Little Green Librarian

Blogging my way through a Masters in Teacher Librarianship at CSU!

Digital storytelling: A proposal


Image of an anime student in a classroom.

Proposed topic

Digital citizenship: Using public domain and creative commons images and music.

Proposed digital tools

I plan to create a visual novel using the free Ren’Py software, which will result in a “game” application file in formats suitable for PC and Mac computers. If time permits, I will also create an Android-compatible version of the visual novel. I plan to use the following digital tools:


I work as the teacher librarian in a Distance Education primary school in NSW. In my role, I seek to source and create resources that Distance Education students can use offline to introduce them to library skills and concepts in an engaging way. I will be creating a short visual novel to introduce students in years 5 and 6 to the concept of public domain and creative commons images and music.

Visual novels use a combination of typically first-person narrative text, images and sound effects to tell a story (Lebowitz & Klug, 2011, pp193-194). They usually feature branching paths, similar to those found in “choose your own adventure” novels, adding a game-like element to the reading experience (Lebowitz & Klug, 2011, p194). Visual novels can be categorised as interactive fiction (Lamb, 2011, p15), as readers must interact with the text to both move it along and decide its direction. Walsh (2013, p187) identifies the use of alternative paths as a feature of a digital narrative. This format suits the digital citizenship topic I have chosen, as it will allow students to engage with the topic of digital citizenship by exploring what could happen if they choose to plagiarise (through branching storylines), while also introducing them to the options of using public domain and creative commons.

A syllabus context for use of the visual novel I create is English outcome EN3-3A, which asks students to interact with texts that employ a variety of media, while also exploring the concept of responsible use of digital technologies. The context would also integrate concepts from the Learning Across the Curriculum areas of ICT and Ethical Understanding.



Lamb, A. (2011). Reading redefined for a transmedia universe. Learning & Leading with Technology, 39(3), 12-17.

Lebowitz, J. & Klug, C. (2011) Branching path stories. In Interactive storytelling for video games: A player-centered approach to creating memorable characters and stories (pp. 181-204). Burlington, MA, USA: Focal Press.

Walsh, M. (2013). Literature in a digital environment. In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers (pp. 181-194). Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).


Image source: Moe by jsks. Public Domain.

One Comment to

“Digital storytelling: A proposal”

  1. September 23rd, 2015 at 8:35 am      Reply Lee FitzGerald Says:


    This is a very interesting proposal, which has a useful purpose, and sounds like it will work. Renpy looks interesting, and you’ve the content covered in terms of tools to use. Would it make sense to make the digital storytelling part of a unit of work in which students have to create a Renpy themselves? Maybe following the responsible use of digital material idea, but also with the creation of media?

    You’ve a sound proposal anyway, and just remember to keep a firm eye on the marking criteria of the task, relating to context (fill it out a little more); content, tools, affordances, accessibillity; and then the management issues (DRM, copyright etc.)

    Good luck with it, Kelly.

    INF533 SC

Email will not be published

Website example

Your Comment:

Skip to toolbar