Technical Requirements

The size and scope of your digital storytelling project will have an impact on your technical requirements, so it is important to establish these goals before making purchases.  You may also already be equipped with some or all technology to get started.

The following questions may be helpful in determining some of your technical requirements:

  1. What is your budget? Knowing your financial constraints will determine how much you can do.
  2. Will you be instructing others in digital storytelling in a situation that requires hands-on experience?  If so, you may have to account for the personnel resources to assist learners, the need for multiple workstations, additional equipment and the space to store this equipment.
  3. Will the equipment be accessible to the public? If not, what are the restrictions for use?  Will a staff member of your organization have to be available to assist others in using the equipment?  If so, account for additional resources for these purposes.
  4. Do you prefer Macintosh or Windows platforms?  Both platforms have advantages and disadvantages for digital storytelling, so assess the capabilities of each, the experiences of your staff members with both platforms, and make an informed decision based on your needs.
  5. What kind of equipment would you like to purchase?  Do you want a video camera or are you filming using a webcam?  Will microphones be used to record audio?  What kind of editing software are you considering?  Thinking about each step of the process will help you to determine what kind of equipment you might need.

    Many libraries and public institutions have experimented with making digital storytelling available to their patron bases.  Skokie Public Library has a great example of a digital media lab, which is open to the public.  Another example of providing public access to digital storytelling is available in North Carolina’s Levine Museum of the New South.  The exhibitor at this museum experimented with the idea of archiving user experiences with a museum exhibition by creating a video story kiosk within the exhibition (Czarnecki, 2010, ch. 3).  Similarly the Agora Project at the DOK in the Netherlands had opportunities for patrons to interact and tell stories in booths set-up in the library.  Patrons could link their stories to their library card with RFID and had access to video studios among other perks (Czarnecki, 2010, ch. 3).

    Some useful suggestions for equipping a multimedia/archiving station can be found in the Prairienet Community Technology Forum.

    References:

    Czarnecki, Kelly.  (2010). Digital Storytelling in Practice. Chicago: ALA TechSource.

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