This SITE 2006 conversation session featured Joe Lambert answering questions and talking more about “Digital Storytelling – Giving Purpose to Pixels.”

[I AM RECORDING THIS SESSION AND WILL PUBLISH IT LATER AS A PODCAST] Two recently posted podcast interviews with Joe are also available from:

Addition: This podcast is available via the Internet Archive, published 24 March 2006.

So much of this work on digital storytelling is NOT about the computer
– some teachers have done it with 32 students and one computer, but certainly with classrooms having 4 computers or more, it is even easier
– getting a voiceover right and finding a safe/quiet place to record voice audio
– if you have voice

1 suggestion is to get a USB plug and play Sampson mic
– historically we’ve used mixers to adjust gain and volume control
– as long as you put a windscreen or sock on top of them, you can get reasonable audio quality
– need a quiet, small room probably to get the sound that you want

Question about state standards and integrating digital storytelling in the curriculum:

In most states, creating a multimedia presentation is an EXIT standard
– digital storytelling can fit inside this in most cases

Helen Barrett worked a lot in digital portfolios and now has done good work on digital storytelling
– ALI environment also has good projects that have good design
– New Deal project about underground railway, students

Bernajean Porter has good work about mapping these into standards, she has a book

Interdisciplinary work, project-based learning, tied closely to curricular demands for digital storytelling

Go to Australian Center for the Moving Image for examples

Project with Foster Youth
– digital stories are becoming training tapes / videos for state appointed foster caregivers
– DVD “Patient Stories” is a UK project
– national project with service employees group is underway, mostly people working in health care, captured stories of medical workers in Compton, other places
– will be used for training, rank and file activism to address the crisis in public health

Project “streetside stories” in San Francisco
– their movies are not on the web, there are 35 stories on a DVD they’ll sell you
– arts education going into 7th and 8th grade public schools
– they have started “tech tales” project
– are working with WestEd to track these students (will write qualitative and quantitative analysis of the impact of this project)
– haven’t seen anyone to end to end research on this, there is lots of anecdotal evidence suggesting that this is a way to give significance to the stories of people who have felt marginalized
– lots of that work has been done after school or

Feeling insignificant can kill you!
– digital storytelling is one way to address this

In a Bruner or Gardner sense, digital storytelling can provide a way to bookmarking

I think this is going to grow in a fallback to vocational ed
– county vocational support programs in California seems to be where this is happening
– students are doing self-expression in the vocational ed space
– that seems “old school” in NCLB parlance

In the Bay area, “paint monkeys” are people who do digital graphic design

Albany High School videos that kids are doing with best Apple hardware

This seems so “soft” to many academics and others

Grant / funding: higher education organizations have an obligation to leverage resources and make digital storytelling learning / workshop opportunities

There is a link between this and economic development issues
– the story of a place is a kind of civic awareness

– there are obviously prompts that get to the heart quicker
– you need to see what you get out of a quick write
– a decisive moment in one’s life can be framed as “change” (when you have lived the story long enough that you know how to tell it, you are generally at the heart of an important story for the person)

Example from street side:
– when my younger brother/sister was born… (this works for older siblings, tensions of sibling rivalry is a place where 7 and 22 year olds can focus)
– really listening off of one
– a group can see the compelling
– 10 BBC uses 10 things I love and 10 things I really hate, and the group identifies which would be the best story to focus on

There are lots of good books on creative writing prompts
– you get to deeper writing through deeper listening
– from a mature place: if someone has a story they don’t want to share you don’t make them share it

Copyright issues:
– there is the public forum for digital storytelling and then there is the speakeasy
– processing the world you know as a sampling activity
– some of that does not require much thinking (making a music video perhaps)
– students ability to reflect on or comment on is a legitimate use…

People should be creative artists and they should find

Linda Lawther story example was “clean”
– using creative thinking and problem solving
– BBC spends lots to get clean material

Glen Bull / UVA Primary Access project is interesting take on this, to address “it’s not YOUR material / account”
– that may be an appropriate way to bridge those concerns

Matt’s first story that was shared, had new age music (George Winston) so that is not online
– people should use tools like Garageband to make their

You can’t get Beatles and U2 but we could contact George Winston for pieces like Matt’s digital stories

A lot of our work is “first blush”
– don’t put too many obstacles in the way
– if work gets as good as Matt’s, it needs to be cleaned up

There is currently not a body of curriculum-

Mark Hofer at UK have developed something like that

American Memory project out of Mars Hill College have worked on creating those stories
– using LOC material

Regio Amelio system in preschool for documenting self-growth and assessment
– like Monessouri classroom, students are taking pictures of their way through a problem
– is Italian
– teachers record the narrative
– supported by Gartner view of multiple learning perspectives (that helps the teacher see there are multiple ways in to problem solving, and also help the students own their own learning)

Core ideas of narrative structure (41:30 of original recording)

If you do this, you can see your won learning

This would be great as teacher researchers

a mentor in a school is often a major turning point for many

In North Dakota on the reservation, NCLB has been great as far as teachers not being fired out of hand

My question on NPR’s “This I Believe” and if anyone is doing something about teacher impact stories
– there is not a project focused on that currently Joe is aware of
– maybe I should suggest that to NPR as a show focused on teachers impact

If you can get 3 teachers to work together, you can hit so many curricular standards!
– English, language teachers, technology aspects
– great cross-curricular activity

Civic process of story mining (stories build walls, stories build bridges)
– we need more ways of civic conversations
– do a story circle regularly
– people need to do sharings regularly
– what was the moment of change for you in your academic career?
– the change potential of this

Murmur is what I am stuck on technologically
– we worked to create a story based curriculum, Norman Lear (All in the Family)
– film center and new media center
– each of cohorts creates projects they can commercialize
– idea was stories about place
– so you go around Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, starting in San F
– using a cell phone: see a sign, call a number, listen to the story
– this idea is the RIGHT ideaf
– it is about 2 minutes until this is a video on your phone
– you can be on an audio tour
– make calls, make connections
– extend the idea of the ghost of places
– have had several profound experiences in ghosts
– then we are no longer tourists, we are there in the neighborhood like the old people living there are in the neighborhood

Storycorps is doing great work
– had booth at Grand Central Station in New York to record a story
– set one out at ground zero
– CDS wants to figure out how to collaborate with that, adding multimedia and the scrapbook
– did the great Canadian story engine before murmur

Project “Story America” is collaborative project
– trying to figure out how to lock all that together

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4 Responses to Digital Storytelling – Giving Purpose to Pixels

  1. Cynthia Garrety says:

    Thanks so much Wesley for all your work blogging this year at SITE. I get so caught up in the discussions that taking notes is a challenge. I look forward to reading more of your work!

    Great meeting you


  2. Wesley Fryer says:

    You are welcome, and it was great to meet you in person at SITE also! 🙂

  3. Joe Lambert says:

    Wow, wesley, I was looking around and ran into this summary. Great notes, I should write something coherent out of them.

  4. Greetings to everyone, my name is Aurora, from Orlando. Your site was very easy to navigate, informative, and it had great information on the subject I needed for my research paper, Have a great day!

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