The digital story I selected to critique this week is called Firestorm. Warning to anyone reading this post, this is quite a long digital story, but well worth the time to navigate through it!
Wow! What a powerful story. Essentially, this town in Tasmania suffered from a catastrophic fire, one that was so bad the fire fighters could not even begin to fight. However, due to past fires, the town has learned things about the best way to deal with them. In this case, it was protect what you can and make sure the people in the town get out and stay safe.
While the overall story was about the fire that devastated this town in Tasmania, the story took on a personal note by incorporating how one family dealt with the catastrophe. The used an interesting mix of text, audio, video, still video, and photographs to tell the story. They also interweave history with personal stories with ecology.
To critique this digital story, I chose the following criteria from Jason Ohler’s Digital Storytelling Assessments page: Story, Research, and Digital craftmanship.
|Digital Story Evaluation Criteria|
|Story||How well did the story work?||9|
|Research||Was the project well researched and documented?||10|
|Digital craftmanship||Did the creators have a good command of the media?||9|
The story was long but very powerful. The creator separated it out into chapters, which broke it up and made it feel almost like a book. I think one way they might have approached it, would have been to separate out the various parts: history of the country/town, the ecology and fire lesson, and the personal story. This way the viewer could choose to watch all of it or part of it instead of having to wade through everything. However, the story worked really well, and they did a great job of incorporating a lot of information in a consumable format.
The creators obviously did a ton of research to create this digital story. There is a lot of historical information as well as scientific information that is presented throughout the story.
The creators also have a great command on the media they used. Everything works seamlessly. I think the only issue I had was that sometimes I had to scroll a lot to get through a chunk of text, and I wasn’t always sure when a video/audio portion was completed so I could scroll to the next section.
Interestingly, this story is also available as two e-books. I did not check out the e-book (the link was broken), so I am not sure how much more information is available in them. But I do like the idea of telling the main components of the story in an interactive format and then making a more in-depth look into the story available.