Digital Storytelling with Windows Movie Maker

Tina Conway, Wallingford-Swarthmore CFF Teacher

Xaras Collins-Brown, Wallingford-Swarthmore CFF Coach

"How to" Session
Beginner Level

Teachers will discuss digital storytelling, and how they can move their students beyond PowerPoint to design more creative projects. Teachers will learn how to capture and import images and videos using Movie Maker. Teachers will learn how to manipulate images, create text slides, and sync audio to their projects. Teacher will consider copyright issues when publishing images.

Teachers will use higher order thinking skills to create digital storytelling projects with Windows Movie Maker. They will be given a project task to create a 3-5 minute project using images, video, and audio.

To view the materials used in our presentation go to

What is Digital Storytelling?

"an engaging and exciting way for students to use technology and digital tools to tell a story. It is usually a 2-4 minute video consisting of images, text, narration, and/or music. Digital stories are an excellent 21st century alternative to paper-based reports and a step above the typical PowerPoint slideshow."

References and Resources for Windows Movie Maker

The Basics:

  • Windows Movie Maker is a program that is on most PCs 2003 or newer
  • First step - gather your digital media for the project (pictures, audio, video). Make sure this media is saved to your computer (My Pictures/My Music/My Media folders). Be careful with copyright issues. Most students will want to go out to Google and just use those images. However, students either need to make sure those images are public domain images or include a bibliography for all images used at the end of their show.
  • Movie Maker is a drop and drag program, so once all the your media is uploaded to the Movie Maker platform, you click and drag them into place.
  • Audio options: You can either add music or students can add their own narration to a video
  • Although you can add in music from a cd, you need to be aware of copyright issues dealing with music, especially if students plan to distribute the video (YouTube).
  • Publishing: In order for the movie to work correctly, the last step is to publish the movie. If you simply save the project, you will save what you are working on so that you can go back and edit it later. However, you will not be able to work on the project on another computer (because all the individual files are saved to a specific computer). This last step of publishing the project condenses the project and saves it as one file (not a group of individual images/audio/videos). Students often forget this last step and if it is not done, they will not be able to take the project to another computer and have it work correctly.