Elements of a Good Digital Story

Adapting to a New Culture was about a Japanese student who came to the U.S. to study English but had difficulty interacting with classmates and participating in class.  She blames much of this to her cultural upbringing where it was imperative for students to be quiet and obedient.  This inexperience in social interaction made adjusting to life in America more difficult than she expected.

I thought that this was a well-made digital story video.  It had a good story structure, it aroused emotions, and provided supplemental interesting information on Japanese culture. The story introduced a topic, discussed the struggles, and then came to a resolution.  I particularly liked how she introduced the topic by posing a question: Would she be happier living in America knowing the difficulty she would have in communicating in English?  This question was thought provoking, and it created a connection with the viewers because I think many of us may have been in a situation where things were difficult and we too questioned our own satisfaction. The struggles that the author went through were complex. Her stressful life in Japan caused her to move to America, but instead of the result being rosy sweet, there were new struggles to overcome.  After talking to her friend she decided to take action and make some changes.  She volunteered to help new international students at her university and helped children at a local elementary school.  Although this improved her confidence and her ability to socialize, the discomfort was still there, and from the story, this struggle may never completely go away.

The portrayal of confronting and trying to overcome a fear made the story genuine and real.  The author showed courage to share something so personal.  I thought this helped to aroused emotions.  Again, it created a connection among viewers by talking about a universal feeling that anyone could relate to.

Other elements also made this video good.  The author provided interesting information about Japanese culture.  She also effectively used multimedia principle by having appropriate pictures to match the narration.  There wasn’t any music, but I thought it was fine without it.


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