My research centers around transformational storytelling, multimodal, interactive storytelling, and (to a large degree), differentiated instruction . I advocate using new technology as one means of telling these life-altering stories. It all basically comes down to

How can we tell engaging stories that teach, heal, and transform lives?

That’s a pretty simple, pretty powerful concept. And, like all things simple and powerful, it is shared by many others. Educators, scholars, artists, pastors, counselors, and many others are tackling the ideas of digital and transformational storytelling. This is a revolution — a revolution worth joining.

To that end, I wanted to start a conversation in hopes of bringing some of these revolutionaries together. These are a few of the individuals and groups who have inspired me by tackling difficult challenges in innovative ways. This is not a complete list, and it isn’t meant to be. Nor does this list include many of the scholars on whom I draw for theoretical foundations. I will post about the giants upon whose shoulders I stand another time.

If there is anyone else who you feel deserves to be on this list, please comment below.

Let the Revolution begin!

Center for Digital Storytelling


From their website:

We partner with organizations around the world to develop programs which support individuals in rediscovering how to listen to each other and share first person stories. Our group process, and the stories that emerge serve as effective tools for change amidst a world of technology and media overload.

This group has a ton of resources including free information, workshops, and publications. They believe that everyone has a story to tell and that people have a right to be heard. In this way, stories become a vessel for healing. As you tell your story and listen to another’s, empathy and experience do real psychological good for both parties. The Center for Digital Storytelling focuses on training facilitators and individuals about how to use digital technology in this way.

Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling

banner2From the University of Houston’s Department of Education:

The primary goal of the Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling website is to serve as a useful resource for educators and students who are interested in how digital storytelling can be integrated into a variety of educational activities. The site was originally created in 2004 and faculty members and graduate students in the Learning, Design and Technology Program at the University of Houston College of Education continue to maintain the site and add new content. 

This site offers an awful lot. Not only does it give plenty of practical tips and tricks for using digital stories in the classroom, but it also has a repository of actual digital stories. What’s more, as part of a graduate education program, the department keeps new content fresh from students and researchers. I have also found them to be very responsive to inquiries.


devicesEmerging technology plays a bit part in my research. The team at pressbooks have worked hard to create a platform for the creation of digital books. What’s more, the platform can be used for more than just digitized books, but also to create mixed-media, interactive books using a simple interface.

From their website:

PressBooks makes it easy to create all the beautifully-designed files you need to publish your books and ebooks: PDF for print and print-on-demand including Amazon”™s CreateSpace, MOBI for Kindle, and EPUB for Apple”™s iBooks, Nook, Kobo and others. 

Carol Tomlinson(.com)

The idea of differentiating instruction to accommodate the different ways that students learn involves a hefty dose of common sense, as well as sturdy support in the theory and research of education (Tomlinson & Allan, 2000). It is an approach to teaching that advocates active planning for student differences in classrooms.

While not entirely focused on Transformation Storytelling, Carol Tomlinson is a giant (if not the founder) of the modern differentiated instruction movement. She has countless books, articles, lesson plans, videos, and interviews with a wealth of methods for tailoring instruction to individual learners without having to create separate curriculum for everyone. What’s even better? Her work is very readable and practical while being thorough.

 Graphic, Visual and Multi-modal Storytelling

A group dedicated to bringing together scholars from all disciplines interested in different forms of graphic, visual and multi-modal storytelling.  “Narrative” and “storytelling” are terms suffering continuous transformations. [We explore] different approaches to these terms, particularly to cultural phenomena like TV, film, comic strips, comic books or graphic novels, webcomics, games, video games, photographic journalism, immersive journalism, animation, computer animation, visualisation, infographics, graphic design, illustrated literature, curating, editing, net and digital art, etc. 

This online group allows for the free exchange of ideas related to visual storytelling and multimodal storytelling. It has many members, some more serious than others. Still, it’s a great way to get a pulse on multimodal storytelling trends concerning both scholars and artists.

 Kathy Schrock

Finally, this webpage has an enormous list of resources for digital storytelling, educational storytelling, and differentiated instruction. She includes links for gifted education, narrative exploration, and much more.

There are many others, and I will bring you more lists as time passes. This was just meant for those what want to get into the circle and don’t know where to begin.

Please comment below!

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Chris Michaels

Storyteller. Researcher. Coder. Innovator. I seek to push the boundaries of storytelling and education.
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