Storytelling has always been a significant part of history, but the means through which the stories have been told has evolved with each civilization. From the oral histories presented by bards in ancient courts, to the works of scribes during the Renaissance, to newspapers, CNN, and now the Internet, personal narrative has been used to communicate the events of the past. Digital media now combines tradition with technology and allows students to tell stories through voice, text, images, audio, and video.
Digital stories allow students to take a linear series of events and turn them into a multidimensional experience. It encourages them to communicate, collaborate, and research as well as to infuse media into the process. A plethora of tools exists to create these projects - both in terms of software as well as hardware - and all of them enable students to gain a deeper understanding of history as they explore the most effective way to retell it.
A podcast is typically an audio file that one downloads and listens to. People generally produce podcasts to share ideas, presentations, or music. Typically podcasts are linked from a blog, so "podcasting" is often used to denote audioblogging. Podcasting combines the words "iPod" and "Broadcasting," but you don't need an iPod or a Mac to produce, or listen to, a podcast. (There are also video podcasts (vidcasts) and Photo podcasts (photocasts), so the definition of a podcast is evolving.)
Once considered only child's fare, comics have emerged as a genre worthy of serious study and application. Comic books not only engage, they help develop analytical and critical-thinking skills. They prompt students to decipher meaning, purpose, and tone. They also provide creative possibilities for differentiated learning and expression. Moreover, successful cartoonists need a wide range of skills: researching, drawing, writing, computing, storyboarding, and designing. Cartoonists need to make their stories engaging and persuasive.