Friday, June 09, 2006


FULL SCHEDULE Descriptions



Thaddeus Miles of Mass Impact , Amy Hill of The Center for Digital Storytelling , Tasha Freidus of Creative Narrations

9:30-11:00 OPENING SESSION -

Making an Impact with Your Digital Story: Outreach & Distribution Strategies That Work

We all know that digital stories are powerful tools for social change, but what are the best ways to make meaningful and measurable impacts with limited resources? In this hands-on session outreach experts will share success stories and walk participants through the process of building an outreach campaign through strategic partnerships.

Moderated by: Shira Golding, Director of Education & Outreach, Arts Engine

Melissa Krodman, Program Manager, Project Think Different
Vanessa Pabón, TOLD Director, Telling Our Legacies Digitally

  1. Stories and Youth - Nicole Demedenko of the Youth Training Project , Youth from Telling Our Legacies Digitally, Dean Gransar of Home, Inc., Dina Rosen of Kean State University

    One of the most widespread applications of digital storytelling has been in the context of youth work. In this session, the presenters (youth and adults) will share their experiences of working with youth in various settings and on various issues, with the goal of exploring how best to engage young people in sharing stories about their lives; when “traditional” digital storytelling practices can be adapted for working with youth; and how these powerful stories can be used to raise awareness and engage youth in addressing the challenges they face in their own communities.

  2. Story Coaching 101 – Tasha Freidus and Amy Hill

    In this session, Amy and Tasha will present tips for facilitating story circles and coaching individuals through the scriptwriting process. Participants will go through activities to practice listening, questioning, and probing techniques.

1:30 – 2:45 TECHNICAL NUTS & BOLTS (Q&A)

JaModi Robinson, Jennifer Gilomen and Christefano
JaModi, Jennifer, and Christefano will present various recording, image manipulation, and editing options, as well as new ways to easily upload stories and create DVD's. This session will be adapted to your needs and questions, let us know what you need!


  1. Inclusive Storytelling - Diane Dew of the Citti Project , Sheela Sethuraman of EduWeave, Danielle Martin of UMass Boston CTC VISTA Project

    How do you create accessible digital stories? How do you foster storytelling skills in people with varying learning or physical needs and abilities? This session will address the opportunities and challenges encountered in the creation of inclusive digital stories – stories that can be developed and experienced by broader set of people, including those with disabilities. The facilitators will introduce participants to the concepts of universal design, describe the experience of conducting a digital storytelling workshop for girls with hearing impairments, and provide resources and techniques to help trainers and producers develop more inclusive forms of multimedia expression.

    Universal Design is a term that originated in architecture as a way to design environments to accommodate a wide range of users, including those with disabilities. Curb-cuts is an example of universal design. The concept soon found it's way into other domains including product development, website design and education. In the context of digital stories, creating content that is inclusive or at the minimal barrier-free can result in unexpected positive outcomes. A text caption track can make the story accessible to not only a person with a hearing impairment but also someone who has difficulty comprehending the language used in the audio track. Graphic organizers can simplify the script-writing process for someone with a learning difficulty but also benefit other storytellers in organizing their thoughts. Embedding features that help those with disabilities ultimately benefit everyone.

    Case Study: Workshop for girls with hearing impairments - At the 2006 Girls Get Connected conference at Simmon's College, Danielle Martin presented a short digital storytelling workshop for 10 middle school age girls from the Horace Mann School of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Boston. In two consecutive 1.5 hour sessions, she and her team of two trainers covered the basic curriculum from massIMPACT's Spreading the Stories program; including an explanation of the digital storytelling process, writing a simple script, taking digital photos, recording some audio, and using iMovie to build the final story piece. Although some girls had some hearing abilities, all participants had to consider voice and narration more carefully. The trainer's teaching style was adjusted in several ways such as finding alternative accessible stories (with captions) to play as examples, leaving space for translation during the oral presentation, pairing the girls, using visual diagrams, using script worksheet with prompts, providing multiple options, etc.

  2. THE STORY DEVELOPMENT PROCESS: Josh Schachter of StoriesMatter and Cheryl Crow of Bridges to Understanding

    Should images or narrative drive the story development process? Does it depend on the story? The student? Both? In this session, we will explore the tools and approaches that exist to help students navigate this process. Josh will share his experience helping youth on the San Xavier Reservation discover their visual voice and how to use images to tell a story. Cheryl will share lessons learned from varying approaches to story development from Chama, New Mexico and BRIDGES' international sites.


9:00 – 10:30 CAPACITY BUILDING: How your organization can build & sustain a digital storytelling project

Lisa Dush, UmassBoston and Thaddeus Miles of MassImpact

Lisa and Thaddeus will talk about two aspects of "capacity building." First, Lisa will describe what she learned in follow-up interviews and visits to Boston-area organizations whose members had been trained at 3-day digital storytelling workshops and had begun efforts to use stories or storytelling at their home organizations. Second, Thaddeus will discuss his efforts to coordinate a reinforcing "network" of digital storytelling practitioners in the Boston area. The session will focus on the challenges 3-day workshop attendees face as they try to institutionalize digital storytelling at their home organizations, and will explore useful ways that storytellers can work toward capacity building, both within their own organizations and with other local practitioners.


  1. Stories and Healing – Amy Hill Silence Speaks , Aimee Thompson of Close to Home , and Lisa Fliegel of Arts Incentives Program

    In digital storytelling work, we often ask that students delve deeply into their own experiences, including traumatic experiences. What critical supports and considerations are needed to make this work a safe and transformative experience at both the individual and group level? In this session, the presenters will explore how their respective practices have adapted digital storytelling as a method of art therapy and a method for supporting healing through social action, and facilitate a discussion about key methods for ensuring the well being of participants, from recruitment through teaching and follow-up.

  2. Stories and alternative education/language and literacy issues: Melanee Grondahl of Year-up , Vanessa Pabon of T.O.L.D., Heather Pleasants of University of Alabama

    Many facilitators struggle with how to teach the storytelling process in a way that addresses the many language and learning challenges their participants might face.
    This panel will discuss various types of workshop structures and a variety of scripting ideas and methods used in alternative educational environments that specifically focus on developing literacy and language. Additionally, the panel will offer first-hand accounts, solutions and ideas for other facilitators who are facing language and literacy issues in their workshops and learning environments.


  1. Stories and Community Engagement – Barbara Ganley of Middlebury College , Jennifer de Fontaine and Camille of Neighborhood House, Melissa Luna and Rafael Feliciano of Sociedad Latina, Remy Mansfield, Middlebury College Class of'07.

    How might we use digital storytelling to engage and build a range of communities and to promote active citizenship for all? In this session on “Stories and Community Engagement” we will invite discussion on the role of stories within communities, and on our experiences using digital storytelling as a tool for fostering strong bonds within and between communities.

    The first part of the session will feature short presentations by the session facilitators: Melissa and Rafael will talk about digital storytelling and community planning through their experience as organizers with women’s groups in Toronto and Jamaica and ); and Barbara Ganley of Middlebury College will talk about how we might reach out within our communities and beyond by using social software to connect and chronicle the work of digital storytelling.

    During the second part of the session, we will break into small discussion/work groups to brainstorm effective ways to integrate digital storytelling practices into our community-based work and ways in which we can build on the work already accomplished.

  2. To be determined, open space

    Program participants interested in an area that hasn't been covered are encouraged to begin their own discussions.


Our gathering will end with a brainstorm and planning session on ways to foster the community digital storytelling movement. How can we stay in touch? How can we remain organized? What do we need to move our work forward?

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