digital storytelling,  DS Cymru,  education,  instruction,  media literacy,  mobile,  story

One-hour digital storytelling?

Is there a form of digital storytelling that can give people a taste of what’s possible in just one hour? That’s the question Nicky Getgood and I wrestled with when we met earlier today.

Nicky works with Talk About Local and edits the Digbeth is Good hyperlocal online site. The 1 October 2011 #Storycamp in Ludlow is what Nicky was inspired to organise after she attended DS6.

Nicky and I began by looking back at the Capture Wales project, then we wondered about what kinds of video outputs might be produced at the Ludlow #Storycamp. The model we’re considering piloting consists of:
– four images, including titles;
– half a minute of audio, recorded on mobile phone in a quiet room;
– a personal anecdote based on one image or object related to ‘my special place’

We’re confident the technical building of the digital story can be done within the time, as long as not much training is required. But we’re both concerned that there’s not enough time to give the anecdote (mini personal story about a place) time to ‘breathe’.

We’ll continue the discussion and I’ll keep you updated here.


  • Fred Mindlin

    Hi Gareth, Interesting reflection. I’ve done workshops with about an hour and a half available. Structuring the time for sharing the story ideas–like the old trick, talk only for as long as a match can burn–might help to sharpen the storytelling.
    Good luck, keep us posted on what you come up with…

    Cheers, Fred

    • Gareth Morlais

      Thanks Fred. We wondered about the match game but Nicky reckons there’s a super-sensitive sprinkler system at the venue. It could all end in tears 🙂
      Have you a link please to a page where you’ve documented your methodology online? Thanks.

  • Chris Hodson

    Hi Gareth,
    Good subject. I recently did some sessions on Digital Stories for Participation Cymru at their annual Conference in Mid Wales. They wanted something interactive so we decided to make a story with the workshop participants and then show it at the plenary session the following day. We decided very early on it needed two of us and my colleague Dyfrig took pictures around the tables while I talked and showed soem patient stories. We asked partcipants to discuss their best/worst/disastrous/funniest experience of public participation – this was our ‘ice-breaker’. After showing them some patient stories,
    they went into groups (about 8 per table), chose the best story from the ice-breaker and worked it up into a 1 minute script. The also selected a volunteer to read it. I did an extended Q & A session while Dyfrig recorded the stories in a quiet corner. Incidentally, I finished by showing them Richard Cowlings story, ‘Beauty’ that Joe Lambert showed us at DS5. As there were two sessions (of about 1 hr 30 mins each), we had 9 recorded stories and a bunch of pictures. The point was to show that you can quickly put something reasonable together using basic kit and free software. We used a Fuji 6mp digital camera and an Olympus dictation/voice recorder. We used Audacity to edit the voices and put it all together on Windows Moviemaker and ended up with a ten minute story that was good enough to show publicly. We had some problems with editing, mainly down to technical glitches, and, as neither of us had used audacity or Moviemaker much before, it took us longer than the hour I had estimated but we got there in the end.

  • Gareth Morlais

    That sounds like a full-on session Chris. I’m sure the participants got a lot out of this. It’s really helpful that you give a breakdown of the method like this. I’m only hoping we’re not being too ambitious with our plans for Ludlow on 1 Oct. Regards, Gareth

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