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STORYCENTER Blog

We are pleased to present posts by StoryCenter staff, storytellers, colleagues from partnering organizations, and thought leaders in Storywork and related fields.

Filtering by Category: Updates from the Field

From the Vanderbilt Reporter: VUSN video workshop helps teens cope with type 1 diabetes

Emily Paulos

A group of adolescents gathered at the downtown Nashville Public Library last week for a three-day Digital Storytelling Workshop to learn how to write, edit and produce a video about managing their type 1 diabetes.

The project is part of research by Shelagh Mulvaney, Ph.D., associate professor of Nursing, and her team into the design, development and testing of a Web and mobile phone-based self-care support system for this population.

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The Importance of Production: Beyond Community Practice and Process

Root Barrett

I think a lot about digital storytelling. That’s a given, since I work for the Center for Digital Storytelling (StoryCenter) and facilitate digital storytelling workshops. I probably ponder too much. Just ask my family and friends. I know my colleagues at StoryCenter and practitioners around the globe would agree; we’re always on about storytelling, constantly trying to provide the best workshop experience possible.

Lately my obsession has expanded from the practice and process of digital storytelling – why we make them and how they’re facilitated, to the form and function of digital stories – what they are (or can be) and how they work. It’s been refreshing and even imaginative to consider the ‘production’ of a digital story rather than merely what the story is about.

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Youth in Papua New Guinea Speak Out About Sexual and Reproductive Health – by Julia Sidney Mayersohn, Marie Stopes Papua New Guinea

Root Barrett

World Contraception Day (September 26th) marked the premiere in Port Moresby of a collection of moving digital stories created by youth peer educators from around Papua New Guinea. The videos, which offer rare and thoughtful insights into deeply real issues that affect adolescents all over the world – peer pressure, first boyfriends, and fear of unwanted pregnancy – were shown to a theatre full of students and dignitaries, as well as members of the press and media, as part of a film festival organized by the United Nations. 

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Media Services – Digital Storytelling at Community College of Denver

Root Barrett

As a learner-centered college, CCD continuously strives to improve student outcomes through innovative learning techniques.

Digital Storytelling has been demonstrated to increase students' engagement and retention, and has become an invaluable tool in our arsenal.

For more than 20 years, the Center for Digital Storytelling has worked in hundreds of colleges, universities, and K-12 school districts across the United States and around the world to introduce the multimedia curricula into the classroom. Students learning Digital Storytelling come to understand the art of collaboration, shared responsibility, and accountability for their projects.

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Amy Hill: 2014 AHN Awardee

Root Barrett

Arts & Healing Network is delighted to present one of the 2014 AHN Awards to Amy Hill, storyteller, documentary filmmaker, public health consultant and co-founder of Silence Speaks. In 1999, after ten years working in community-based public health projects, Amy co-founded Silence Speaks, an international participatory media initiative offering a safe, supportive environment for telling and sharing stories that all too often remain unspoken. Silence Speaks surfaces personal narratives of struggle, courage and transformation and works to ensure that these stories play an instrumental role in promoting gender equality and human rights. Since 2005, Amy has continued to lead Silence Speaks and other global health and human rights-related projects as a staff member at the Center for Digital Storytelling. Amy has overseen the use of storytelling all over the world in places like Nepal, Ethiopia, Uganda, Brazil and more.

To learn more about Amy Hill, please visit the Silence Speaks web site where you can also watch some of the digital stories that have been recorded from around the world.

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Digital Storytelling Community Gathers in Athens To Discuss How the Crisis Has Shaped Our Work – by Joe Lambert

Root Barrett

On May 8-10, more than two dozen countries were represented at the Digital Storytelling in the Time of Crisis conference hosted by the Laboratory of New Technologies in Communication, Education and the Mass Media and the University Research Institute of Applied Communication of the University of Athens with the collaboration of the Hellenic American Union. 

Speakers were asked to situate their work against the backdrop of the sustained economic and social crisis of Europe and beyond. Greece has been amongst the hardest hit countries, with massive cuts in the public sector, and the decline of GDP, employment, and social programs reaching Great Depression levels. The University of Athens itself weathered a five month strike by administrators earlier in the academic year, forcing conference organizers to calibrate the conference ambitions appropriately.

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Hear Our Stories – Featured on Connecting Point

Root Barrett

Last summer a group of young teen mothers from Holyoke participated in a program called Hear Our Stories: Diasporic Youth for Sexual Rights and Justice. The program was funded by the Ford Foundation and is the result of a partnership between WGBY, UMass Amherst, the Center for Digital Storytelling, and The Care Center in Holyoke. These women had an opportunity to share their story of becoming teen moms through the use of digital technology and on May 7th will share these stories with the public.

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An Audio Interface for the iPad: The Focusrite iTrack Solo – by Ryan Trauman

Root Barrett

Let’s be honest. An iPad, on its own, isn’t great for audio recording. The onboard microphone can’t possibly capture good quality audio, and there’s no effective way of monitoring your audio as your record it. And yet the iPad still holds some powerful allure for many digital storytellers. Believe me, I get it. The mobility. The build quality. The compact restraint of the tablet form. The tactility of the touch interface. The constant stream of fascinating new recording apps. It’s a wonder iPad audio recording hasn’t already taken off.

Enter the iTrack Solo digital audio interface from Focusrite. The iTrack Solo allows you to connect your own external microphone to your iPad and to monitor your audio input as you’re recording. What makes the iTrack Solo such a useful tool (or any external audio interface, really) is that the it does all the digital audio processing inside the unit itself before sending the audio data to the iPad.

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Patients first for integrated care – by Joe Sammen

Root Barrett

In 2013, the Colorado Health Access Survey (CHAS) included questions around mental health for the first time. The results were significant: one out of every four Coloradans experienced one or more days of poor mental health during the past 30 days. I’m not really surprised by these findings. Nearly everyone I know, including myself, has faced at least one bout of stress, depression, or emotional instability at some point in their life.

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Stitching Together the Stories of StoryCenter's First 20 Years – by Joe Lambert

Root Barrett

This weekend I found myself writing a quasi-academic article about the 20 years of the work of the Center for Digital Storytelling. The argument was more or less that we have watched four significant phases in the growth of our work, each with a slightly different emphasis in our work, and in each phase an arc of expansion, a wave of interest, that surged and receded. It was an interesting way to understand what an organization, and a movement, can accomplish over two decades. 

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An Interview with Ernest Kirkwood, Transitions Clinic Network Digital Storytelling Workshop Participant

Root Barrett

Transitions Clinic provides intensive case management support and comprehensive health care services to formerly incarcerated women and men. StoryCenter is working with the Transitions Clinic Network and City College of San Francisco on an online curriculum development project, which trains formerly incarcerated women and men on skills to become Community Health Workers at clinics like Transitions. The online courses feature digital stories by women and men, talking about their experiences with prison and the impacts of prison on their health. Ernest Kirkwood created his digital story last fall, as part of this project. During the workshop, Tim Berthold with City College of San Francisco interviewed participants; below is a partial transcript of that interview. 

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All Together Now: Featured on Upworthy

Root Barrett

Today is Martin Luther King Day. Fifty years ago, the Civil Rights Movement changed laws and minds, securing basic rights for many, through the actions of people who did what they knew to be right. At StoryCenter, we’ve been running a project called All Together Now, collecting intergenerational stories of civil and human rights from around the country.  Dr. King dreamed about a day when we would recognize each other by “the content of our character,” and storytelling allows us to do this – stories help us find out who we really are.

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Colorado Public Television 12 First Annual Independent Media Award Luncheon

Root Barrett

The CPT12 Independent Media Award honors people in our community who cultivate independent expression. The 2013 award will be presented to Daniel Weinshenker, Director of the Rocky Mountain Region Office of the Center for Digital Storytelling.

Please join us for this inaugural event. Featured speakers will include Jon Caldara of The Devils Advocate, Tamara Banks of Studio 12, Dominic Dezzutti of Colorado Inside Out, CPT12 Director of Development Shari Bernson, and CPT12 Interim GM/COO Kim Johnson.

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Full Circle - by Joe Lambert

Emily Paulos

For 20 years (this month!), the Center for Digital Storytelling has been supporting people in sharing meaningful stories from their lived experiences – because stories matter. Last week, Joe Lambert (our Founding Director) and I were in L.A. teaching a workshop at the Museum of Natural History. As we drove past the American Film Institute, he said, “This all started right here 20 years ago this week, at our first digital storytelling workshop hosted by AFI.”

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