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Case Studies

Filtering by Category: Education

University of Maryland (Baltimore County) Demonstrates the Power of Story in Service Learning

Emily Paulos

Colleges and Universities across the United States and around the world are increasingly embracing models for service learning, as a way of connecting students with local communities and needs. As a way of kicking off a service-learning program led by the UMBC New Media Studio (NMS), StoryCenter led a series of digital storytelling trainings for staff and faculty. What then emerged was a collaboration involving the NMS and Retirement Living Television (RLTV), a closed circuit television programming effort of the Erickson Retirement Communities (now Erickson Living). 

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The Ohio State University Develops a Community of Practice to Engage Students, Faculty, and Staff in Digital Storytelling

Emily Paulos

In 2005, two members of the Ohio State University (OSU) library system, Karen Diaz and Anne Fields, attended our StoryCenter digital storytelling workshop in Asheville, NC and together created a story about renovations to the OSU library. Upon their return to Ohio, they engaged the newly formed Digital Union in a project to integrate digital storytelling into the library system’s information technology and curriculum support services. A year later, OSU invited us to lead an on-campus workshop, for a group of faculty and staff. This session resulted in the formation of an OSU Digital Storytelling Leadership Team, comprised of members drawn from several parts of the university.

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

Emily Paulos

StoryCenter's pioneering digital storytelling methods support multi-modal learning and have been demonstrated to increase college students' engagement and retention. 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 attended customized training for facilitation and implementation in the classroom. The program is part of a three-year training and implementation effort designed to incorporate digital storytelling methods across the six HCC campuses.

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Fielding School of Public Health, UCLA

Emily Paulos

Graduate-level education in public health often involves professional field placements that test the knowledge of students within contexts and conditions of community and international settings. Reflection on field placements can become a critical part of the training process, for pre-professions. The stories of student successes and challenges in these placements assists in telling the story of an educational institution's own goals and accomplishments for preparing the public health leaders of tomorrow. The Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles, understands the importance of supporting its graduate students in sharing stories of how service placements have changed them, as people and as professionals.  

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PBS & Colorado Public Television: American Graduate Project

Emily Paulos

The school dropout rate among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth is nearly three times the national average. With support from Colorado Public Television (CPT12) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the American Graduate Project aims to re-engage Denver, CO LGBTQ youth in school, through a combination of the multi-media effort "Drop in Denver," community conversation, and the provision of individual guidance to LGBTQ youth.

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Partnership for Appalachian Girls’ Education (PAGE): Teaching 21st Century Literacy Skills to Appalachian Girls

Emily Paulos

Though all areas of Appalachia share the problem of rural poverty, the central Appalachian region, which includes western North Carolina, has the highest poverty rate and a higher percentage of working poor than any other area in the United States. According to the Appalachian Regional Commission, nearly 60 percent of adults in central Appalachia did not graduate from high school, and almost 30 percent of Appalachian adults are functionally illiterate. Gender inequality in the region is also high – women from the Appalachian states share common challenges resulting from low educational attainment, limited employment skills, few strong role models, and low self-esteem. 

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Seattle Refugee Youth Project: Using Story to Build Young People's Leadership and Networks of Support

Emily Paulos

Upon arrival in the United States, many refugees speak limited or no English, possess few viable job skills, and are faced with the challenge of living with the trauma they may have experienced in their home countries. They also lack the kinds of social networks outside of their own refugee community that can help them get established. In the face of inordinate adjustment challenges, refugee families become the working poor, and refugee children are often considered "at-risk," in educational settings. Many refugee teens face difficult social adjustment issues at school, making it hard for them to stay on course academically. Others have to drop out of school to work at menial jobs, in order to help their families financially.

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