• citizenship,  digital storytelling,  empowerment,  inclusion,  media literacy,  story

    Video Nation – final screening

    Last night was a poignant one. Even before I was involved with digital storytelling, I’ve been a fan of BBC Video Nation. I first became aware of it when I saw an job ad in the early 1990s announcing that the BBC Community Programmes Unit was recruiting people to develop uses for the Hi8 analogue camcorders that had heralded the introduction of near-broadcast-quality consumer video cameras. The fruits of that project, founded by Mandy Rose and Chris Mohr, were five to ten-minute video shorts scheduled before Newsnight on BBC 2 TV. Last night I went to London’s ICA Cinema for the final screening of Video Nation Network’s Turn Back Time…

  • citizenship,  education,  empowerment,  story,  timeless,  Wales

    How to get your short film seen by 500 million

    When Newport University film studies lecturer and social action broadcast specialist Peter Watkins-Hughes went to Tredegar Comprehensive School students with an idea for a short film about teenage drink driving they said: “It’s not drunk driving that’s the biggest problem; it’s texting while driving”. Peter didn’t have much of a budget, so he asked Gwent Police for help. They gave advice, use of their helicopter, their vehicles and their officers as ‘extras’. When the film was shot and edited, Peter put it on You Tube so he could send a link to BBC commissioners. Within a week, the film had had 50 views. It then rose to 200. Then Peter…

  • citizenship,  digital storytelling,  empowerment,  inclusion,  story,  Uncategorized,  Wales

    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…

  • citizenship,  digital storytelling,  empowerment,  inclusion

    Menna Richards

    Tonight, I’m going to say goodbye at a party to an old friend and colleague who’s leaving the BBC soon. Menna Richards is the woman who commissioned BBC Capture Wales / Cipolwg ar Gymru back in 2001. I hope some of those who made a digital story with Capture Wales might feel that digital storytelling has been as big a gift to the people of Wales as the hugely-enjoyable Doctor Who and Torchwood TV programmes. Menna brought those two hits to Wales too. I remember Menna coming back to work with BBC Cymru Wales more than ten years ago when Greg Dyke was director general. There was a real buzz…

  • citizenship,  empowerment,  Wales

    Plant – 100,000 trees

    How can one child’s idea change a country? Here’s an example. The 100,000th tree has been planted in time for National Tree Week. That’s one for every child born or adopted in Wales.  Here’s how it happened: “The original idea for the scheme came from a Cardiff schoolgirl, Natalie Vaughan, 11 who wrote to her Assembly Member, Sue Essex, suggesting that planting a tree for every child born or adopted would be a good way to make young people think about their environment and the role they have in preserving it. The Welsh Assembly Government decided to run with the idea and it is now being delivered on their behalf…

  • citizenship,  digital storytelling,  empowerment,  media literacy,  story

    Digital stories in the Kwak’wala language

    Only 270 people can speak Kwak’wala (source) so it’s highly endangered. Digital storytelling has a vital role in keeping a record of languages as they’re spoken today. The Mayatlan’s Wila Culture and Language Group for their Kwak’wala Digital Language Project has won Canadian Government funding to create 20 digital stories in the Kwak’wala language that will reflect daily activities, such as family meal times and home routines, as well as traditional events like food gathering… Capturing a language in this way in itself is not enough; digital storytelling needs to be just one piece of the jigsaw pieces that make a language relevant and vibrant. I do wish the speakers…

  • citizenship,  digital storytelling

    Jason Ohler’s new book

    The author of the classic ‘Digital Storytelling in the Classroom’ has finished writing his latest book.  On 31st October 2010, Corwin Press will publish Digital Community, Digital Citizen by Jason Ohler: “It looks at the rise of digital communities, the evolution of citizenship (local, global and digital), the complications (and opportunities) arising from kids communicating in cyberspace and how education can help prepare students for a world that will need them to use technology effectively, creatively and wisely. Topics addressed: character education for digital kids, how school boards need to respond to everything from sexting to cyberbullying, how to help teachers and students ‘see’ the technology that has become invisible…

  • citizenship,  digital storytelling,  empowerment

    Use social media to drive social change: The Dragonfly Effect

    This looks like an interesting book: ‘The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways To Use Social Media to Drive Social Change’ by Jennifer Aaker & Andy Smith “A handbook on using the power and popularity of social media to do good in the world. The Dragonfly Effect because of that insect’s ability to move in any direction when its four wings work together. This is a comprehensive guide for how to take your cause and compassion viral: an e-mail campaign to register bone marrow donors for hard-to-match patients a Colombian engineer who used Facebook to organize a protest against the Revolutionary Armed Forces the microlending site Kiva” (edited from…

  • citizenship,  empowerment,  story,  Wales

    See how trees could improve your local area with a new tool that helps get them planted.

    The Woodland Trust has launched a new civic campaigning tool called MyView that will be of interest if you feel your neighborhood could benefit from having some trees planted there. Step 1 take a photo of an area near you which you feel would benefit from some trees Step 2 upload it to the site and drap-and-drop some virtual trees to the view to make it look nicer. Caption your work by maybe adding a story about why this is a place that’s special to you. Personal stories are a powerful tool in getting things implemented, as we learn from Patients’ Voices’ health-related stories. Step 3 send a link to…