Beginning of Class Writing: Chapters 11 and 12

For today’s class, we are catching up on reading pushed back in the interest of moving Project 3 forward. Looking specifically at Chapter 11, Beginning a Project and Chapter 12, Using Digital Storytelling to Teach and Train, let’s spend a slightly longer time than usual–15 minutes–writing summaries of these two chapters. Write your summary in a single memo and copy-and-paste it into a comment on this blog post at the end of the 15 minutes. Then, we will discuss the two chapters, the upcoming midterm exam, and Project 3. The remaining time will be used for working on Project 3.

3 thoughts on “Beginning of Class Writing: Chapters 11 and 12

  1. MariahRajah

    To: Professor Ellis
    From: Mariah Rajah
    Date: 03/21/2016
    Re: Summary of Miller’s Chapters 11 & 12

    Miller’s chapter 11 was an in-depth look at what goes into actually creating a project, which I had some general idea about, but never had a lengthy explanation on it. With said here are a few of the takeaways I gathered from the chapter. (Pg.189-191 – for developmental checklist)
    1. The purpose of a project begins in the conceptualizing phase where a team addresses issues of design, marketing, prototyping and other foundation issues before moving onto actually executing the project.
    2. Often the errors that happen during the developmental process of a project come from a team either over thinking a project. What I mean by this is that they have too many expectations or too little. They also could target the wrong audience this gives the product a lack of purpose and makes it less challenging or lacks the right amount of interactivity. Another error could possibly be that the overall concept or design is too complicated or simple which leaves the audience feeling lost or belittled by the experience. They may feel as though they have not got their money’s worth for the experience.
    3. Creating a core concept starts with brainstorming; when an idea is decided upon then the next step is to create a description that adequately describes exactly what the project is—this is the premise. The premise is a sentence long description that indicates the concept of the project.
    4. Another step that goes into creating a project is sitting down with focus groups. Focus groups are essential and crucial to any projects’ success.
    By the end of chapter 11, it was clear to me that more goes into a project than I knew. Projects are multi-faceted work encompassed various levels of sketching, planning, and marketing. Each step builds off one another structurally and each part incorporates one another systematically. The development of a digital story mirrors the telling of one. There needs to be structure and a world that lends to the creation of the story as a whole.

    Chapter 12, on the other hand explored digital storytelling to teach and train. This chapter much like chapter 11 gives the audience the understanding of what goes into creating a story just not the backbones likes in chapter 12. Miller paints a picture of how exactly digital storytelling goes beyond the norms of entertainment video games and such, but is a way to influence young minds by active engagement. Digital media reaches a wide audience whether old or young and in many forms. An older audience may use a digital story in a working environment to help with training for example modular tasks that helps a pharmacist technician learn about new HIPPA laws. A younger audience might use digital storytelling as a way of learning in an academic sense.

    However, in developing for either younger or older audience or for training or learning purposes the storytellers need to make sure that according to Miller that it fits. What I mean by this is that the storytellers know their audience. They know what medium to reach them on, the level of immersivenes, the amount of educational content that must fit, the settings, the level of difficulty, and above all the end goal they are aiming to achieve. Creating a digital story for training or learning extends beyond what most of us think about digital stories, which is usually entertainment. All digital stories are created in a way that we learn something whether it be a new strategy of thinking or a new type of language. Digital storytelling is alive and much a part of most of our interactions. This chapter opened my eyes to that and the way in which the stories we create are not only used for entertainment anymore but to influence a greater good in many different ways.

  2. Samantha


    Chapter 11 immediately made me think of our YouTube project and the amount of planning detailing and documentation that went into completing it. The five most common mistakes are all things previous chapters have touched on but this clearly lists it out as a reference. Creating a core concept is the start but that concept may change over time when you consider how it will change from medium to medium. Considering the affordances of mediums is something important to consider when planning a project. For instance I was able to play up the sound aspect of YouTube by adding sound effects to my movie. Overall the chapter rolls through the various stages of production but specific things like SME- Subject Matter Experts stood out to me. In my 2730 class last semester we discussed the importance of SME and how their knowledge and incorporating them into the early stages of production can make a huge difference in the success of the project. I also made note of the 10 step development checklist because I can apply this to our current project as well as future ones. The other aspect of the chapter that stood out to me was the section on scripts because this is the second time this semester I’ve written one. Using flow charts or “timelines” to draft out how my podcast will sound is extremely helpful.


    In this chapter Miller moves from HOW to produce digital stories to how they’re used. Teaching and training is a huge market with digital stories. I have endured numerous digital training sessions for work whether for banking procedures or work place etiquette. My daughter, Ava is also a huge user of teaching through digital means. In her two years in grade school I estimate she has spent at least a third of that learning digitally instead of led by an instructor. This kind of learning merges learning with education in a way that kids get the skills they need without realizing they’re doing so. Last semester I wrote a research paper about the use of an iPad in the classroom and how it changes a child’s time in a class. The use of colorful and engaging graphics as well as music are the first element in gaining a child’s interest. However games and other digital means are across the board in terms of learning, adult learners use games as well to re-enforce workplace skills. My job even piloted a game to conduct mock tax interviews for new tax pros. This chapter also made me realize that online and hybrid classes also fall into this category. Having taken many I hadn’t realized the online material was presented in story form.

  3. Pamela

    To: Professor Ellis
    Form: Pamela Drake
    Subject: Digital Storytelling – Summary of Chapter 11 & 12
    Guidelines: Creating a New Project & Using Digital Storytelling to Teach and Train
    Date: March 21, 2016

    Chapter eleven and twelve of Digital Storytelling by Carolyn Handler Miller describes the steps that need to be taken even before a project is undertaken. Known as the development stage, It takes thought and planning. Miller warns that it is important to monitor how much content is put into the project and what are the parameters of the project. First starting with the concept and building from there is important to the process. The development process also should consider the audience and how the project will be used as well as any other modalities and aspects of the project. A well organized project will show in the performance and production and make the project appealing to the user.

    Much like the process of developing the project, how the project can be used as a teach and as a model is also important. As an interactive tool, it is important to make the project fully interactive. Digital media has made it possible and acts a power component is the teaching process. If the project is capable of being used for various ages and abilities, it makes the outcome more appealing.

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