Sharing Canadian Culture. Creating Digital Stories.
Unit Progress:


“You can use this to bring the voices of the silent out.”

– Joe Lambert, co-founder of the Centre for Digital Storytelling


Storytelling has existed for thousands of years. Cave paintings have been dated to 40,000 years ago. We’ve been telling stories for ages, and in many different ways.

Since digital storytelling encompasses the concept of using digital media to tell stories, we can date the core processes and technologies to around the 1980s. This was when home computers started to become common and many people started to engage in what became known as desktop publishing. To put it simply, design and media production tools were mass produced and though still expensive, ownership of computers, printers, and peripherals were more accessible to regular people.

Digital storytelling has thus existed for decades but credit for popularizing the techniques, especially for education and not-for-profits, often goes to the Center for Digital Storytelling aka StoryCenter in Berkeley, California, which was founded in the mid 1990s.

According to their website, “StoryCenter supports individuals and organizations in using storytelling and participatory media for reflection, education, and social change.”


Watch a video featuring Joe Lambert, co-founder and Executive Director of the Center for Digital Storytelling, talking about the history of digital storytelling and the organization at Vimeo:

After watching, consider the short video example “Tania” which runs from 2:00 to 3:45. What did you think of the video? Is it effective? Do all the elements fit? Would you do anything differently if you were telling that story.


Here’s a video on YouTube which relates the traditional way to tell a digital story.

Jerome Gratigny: “What is Digital Storytelling?”

Jerome says, “Anyone with a computer can do it.” Is this true? How difficult would this process be? How much experience or new training would be required?


WeVideo has become a popular tool for digital storytelling programs.

Watch WeVideo’s “Create a digital story”: