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Houston Community College: Embedding Digital Storytelling Across the Higher Education Curriculum

Case Studies

Houston Community College: Embedding Digital Storytelling Across the Higher Education Curriculum

Emily Paulos

Charlotte Hamilton, director of College Educational Technology Services at Houston Community College's Central Campus, believes that “Digital storytelling helps students learn and become more engaged. It also helps them improve their listening skills. And for faculty, to work in a collaborative group environment using 21st century teaching techniques and learning new technology, provides the opportunity to think outside the box for instructional projects. Digital storytelling inspires creativity and intuitiveness, and supports faculty in their efforts to ‘flip’ the classroom.”

StoryCenter's pioneering digital storytelling methods support multi-modal learning and have been demonstrated to increase college students' engagement and retention. Over the years, we have collaborated with many universities and community college systems to develop customized digital storytelling programs and classroom implementations, as a way of improving student engagement and learning across the curriculum, from the arts and humanities, to the sciences. 

Houston Community Colleges (HCCS) is the fourth largest community college system in the United States, serving more than 55,000 students. Beginning in 2014, we led Educational Technology Services and Curriculum Innovation Services staff from the six colleges, as well as faculty from various disciplines, through a series of three-day digital storytelling workshops. Following completion of their own stories, a sub-group of participants was selected to attend customized training for facilitation and implementation in the classroom. The program is part of a three-year training and implementation program designed to incorporate digital storytelling methods across the six HCC campuses.