Three great digital storytelling training resources

Here are three ridiculously awesome and totally free training resources that, if you haven’t stumbled upon them yet, you’re going to love having at your disposal.

vimeo video school

Vimeo Video School

Vimeo is a web hosting service, much like YouTube, that caters a little more to professionals and other folks willing to invest the time and energy to upload in HD. The folks there have compiled a series of videos that are short and sweet tutorials in basic video concepts. You’ll find content there for your absolute beginners (check out this intro to composition, this handy glossary of video terms, this super simple explanation of jump cuts, and this intro to 3-point lighting as a start) as well as a few tutorials for your seasoned pros (like this lesson on shooting with drones).


npr ed

NPR Editorial Training

The five-person editorial training team at NPR launched this site a few months ago. It features tips and case studies that extend far beyond the radio realm. There are four general topics: audio, social, digital and visual. Under each are short articles full of examples you could use with students. I love this list of “Tips for making storytelling portraits” and this list of “5 characteristics that make a good headline.”




The folks at Transom know audio, and they’re sharing expert tips and techniques freely through their website. Here you’ll find how-to guides for specific tools (software and hardware) and articles covering technique. The “HowSound” category is particularly interesting, with articles like “Interviewing with your Skeptical Brain.”

So there they are. Three awesome resources for absolutely free training and tutorials for you and your kids. Because there are so many of these out there on the Web, it’s a good idea to have a way to organize them. A running Google doc or spreadsheet works. I have a private Pinterest board where I store links.

And just because you read this far, I’ll throw one more great resource out there…


While it’s not exactly a resource for tutorials (though they do have a growing collection of how-tos), Storybench covers the latest innovations in digital storytelling. It’s a great resource for professional examples because they regularly do roundups (like this collection of Zika virus visualizations) and case studies (like this Q&A with a Wall Street Journal editor).

Michelle Balmeo

Michelle Balmeo, MJE, is the adviser of The Whirlwind newsmagazine and online news publication at West Albany High School in Albany, Ore. She's done some print stuff, some video stuff, and some web stuff over the past 16 years as a student media adviser.

Michelle Balmeo has 66 posts and counting. See all posts by Michelle Balmeo

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