DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

A digital story expressing inspirational and social capital, Make the World Your Temple showcases the beauty of New York City and how it shapes ones personality. The world can offer so many incredible opportunities and it is our duty to benefit from our surroundings. 

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
The Art of Digital Storytelling
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Have you ever had the opportunity to tell a story using digital and visual representation? The idea of using different elements of media such as audio soundtracks, pictorials, word art, and transitions can really make a story more appealing because “by telling thoughtful stories, we clarify our own thinking about what we have learned to share with others in a profound way that sticks with us over time.” (Simmons) Bernajean Porter, the author of Digital Storytelling Across the Curriculum, states that, “The process of crafting the digital story becomes rich in technical, communication, collaborative, oral speaking, creativity, visual and sound literacy, and project management skills. It also helps develop a range of digital communication styles necessary to function in a knowledge society. Since every good story requires great content that is worth sharing, digital storytellers must first become “meaning makers.” (Porter, 1) The process of creating a rich and authentic digital story requires at least a weeks work of brainstorming ideas. The first step is to choose your topic. From there, you can use your imagination to create an interesting piece.


When you get the idea of digital storytelling and its purpose, you have the ability to develop more technical skills that will benefit your own masterpiece. Hull and Katz, authors of Crafting an agentive self: Case studies of digital storytelling," explain that, "digital stories necessarily expand conceptions of what it means to perform a text. While broadly speaking, dance, music, and poetry might all be viewed as textual performances, digital stories, because they of necessity layer multiple media and modes, complicate our understandings of textual performance as it is linked to the development of identity and agency." (Hull and Katz, 47)


Many people use digital storytelling in the 21st century because it is more effective than writing a plain old essay. The way you communicate to your specific audience is crucial. People who create their own digital stories want to capture their audience’s attention and take them into their own journey and its destination. The tone, mood, and sound of your voice matters because others are going to listen and your goal is to keep them focused from beginning to end. Some areas of your story may or should include a dramatic pause, an exaggeration, a silent moment, or an aggressive approach. As Porter argues,   "organizing story prompts around the type of communication expected of authors helps focus students as they develop the content of their stories” (2).  It all depends on how you want people to react to each section. It is important to include these small details because we want the audience to engage and really understand what we are trying to convey. Digital storytelling is becoming very popular in this generation since everyone is involved with a technological device.


The use of different media and your own words is like making your own movie. Over time you build certain skills in sound, technical, visual, and informational literacy which is an advantage in the 21st century. We are living in a technologically advanced world and it is essential for us to learn the skills needed to improve more and more each day: “Storytelling enables innovation and creativity. Authors become creative in designing information and communicating understandings with the images, graphics, movement, and music of digital media. Digital storytelling provides a unique opportunity to mix and dance media together until they coalesce into something that did not exist before” (Porter, 1). We have the resources in our hands and it is our job to use it well. Students should not only embrace their creativity in their writing, but also embrace it through their work of art. 


Colleen Jones, the author of The Art and Science of Influential Web Content: What Rhetoric Really Is, informs us that, “The philosopher Aristotle defined rhetoric as figuring out the best way to persuade in a situation. Today, Andrea Lunsford, a respected professor at Stanford University, defines rhetoric as “the art, practice, and study of human communication” (Jones, 1). Digital storytelling is a form of art and communication and we use the elements of pathos, logos, and ethos. Digital stories must portray credibility, logic, experience and identification because if it did not contain these traits, why should people believe in what you say and show? You need clear evidence to support your claims and “establish a shared sense of values” (Jones, 4).  


Digital stories showcase your own words and ideas and it should be original. The way the digital story is represented should be creative and fascinating in order to receive full connections. Our goal is to make our audience mesmerized. Kress, author of Literacy in the New Media Age, recalls that "there are now choices about how and what is to be represented should be represented: in what mode in what genre, in what ensembles of modes and genres on what occasions." (117). We have the ability to create a project like no other.


Our generation has adapted to the technologically advanced. Utilizing personal experiences and a piece of your life into your own work is a powerful tool. Use as many resources that you have to your own advantage. It is critical to communicate your story in the best way possible with authenticity and structural artistic features.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
Art as a Form of Expression
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Creating a digital story was the highlight of my English class because it really pushed my boundaries. I was not aware that I am capable of creating such a beautiful and inspiring piece of work. Since I chose to write about my  own aspirational and social capital, I decided to utilize my passion for photography and express it throughout my digital story. New York City has really embodied my charisma and I was very encouraged to visit many important landmarks and capture interesting images. I saw New York City through my own lens and I have fallen in love with my city. The environment you live in has a strong influence in your life. You should utilize what you have right in front of you and embrace the moments. Digital storytelling has expressed my thoughts and words perfectly into one sweet apple pie. I was impressed with myself and my dedication to this project and how much I incorporated my own originality and authenticity.


I have a deep admiration for photography and it really stood out in my work. I wanted my images to stand out because that is who I really am. Expressing your own writing with your own images is like adding caramel into a cup of bitter coffee. The images I captured makes my work look more visually representing. I own a Canon Rebel T2I and it is one expensive camera. Instead of letting it collect dust, I wanted to collect memories with it. I have traveled to various places around the world and I always had my canon with me. Capturing the special moments of life is essential because you can look through it and cherish the memories you have created on your journey. I have also improved in my own writing ever since I was in college because instead of summarizing every piece of work, I have been analyzing and connecting with the author’s purpose.


Digital storytelling was a new technique I have learned and it is better than a plain old white piece of paper. You have the ability to work with sound, images, voice memos, and videos that can relate to your own writing.


Watching a digital story can immediately attract the audience’s attention. A person may incorporate a piece of themselves into their story and you get to understand them in a whole different level. This project of digital rhetoric is appealing and it portrays ethos, logos, and pathos in a creative and innovative way. We live in the 21st century where technological advancements are improving every millisecond. We should learn to adapt to technological and visual representations instead of pasting ourselves only into a word document.


My colleagues' projects were very interesting to watch. Each and everyone have their own interests in music and images. I had the chance to recognize a different part of them that I never knew they had. We all benefited through this project because of the skills we had developed over time.


“Make the World Your Temple,” is a piece about culture and traditions. It gives great advice and illustrates not only the beauty of New York City, but the entire world. I have shown my credibility by experiencing different cultures and traveling the world and people should believe what I have to say. We are focused on social media and complain about the silliest things in our own mind but we need to drop all the negativity. Embrace the beauty of your surroundings and express your human dignity with passion and wit. My work demonstrates a cultural aspect of the 21st century and it promotes the style and refinement of digital storytelling.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

About the Author

My name is Arielle Morales and I am eighteen years old. I am currently a Freshman at John Jay College of Criminal Justice majoring in Forensic Science. I was born in New York but lived in Las Vegas for five to six years. My whole life, I danced ballet, tap and jazz and I have been playing the violin for eight years. Performing in front of an audience is the best feeling ever and I aspire to become a part time dancer or musician when I grow up. I love experiencing new things and I am a risk taker when it comes to anything. 


I am Filipino classified as an Asian/Pacific Islander. The last time I went to the Philippines was during 2001 and I would like to visit more often to see family. I love traveling around the world during my summers and I would love to go to Paris one day. Having a taste of different cultures and traditions amuses me because of how distinctive each country can be. The language, food, music, and clothing is what defines each place and you can tell that each and every one is unique. 


My favorite sport is Volleyball and I enjoy playing for fun with a group of people. I admit I can be a bit competitive but it's a great way to build a team of leadership and dedication. I would love to join the Volleyball team because it is crucial to be involved in school and extracurriculars. Also meeting new people is a great way to build networks and to enjoy college life. 


Physics is my favorite subject because it is mostly math calculations. Memorizing different formulas is a piece of cake and I love learning about how the world works. From waves to frequency and electricity, those topics interest me most. Physics can be a bit challenging but I enjoy the class and the experiments are really cool. As an alternative to my major, I can really picture myself as a science teacher in either Biology or Physics. When it comes to choosing, I am very indecisive but when the time is right it will eventually come together. 


"Without the bad, the good wouldn't taste as sweet. Without the sad what would happiness be? A little rain must fall to appreciate the beauty of it all." This a quote taken from a song called Shadows by Lisa Scinta. This is one of my favorite quotes because it reminds me to stay positive and that issues that are occuring will pass and tomorrow will be a better day. Everyone has a story beneath their memories; some are good to share and others want to be kept secret. Without those memories, I would not be who I am today so I do not regret anything. I live life like today is my last and I want to cherish every waking moment. I want to make a change in the world and to make it a better place. I feel obligated to take part in every opportunity I receive and to achieve my goals to make my parents and loved ones proud because that is most important. 

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

How to Cite this:

Morales, A. (Spring 2015). "Make the World Your Temple" Digital Spectrum: First Year Digital Essays, Stories, and Projects, 2, 1. Retrieved from  https://johnjay.digication.com/ariellemorales/Make_the_World_Your_Temple1/published


 Edited by Denice Vidals

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.