StoryCorps’ “. . . mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.” To do this, they record people’s stories and bring them to life with visual art, photography, animation, and music. I love a project like this because it starts in people’s lives, preserves histories, connects humanity, and involved digital media and creativity.
Weekly Theme Connection
The theme this week’s is Dialogue and Soliloquy, and StoryCorps ties in perfectly with the idea of using storytelling to enhance human to human connections. Taking the time to sit down and listen, and really connect, to people’s stories is an age-old tradition that could be lost in the snappy digital world – if we let it. Projects like this encourage us to make time to foster those connections.
StoryCorps also ties into one of my assignments this week, so I wanted to explore the site before I put my project together. I am creating a Digital Enthnography video in collaboration with my husband and son, to tell their story of musical inspiration. I have already seen in just a few days working on it what authentic stories are opened up by the simplest of questions. This is true of the stories on StoryCorps too, many of them start with simple, honest questions that unfold beautiful stories.
(Like this one that WordPress does not seem to want to embed): https://storycorps.org/embed/84981/
Teaching and Learning Connection
When approaching digital media projects, students often want to make what they see on the big screen (or on Youtube with talents like Freddie W), but their skill levels and equipment accessibility limit their creations. Projects like StoryCorps teach us that some of the best ideas come from within our own lives, experiences, and realities. They also allow the project maker to become actively involved in the story and story-making process by including their interpretations and imaginations.
I have taught a project called “Digital Story, Documentary, or Something Else,” where I ask my students to make a video project. But after taking this class I realize that I have given them very little guidance in what that really means and in all the different ways those genres can happen. INTE5340 has expanded my understanding of digital storytelling and I am excited to get back to school to share this new and exciting world of DS106 with my students (they are going to love it)!