Creating and Gathering Materials

For copyright guidance on what can and can’t be used in your digital stories, watch:

complete summary of the video

For recommendations on how to cite in your digital story, visit:


Either add your own pictures or images or find free ones online:

Image Collages

Instead of showing images one by one, create a collage using PowerPoint:

  1. Create a new blank slide.
  2. Insert photos.
  3. Add effects like borders/shading.
  4. When you are all done designing the collage, go to Editing -> Select All.
  5. Right-click and choose Save as Picture.
  6. Import this into whatever program you are using to create your digital story.


Spruce up your story by using a PowerPoint animation to demonstrate something, such as a part of the story you don’t have an image for.

  1. Create a new blank slide.
  2. Insert clip art, shapes, photos, etc.
  3. Add animation to the components using the Animation tab.
  4. Record the animations by going to Slide Show -> Record Slide Show. Go through the slide show as though you were presenting, you control the animation so go at whatever pace you think is appropriate. You can also add narration at this point too.
  5. Export the file as a video. Save as -> Windows Media Video.
  6. Import this into whatever program you are using to create your digital story.



Using Library Search you can find information, facts, and research to support your story.


The telling of a story is what really makes a digital story so effective. The narration can convey pain, happiness, and other emotions in a way that text just can’t.

There are different ways to record narration for your stories.

  • sign out an audio recorder from the ITS client services desk in the computing commons. Record your narration, download from the recorder and import into Movie Maker or iPhoto.
  • use a headset (available from the library) to record audio straight into Movie Maker or iPhoto.
  • If you are just recording audio, you can use either a headset or audio recorder and then edit the audio using Audacity (a free online audio editing tool). Here are some straight-forward instructions.

Music and Sound Effects

Enrich your story by adding music or sound effects. Just make sure you cite anything you use in the credits at the end of your video!

Video Footage

While you cannot use footage you find on YouTube or footage that’s been ripped from DVDs, you can always create your own! You could interview someone, record a location that is part of your story or record yourself telling a part of your story.

Just make sure you don’t record anyone else without their written permission.

For instructions on shooting live action footage, please visit our student video project site: