I was just asked to work with some High School students in their ongoing development into forming a literacy club. The City of White Plains Youth Bureau, which is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary, has the goal is to develop and embody the skills and tools to become good citizens and to foster positive leadership skills. The literacy club is, from my understanding, plans to work with High School students to approach general presentation skills and to unleash their own creative voices through different literacy mediums, one of which they are drawn to is Digital Storytelling.
Storytelling started with grunts, gestures and wall paintings in caves (as far as we know). Stories grew into music and dance (the Hula is still an example of that), and once languages began, you couldn’t stop stories from spreading. Sitting around the fire at night, what better way then to tell of the day’s hunt, the danger, the outcomes.
Digital Storytelling is the new buzz term for something that has been around for awhile now. We’ve had sequential storytelling in many forms: Comic Books, which started around the turn of the 20th century, is storytelling (and I’ll defend that with all I have. I know many naysayers on that topic); Kamishabai, a traditional Japanese form, uses story cards, in sequence to tell and show the story; Storyboards for film and animation worked it’s way, in my opinion, into PowerPoint presentations; Documentaries uses storytelling through still photos, recordings of music or actual footage, and voice overs to lead the narrative along.
In today’s world of emails, IM’s and texting, a lot of the oral traditions get pushed aside. How many people do you know who would much rather text you then talk to you on the phone? My hope is that the students will gain more then an understanding of using another technology only as another distancing tool. Planning out any means of expressing their inner story IS very important, and the journey they take into social engagement. I’ll let you know how it goes.
When was the last time you told someone a story? How did you tell it?