Digital Storytelling in Teaching and Research

In A. Natnall & J. Multisilta (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Education and Information Technologies, Springer

13 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2020

Date Written: January 24, 2018


This extended entry will draw from Contemporary Metaphor Theory in order to explicate the meaning of the term, based on applications in education that use digital storytelling to frame teaching and research. To this end, I will discuss digital storytelling as a phrase where the noun (storytelling) is used metaphorically and is modified by the adjective (digital) that designates the target domain of the utterance. According to metaphor theorists, a metaphor occurs when we talk about something by means of something else and, therefore, a stretch or twist is required for sense making. This metaphorical twist involves a movement to a target domain (in this case: telling stories) to explain what, for instance, technologically-enhanced practices in the field actually mean nowadays.In this sense, ‘digital storytelling’ is a 21st century metaphor that signifies mapping of two domain areas in the meaning making process. In this mapping, ‘digital’ signals the comparison between the domain of technology and that of telling stories.

Digital storytelling involves multiple modes of expression through language and other symbols and media. However, contrary to traditional visual and cinematic storytelling, digital technologies have offered the possibility for interactive ways of telling stories online through the use of web-based platforms and internet services. A contemporary definition of digital storytelling should take into account these dimensions. If, for example, we consider storytelling to be an essential feature of education, the perspective on education changes. In this way, digital storytelling can possibly be a novel metaphor, given that it attributes novel meanings to the field.

In this paper, dimensions of these possibilities will be discussed.

Keywords: digital storytelling, metaphor, narrative, teaching, research

Suggested Citation

Vivitsou, Marianna, Digital Storytelling in Teaching and Research (January 24, 2018). In A. Natnall & J. Multisilta (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Education and Information Technologies, Springer , Available at SSRN: or

Marianna Vivitsou (Contact Author)

University of Helsinki ( email )

University of Helsinki
Helsinki, FIN-00014

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