Seven articles about helping participants capture their story in digital storytelling

The person who’s taught me more than anyone about helping people find their story is Gilly Adams. She was the main story facilitator of BBC Capture Wales and she shaped the Story Circle day so it was a close a fit as possible for the digital storyteller in Wales.

At DS3  in 2008, Gilly spoke in her keynote of the gift culture of digital storytelling “…where no money changes hands but the currency is the generosity of grace in sharing stories”. The person who hears the story gains two benefits:
1. they get a unique glimpse into the heart of the teller
2. they can often say: “hey, that’s about me!” and they get to reflect on that revelation.
An example of generosity Gilly gave was that of someone who comes to a DST workshop with a story in mind but, having heard the stories other people tell, they sometimes change their mind and say: “Actually, I want to tell you this…”.

Here are three links to articles written by Gilly for BBC Capture Wales guides: 1. Finding the Story; 2. Getting the Story Down on Paper; 3. Refining and Completing the Story

One of the funnest, quickest and most surprising story games Gilly introduced us to was The Match Game. I don’t know whether or not Gilly ever ‘wrote up’ the game, but here’s a link to my interpretation of her Match Game.

Another person who learned a lot from Gilly is Barrie Stevenson of Telling Lives. He has some useful guidance in Barrie’s freely-downloadable PDF which he wrote for BBC Raw.

On his blog, Barrie also recommends the first two chapters of KQED’s digital storytelling guide.

If you’d like to add your own suggestions, please use the comments below. I’m actually writing this post in response to  a comment by Becky Blab asking me to elaborate on step three of these six steps to sustainable digital storytelling project.

moving stories photo
Photo by Het Nieuwe Instituut

Written and first published by Gareth Morlais on 15 February 2011. Because of the age of this article, not all of the links still work. But I’ve left them here so you can search on the Wayback Machine.

The personal, social and environmental impacts of technology and media

I mentioned Jason Ohler’s new book ‘Digital Community, Digital Citizen‘  last year.   Jason’s just emailed me, saying:  “I thought you might be interested in my article about digital citizenship and character education, in the new issue of Educational Leadership. It echoes a number of points from my book”

The article’s called Teaching Screenagers – Character Education for the Digital Age . One of the challenges Jason sets out is tantalising: “Imagine how differently a school district might behave with the following goal in place: Students will study the personal, social, and environmental impacts of every technology and media application they use in school.”

I quite like the converging-lives approach of  teaching about technology hand-in-hand with its wider impacts on society.  I hope you enjoy reading Jason’s article.

Jason Ohler's book
Jason Ohler's book

Tokyo: New Horizons of Digital Storytelling

Every year, Media Exprimo and University of Tokyo organise several seminars looking at different forms of media expression and participation in Japan, Asia and beyond. Click on the Japan tag of this blog for background.

Digital storytellers with an interest in digital storytelling’s international perspective will be interested to hear about this year’s grand event: Mell Expo 2011 in Tokyo on the weekend of 19 & 20 March 2011.

There are sessions giving an overview of media literacies in Japan, one which includes a presentation by Media Exprimo’s Shin Mizukoshi of University of Tokyo and other renowned experts entitled ‘Global Alliance and Local Media Biotope’.

The ‘New Horizons of Digital Storytelling’ session sounds especially fascinating. It’s a panel session, chaired by Yuko Tsuchiya of Hiroshima University of Economics. The speakers are John Hartley of Queensland University of Technology, Masaaki Ito of Aichishukutoku University, Akiko Ogawa of Aichishukutoku University and Kiyoko Toriumi of University of Tokyo.

For updates about Mell Expo, do follow Shin Mizukoshi and Akiko Ogawa on Twitter. They tweet in Japanese but using Google Translate can help give a valuable glimpse into the fantastic international digital storytelling work being done in languages other than English.

With a group of University of Tokyo students on campus

Life as a transgender person – digital story

Jenny-Anne Bishop explains what life was like as a transgender person growing up and living in Wales. She talks about the difficult experiences she has had with her family as a result of her transition.

It’s one of four digital stories made by StoryWorks for the Equality and Human Rights Commission Wales and I first saw it at their workshop for journalists and programme-makers called ‘Not just another statistic‘ on 17 January 2011 in Cardiff.

Guardian columnist Juliet Jacques spoke about trans-related portrayal challenges and Romani journalist Jake Bowers called for the media to stop being so shockingly racist when covering Gypsy and Traveller Community stories. Jake works with the Travellers’ Times – an organisation that has had a strong presence and a stall at Aberystwyth digital storytelling conferences DS2, DS3, DS4 and DS5.

As a two-minute way of getting a first-person point of view across, digital stories work better than any amount of powerpoint slides. It’s great to see this form being used as way of pressing for change in media portrayal and in increasing wider understanding of some of the people who are most likely to experience discrimination in our society.

DS6 digital storytelling conference advance notice of date and call for speakers

DS Cymru has announced on its blog that the “DS6 International Digital Storytelling Festival will take place on Friday 17th June 2011 at Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Wales“.

DS Cymru’s Esko Reinikainen is calling for “suggestions for our speaker and breakout sessions long list”. Deadline for submissions is Monday 14th February and the form is at Booking details for delegates will follow.

I met DS Cymru member and head of Aberystwyth Arts Centre Alan Hewson over the weekend and he’s really looking forward to this sixth annual get-together. Another digital storyteller who’s looking forward to the event is Daniel Meadows who’ll be in Aberystwyth this summer.

All in all, DS6 will be a fantastic celebration of digital storytelling in Wales, Europe and beyond and I’m looking forward to meeting people there. I hope you can make it too.

Historical footnote: DS5 (2010), DS4 (2009), DS3 (2008), DS2 (2007). The record of DS1 (2004) is unfortunately no longer online.

Another footnote: good luck to everyone who’s attending
The 4th International Conference on Digital Storytelling: Create – Share – Listen in Lillehammer this month
. Speakers include Pip Hardy, John Hartley, Glynda Hull, Joe Lambert, Knut Lundby, Bjarke Myrthu, Simon Strömberg and Rami Al-Khamisi. It’s great to see such a flourish of fine European digital storytelling events this year.