywhere; it’s been everywhere. It’s how we process the world around us and communicate with friends, family, and strangers.


Storytelling is the most ageless, ubiquitous, accessible, entertaining, dynamic, [insert your favorite adjective here] medium at our disposal.

And it’s a crucial skill for students to develop and practice in the classroom.  

What Is Digital Storytelling?

Digital storytelling uses a variety of multimedia elements, including text, images, videos, and audio, to tell a story. In other words, it adds a semblance of modernity to an age-old practice.


And with today’s students, it’s not only important to teach them how to tell stories but also how to do so using digital tools. Digital storytelling creates these opportunities; students use technology and a variety of multimedia to construct narrative presentations. 

Twenty-first century skills? Digital storytelling addresses them. Technology-driven standards, like the ISTE Standards for Students? Again, digital storytelling does the job. 

Even better—it comes with a host of other powerful classroom benefits. 

Four Benefits of Digital Storytelling

Digital storytelling teaches a variety of skills using a variety of modalities. Here are four reasons you should implement digital storytelling into your curriculum. 

1. Garner Instant Buy-In from Learners

Consider again today’s student. They exist in a world bursting at the seams with digital content. 

It starts with the social platforms—TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and Reddit constantly updating their feeds with bite-sized, consume-in-seconds multimedia content.

Then there are the streaming services, which produce massive amounts of monthly content and disseminate it in seconds. Mix in ad streams, and we have a constant display of digital media, whether that’s delivered by phone, computer, television, or even the LED display screen at the bus stop.

Too much content? Without a doubt. But with no end in sight, it’s what today’s students are used to, and it’s what today’s students need to learn how to navigate. The positive, of course, is that multimedia—and video, specifically—is a medium that students already love! 

Hooking them with multimedia lessons isn’t difficult. The buy-in is there; then, you shape the lesson to teach pertinent skills and concepts.   

2. Develop and Nurture SEL Skills 

Core SEL skills revolve around self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. 

It’s no surprise that storytelling’s inherent connectedness plays well with social-emotional learning or that creating a digital story is the perfect way to pair SEL with multimedia creation and provide students with opportunities to practice gratitude and build compassion. 

A 2020 study found that digital storytelling can improve social and emotional intelligence and improve performance, offering a two-way interaction between student and story. 

Remember what we said earlier—storytelling is how we process and how we communicate; leverage its familiarity as a teaching tool.

3. Teach the Four C’s, Every Single Time

Chances are you’re familiar with the Four C’s: critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration. Digital storytelling helps develop all four of these skills. 


Storytelling is creation. It encourages creativity and problem-solving. How we tell a story is just as important. How is it being communicated to your audience in a way that they’ll understand? Then, put students into groups to hone collaboration skills. Individual one-page stories transform into project-based learning, with short films or video presentations as the outcome. 

And not every assignment has to be a fictional video! Have students screen record themselves to show what they know, put together short video ads to practice rhetorical skills, or take a stand on a societal issue and present their opinions in video form. 

4. Implement the UDL Framework and Make Learning More Accessible 

Last but not least, digital storytelling is a top-notch instructional strategy for implementing the Universal Design for Learning framework.


The UDL Framework Explained.

UDL is built upon three pillar categories: engagement, representation, and action & expression. The goal is to provide multiple means of achieving these outcomes (the “why,” “what,” and “how” of learning).

Ultimately, UDL creates more accessible learning for everyone, and with the inter-modality of multimedia, digital storytelling is perfect for demonstrating understanding and communicating in ways that are not only relevant to today but also differentiated.

Four Video Projects to Try with Your Students

Now, where do you start with classroom implementation? 

If you’re unfamiliar with WeVideo, we’re a cloud-based, interactive multimedia platform. Millions of educators & students use our tools, and our new Assignment Ideas Library comes chock-full of standards-aligned video projects to use in the classroom.

Here are four to get you started! 

1. The 4-Shot Challenge


Grades: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 | Subjects: Language Arts, Visual Arts

Overview: Students tell a story through four basic film angles. Each shot uses a video clip or image to illustrate ideas, along with optional dialogue or a visual voiceover. 


  • Identify basic film angles and multimedia composition.
  • Tell a short, cohesive narrative using four different film angles.


  • ISTE, Creative Communicator, 1.6.a
  • ISTE, Creative Communicator, 1.6.b

Tip from WeVideo:

After introducing camera angles, watch a few famous film trailers to look for instances where these angles are used. Once students are comfortable with each angle and its use, they can move on to producing their own work! 

2. Screencast Your Thinking


Grades: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 | Subjects: Reading, Language Arts, Math, Science

Overview: With screencasting, students can record videos of their entire screen, a specific window, or tab. Students can then walk through a topic or lesson, show what they know, or instruct their peers on an educational subject.


  • Use a screen recording tool to walk through a problem and/or instruct their peers on the subject material. 


  • ISTE, Empowered Learner 1.1.c

Tip from WeVideo:

Screencasting is a powerful tool for classroom instruction and flipped learning environments. Students can create content at home with a screen recorder and then share it with class discussion boards or other collaborative spaces.  

3. Collaborative Research Project


Grades: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 | Subjects: Reading, Science, Language Arts 

Overview: Students work in groups to create videos that share the results of their research on a chosen or assigned topic. Videos should express student learnings during their study, their findings, and proposed solution(s). 


  • Collaborate with peers to investigate and report on phenomena, interesting ideas, persons, or other topics.
  • Transform research into a short video presentation highlighting key learnings and, if applicable, solutions.


  • ISTE, Empowered Learner 1.1.a
  • ISTE, Knowledge Constructor 1.3.b
  • ISTE, Knowledge Constructor 1.3.d
  • ISTE, Global Collaborator 1.7.d

Tip from WeVideo:

This collaborative project is cross-disciplinary; students can take the project into their community and explore a relevant topical issue, tackle pertinent social or environmental justice issues, or participate in inquiry-based STEM research projects. 

4. Emotions Through Video


Grades: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 | Subjects: Language Arts, Reading, SEL, Visual Arts, Performing Arts

Overview: Students create short videos that demonstrate how we use images and sounds to elicit various emotions. Students choose the emotion they want to evoke and then combine images, video, and audio to create their multimedia composition.


  • Use multiple modalities to create a short digital story.


  • ISTE, Knowledge Constructor 1.3.b
  • ISTE, Creative Communicator, 1.6.d

Tip from WeVideo:

Depending on the student level, challenge them to move beyond emotions like happiness, sadness, or anger to more complex emotions like confusion or embarrassment.

Integrating Digital Storytelling in Education

Digital storytelling is a powerful way for students to collaborate and practice the skills they need to succeed in today’s (and tomorrow’s) workforce. And with easy-to-use multimedia creation tools at your disposal, you have everything you need to implement dynamic multimedia instruction into your classroom—right now!  

Want to check out more from WeVideo? Make sure to check out WeVideo’s TeacherGoals Tech Talks episode above!

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WeVideo is a cloud-based multimedia creation platform, empowering everyone to create, collaborate, and communicate through data-driven, interactive video. With powerful but easy-to-use multimedia creation tools, dynamic interactive layers (multiple choice, discussion prompts, polls, etc.), and real-time collaboration capabilities, WeVideo offers everything that educators need to build exceptional instructional content and maximize learner engagement, retention, and performance.

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