Digital Stories are created in a facilitated workshop that can consist of up to 10 participants and completed over 3-5 days.
The process involves storytelling circles, writing a script, storyboarding, taking photographs and finding imagery, recording narration, using video editing tools, screening the final videos, and follow-up.
Developing a Digital Story is not just about creating a video - it is about telling your unique story. Everyone has a story they want to tell - or need to tell - and the digital story workshop helps them tell it.
The storytelling process begins with providing a safe and supportive environment for participants to explore their histories and reflect on the events that shaped their lives. Sharing these personal stories within a group environment gives everyone the opportunity to discuss a broad range of issues and experiences.
The creation of the Digital Story itself takes a great deal of technical capacity, and the workshop sessions teach tech in a way that participants of all skill levels can grasp.
By the end of each session, participants leave with a greater understanding of computer and program technology. These skills can easily be transferred to other programs and projects.
For example, after learning the video editing software, participants have indicated that they feel more comfortable using PowerPoint and other workplace software.
AFTER THE STORIES ARE CREATED
Story screenings are a very important part of the Digital Storytelling process. This is where participants get a chance to showcase their unique stories. The initial screening is held right after the session, before post-production and for workshop participants' eyes only. The second is held in a larger forum with invitations sent out by the participants.
Emotional Support and Follow-Up
Currently, all workshops are followed up with an immediate debrief after the session, as well as a more detailed support session 1-2 weeks after the workshop. This gives the participants a chance to discuss any issues that may have surfaced through the Digital Storytelling process in more detail. Often, the stories shared are very private and contain a lot of history and strong emotions; giving this extra support allows the participants to come to a sense of closure. Ongoing one-on-one support may be necessary for some participants that have shared stories of an emotional crisis or ongoing concern.
80% of newcomers that participated in a Digital Story workshop stated that they made a connection to other newcomers and were motivated to become more involved in their community.
80% of participants that created Digital Stories gained skills for English literacy and critical and reflective thinking.
85% of participants that created Digital Stories gained knowledge and skills in the areas of technology and media production.
70% of school administrative staff that viewed Digital Stories created by newcomer youth, implemented changes to their ESL programs or processes for their newcomer student population.
85% of organization front line staff that viewed newcomer Digital Stories indicated a greater understanding of how to meet the needs of the immigrant and refugee families that they work with.