Please sign up for the ‘Digital Storytelling and the African Storybook Project’ free online course starting 21 July 2014

African Storybook Project Logo FINAL        image

Submitted by Fiona Beal
Please sign up for the ‘Digital Storytelling and the African Storybook Project’ free online course starting 21 July 2014

SchoolNet and Saide are running a short, free online digital storytelling course for teachers, educators and other potential writers as a story acquisition strategy for the amazing newly-launched African Storybook website (

About the course


The course is open to educators and others from South Africa, Lesotho, Kenya or Uganda as those are the countries where the African Storybook Project is being piloted. This will be a five week free, online course held during the third term 2014, from  21st July  – August 3rd 2014. The course can be done using any device platform – PC, Apple Device, iPad, Android, Windows phone etc. We will give guidance on the application to use. The stories can be written in the writer’s mother tongue and not only English though we would like to ask for a separate English translation for admin purposes if another language is used. The course will be run via a blog for the course materials and a Facebook group for the interaction. Moderators on the course are Fiona Beal from Schoolnet and Lorato Trek from Saide.


The African Storybook Project was created to address the serious literacy challenges on the African continent and the newly launched website have tremendous potential in this regard. A digital storytelling course was held in 2013 and all the stories written at the time were posted on 

The plan is that educators will write their own story for a Grade 1-3 learner step-by-step as they follow the course and then as many of them as possible will get their classes writing stories using the guidelines they were shown during the course. Thereafter the African storybook team will start their selection.



The proposed course outline

Week 1: Introducing digital storytellingDuring the first week of the course, participants will learn about digital storytelling and very straightforward licensing methods for online creations. The free Creative Commons licensing a wonderful way to share stories on the web.

The webinar presentation: ‘‘Introduce digital storytelling in your classroom’’

Week 2: What makes a good story for a learner in the early grades
During the second week we will become familiar with the African Storybook website and what it offers. We’ll consider what the African Storybook team is looking for in a story i.e. length, reading levels ideas etc. and talk about what children need when they are learning to read.
The webinar presentation: ‘How to use the African Storybook Project website in your classroom’

Week 3: Finding Inspiration for your story

During the third week of the course, participants will learn how to get inspiration for a story and the different methods of creating a story. They will practise writing a story offline. We’ll look at story starter ideas and consider ways to structure a story

The webinar presentation ‘It’s time to write our stories’

Week 4: Adding your story to a suitable presentation template and discovering ways of illustrating your story

During the fourth week of the course, participants will be introduced to using a presentation application such as PowerPoint or similar for their digital writing. We’ll consider different ways of illustrating a story and will start on the illustrations for your story. We’ll discover how to add these illustrations to our story presentation application.

The webinar presentation: ‘Illustrating your story and adding it to PowerPoint (or similar)’

Week 5: Converting your digital story to a video (optional)

In the final week participants will be given the option of adding different elements to their stories such as narration and music.  We will look at ways of converting the story to a video and posting it online.

The webinar presentation: ‘Convert your story to a video and publish your digital creation online’

Further information

  • It is proposed that stories are written in the mother tongue and that an English version is also submitted where necessary via a word processing document. 
  • With regard to the devices selected (ie. iPad, PC, Android tablet, Apple device or Windows phone),we will forward you further information after sign-up.
  • We plan to run the interaction part of the course from a closed Facebook group so if you do not belong to Facebook we encourage you to join. If you are not keen to become a regular Facebook user, all it requires is that yoy join Facebook and keep your profie very private and unused if desired – but joining with a profile name will enable you to easily access the group page. 
  • The course materials will be posted on a course blog
  • Those who have signed up will hear from us on Thursday 23rd June as to the next step.

Sign up here

Please join us if you would like to and tell interested colleagues about this opportunity by signing up here. .

You are welcome to contact the moderators with any further queries: ( and It will be great having you on board!

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