Digital Storytelling Topic Proposal

Diggings in the Mount Alexander district of Victoria in 1852, watercolour on paper, 24.5 x 35 cm by ST Gill ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Proposed topic:

An early Castlemaine family

My great, great grandfather, A.C. Yandell, arrived at the Mount Alexander goldfields (later named Castlemaine) in 1852 and his descendants have lived in Castlemaine ever since.

This digital story will highlight selected aspects of A.C. Yandell’s life, as well stories about some of his children and grandchildren. Interwoven in the story will be information about how I researched the information to inspire and enable the reader to research their own family.

Proposed digital tools and spaces to be used

The main digital tool/space to be used is Atavist. If required, additional media will be uploaded to Youtube or Soundcloud for embedding in Atavist.

Rationale for topic focus for the digital storytelling project

I work at an independent Jewish K-12 school. In year 6, students undertake a Dorot project (dorot is Hebrew for generations) which is an exploration of their family history and Jewish heritage. Some of the elements of this project are:

  • Constructing a family tree
  • Researching the biography of a family member
  • Researching the migration story of a family member
  • Selecting and reflecting on an artefact that connects to their Jewish heritage

While I am not Jewish, my story about my family heritage could be used as an example of how this information can be presented. The inclusion of explanations about how information was discovered and links to historical sources would also support the students in their research. The opportunity to compare their stories to one from a different heritage and time period would be an interesting extension activity.

The story has scope for inclusion in teaching about “using historical sources as evidence” and “exploring historical perspectives, concepts and skills” as required in the Victorian Curriculum – History (Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, n.d.). The content of this story directly links with Victorian Curriculum Historical Knowledge Level 5 and 6 topics The Australian Colonies and Australia as a Nation, in particular “The causes and the reasons why people migrated to Australia from Europe and Asia, and the perspectives, experiences and contributions of a particular migrant group within a colony”, and “The nature of … colonial presence … and aspects of the daily life of the inhabitants”.


Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (n.d.). History. Retrieved September 08, 2016, from

2 thoughts on “Digital Storytelling Topic Proposal

  1. Heather,

    Your proposal sound excellent. Your own family’s story starting with your great, great grandfather and moving through the generations will be an excellent exemplar of Dorot (a word I’d never heard of before) for your students in Year 6’s heritage project. It is excellent that your commentary will also include the experience of doing the research, which will help students do theirs. The digital tools you’ve chosen (yes, maybe Atavist has improved since some of my earlier students experiences) – Atavist, with videos uploaded to Youtube or Sound Cloud – sounds appropriate. For me to view it, do you know if I will have to have Atavist? That could be an issue, though if it’s like Tackk, it’s not.

    Please go ahead with this proposal, it sounds very interesting, and I look forward to reading, viewing, listening.

    INF533 SC

  2. Hi Heather, like Lee I’m intrigued by the use of Atavist. It’s not something I’ve used before so I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out.
    – Sharon

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