In this season of so many stories and traditions it seems only appropriate to raise up Jason Ohler’s Stories of Culture and Place as an example of the power of digital storytelling. Recently named one of the 9 recipients of WCET’s 2008 WOW award “that recognizes the innovative uses of educational technologies in higher education,” SOCAP stresses an approach to DST that honors the culture and experience of community and its traditions. In the words of Barbara Cadiente Nelson, a K-12 native student success coordinator from Juneau, “It’s been my privilege to witness SOCAP’s profound impact on a diverse high school student population. The rebellious, the isolate, the emotionally impaired, and the naturally talented discovered the hero within through the art of digital storytelling. The Story of Culture and Place program bridges the achievement gap.”
Jason’s site is chock full of resources to help you on the path to “storytelling first, technology second” among which are the twenty revelations about DST in education that are in his book. He also makes the 57 slide PPT presentation that enumerates them and outlines many of the book’s principles available for viewing and downloading. Two good illustrations of the product of his approach are “Learning to Speak Tlingit” which is just stills and narration and “Fox Becomes a Better Person” which uses a green screen/chroma key effect. They are just a couple of the many examples listed there.
For some great ideas and success stories, you should take a look at all of WCET’s award recipients who hail from both the U.S. and Canada.