Many of you enjoyed the digital story “Turning Through Time” that Paula Bell produced in the July 2010 Digital Storytelling Workshop. Paula’s movie is about her deep ties to her Catawba County farm and the rich historic traditions she nourishes there today.
On October 27, 2010, Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) will again welcome author Ron Rash to campus. Rash’s novel One Foot in Eden has been selected a second time as the common reading for the CVCC Coordinated Studies Learning Community. This fall, over 700 students will read One Foot in Eden and participate in a wide range of activities and projects related to the book.
Back in Fall 2008, One Foot in Eden was the novel selected as the first CVCC learning community adoption. At that time, over 500 students read the novel, participated in multi-class book discussions, and produced creative projects. Ron Rash’s visit to our campus was the capstone event. Students enthusiastically welcomed Rash, and some waited for up to thirty minutes to secure his autograph after his reading.
Digital stories are a great way to document student learning and to promote programs. I created the digital story below as a creative way to both welcome Rash to our campus and to showcase student enthusiasm for his fall 2008 visit.
With all my heart, I believe in the unlimited instructional possibilities for digital storytelling. For the past five years, I have used digital storytelling in my own composition and literature classrooms. I have witnessed first hand the multiple benefits for students of this powerful teaching and learning strategy.
Digital storytelling enhances written communication skills, oral communication skills, technology skills, organizational skills, collaboration skills, and perhaps most significantly of all, critical thinking skills.
As Department Head for Developmental English and Reading at Catawba Valley Community College, I am excited to announce that this fall semester we will utilize digital storytelling in three sections of Reading 090: Improved College Reading. Our “pioneer” reading instructors in this pilot study will be Cindy Coleman, Arlene Neal, and Donna Ross. Cindy and Arlene both built their first digital stories in the June 2010 narratED Workshop. Then they both attended the July 2010 workshop as well to further hone their skills in preparation for their fall teaching assignments.
In the recent July Workshop, Cindy created a prototype vocabulary digital story on the word “scuttlebutt.” Arlene took another direction by producing a digital story that will introduce her students to the developmental reading program.
Donna Ross, our third “pioneer” in this pilot study, is Department Head for Humanities at CVCC and a Spanish instructor with a background in reading as well. Donna is currently working on her doctoral dissertation on the impact of digital storytelling on female students enrolled in developmental English classes. The subjects for Donna’s research are some of my English 090 students. Like Cindy and Arlene, her initial training in this medium occurred in a narratED Digital Storytelling Training Workshop. Last summer, Donna produced a digital story that she uses as a way of introducing herself to her students at the opening of each semester. In fall of 2009, she and Spanish instructor colleague Tim Lee used digital storytelling in Spanish 211 where their students created digital stories in Spanish.
Click on the “Portfolio” navigation button at the top of the page to view stories by all of the Catawba Valley Community College instructors mentioned in this blog entry.
Prepare to be delighted! From Thursday, July 22, through Saturday, July 24, incredible stories were produced in the narratED July 2010 Digital Storytelling Training Workshop. These stories showcase the wide, wide variety of applications for digital storytelling, and these latest additions to the “Portfolio” section of this website are in the process of being loaded. At the time of this blog entry, two are already present – “Amazing Grace” by Amy Bechtol and “Turning Through Time” by Paula Bell. Stay tuned. From instructional digital stories intended for the college classroom to personal tributes to beloved people and places — all the July Workshop stories will be loaded over the next two days.
Bechtol’s digital story is a loving tribute to her grandmother, Marie James Mitchell. It is highlighted by an incredible collection of family photographs plus an acappella performance by Bechtol herself which opens and closes the story. What a gift to a beloved grandmother, herself a singer!
Family legacy tied to a Catawba County farm with its 100+ years old farm house is preserved and cherished in Paula Bell’s digital story about her ancestors who made their living farming the fields and creating functional pottery from Catawba County clay. Historical photographs of the family farm blend with contemporary photographs of the farm animals, the plants, and the potter who thrive there today at Life Flower Farm.
To watch these stories, go to the navigation buttons located at the top of the website page and click on “Portfolio.” (To see digital stories produced by college students at Catawba Valley Community College, click on “Storytelling.”)
Today I am pleased to announce the winners of one full registration scholarship and two partial registration scholarships for the July 22 – 24, 2010 Digital Storytelling Training Workshop. Congratulations to the winners listed below!
Full Registration Scholarship for $550 Mimi Leonard
Wytheville Community College
1000 East Main Street
Wytheville, VA 24382
Partial Registration Scholarship for $200 Jaan Ferree
1333 Merrimon Avenue
Asheville, NC 28804
Partial Registration Scholarship for $200 Mary Beth Looby
Director Developmental Education
Room A-118, 1961 Delta Road
University Center, MI 48710
There is still time to register for the July workshop. The registration deadline is July 8th. Click on the Workshop button for full information.
Over the past several weeks, I have had the opportunity to learn about the Diabetes Education Center here in Catawba County, North Carolina. A collaborative community healthcare initiative, the Diabetes Education Center was funded in part by the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. I salute all of the wonderful individuals who have provided critical services to the under-insured and uninsured indigent populations of Catawba County.
It was a pleasure to work with Dr. Colleen Burgess, grant administrator, nurse educator, and therapist. Likewise, Sharon Jimison, Coordinator of the Diabetes Education Center, designed the diabetes education curriculum to meet the needs of the Latino population and other specific groups. She taught the classes as well.
Digital stories are a wonderful way to capture the essence of a program, and that is what I attempted to do by recording the stories of five individuals who recently participated in the Diabetes Education Support Group. All five of the participants are Latino, so their audio clips are in Spanish, and I had to provide English subtitles. By next week, a full Spanish version of this story will be finished.
This story is a good example of how a digital story can document program activities and program impact.
I can’t believe that it has been two weeks since I last made a blog entry. In that time, I have given final exams, posted final grades, and started work in summer school! This summer, I am not teaching, but I am handling department head responsibilities which has kept me very busy this past week.
But NOW, NOW I can see the summer stretching out with lots of possibilities. For one thing, I will be starting a series of blogs entitled “Let the Students Speak.” In these segments, I will share passages from reflective journals on the digital storytelling process produced by my students from spring term. (If I post their comments, I have their permission to do so.) This is the first semester that I have targeted a reflective journal specifically on digital storytelling. The students had some interesting insights.
Also, I have a whole new batch of student digital stories. I will begin posting some of them within the blog and at other spots on this website. I have begun preparations for the June 10 -12 Digital Storytelling Training Workshop. The registration deadline for the June workshop is June 1, so come join us. I’d love to watch your story!
Currently, I am hard at work on a digital story for a client, and the focus of that story is diabetes education. It has been interesting to work on a medical topic — a new direction for me.
Today during the “Grand Premiere Showing” of the English 090, Section 107 digital stories, I also showed for the first time a compilation of their “mini” stories. These “mini” stories were student responses to Julia Alvarez’s novel Finding Miracles. This assignment served a dual purpose as a training experience for the full-length digital story produced later in the spring term.
All students selected a favorite brief passage from the book. They practiced reading their passages with appropriate voice volume, tone and mood; then they recorded their voice track for the brief movie. The next step was locating images in the Creative Commons portion of flickr.com to illustrate the passage. Once images were found, these images had to be exported to student flash drives and information had to be recorded for a credits page.
The next step was the sizing and cropping of images using Adobe Photoshop Elements.
Once the voices, images, and credits were saved in appropriately labeled folders on their flash drives, students were introduced to the fundamentals of building a story in Adobe Premiere Elements.
When the assignment was complete, I saved each avi file to my external hard drive. Click below to watch the compilation movie. I love these collections because they so clearly demonstrate how quickly students can grasp the basics of digital storytelling using Adobe Premiere Elements. I also love the rich diversity of student voices.
Today I am pleased to announce the winners of one full registration scholarship and two partial registration scholarships for the June 10 – 12, 2010 Digital Storytelling Training Workshop. Congratulations to the winners listed below!
Full Registration Scholarship for $550 Dr. Barbara Bonham
Appalachian State University
Partial Registration Scholarship for $200 Dr. Rick Pass
Naselle-Grays River Valley School District
Partial Registration Scholarship for $200 Ms. Bridget M. Ponte
There will be a second drawing held on June 1, 2010 for three additional registration scholarships for the July workshop to be held on July 22 – 24, 2010. Individuals already entered into the contest will be included in the second drawing. Others interested in learning how to create a digital story can still enter for a chance to win!
This past Monday, April 19, ACA 111 instructor Jan Houser invited me to speak to her class about digital storytelling opportunities at Catawba Valley Community College. In addition to showing the class several digital stories produced by my former students, I explained to them all the many benefits of digital storytelling as a learning activity. Written communication skills, oral communication skills, technology skills, and critical thinking skills are enhanced by digital storytelling projects.
Thanks to Mrs. Houser for the opportunity to speak to her class. Here is a photograph of a fine group of CVCC students.
Mrs. Houser's ACA 111 Class, Monday, April 20, 2010.