"Everyone has a story about a place that is important to her or him."
In her paper, "Using Digital Storytelling as a Literacy Tool for the Inner City Middle School Youth," Pauline Pearson Hathorn of the University of California of Berkeley, recounts the summer that she spent working with middle school, inner-city youth in West Oakland, California. By participating in the Digital Underground Storytelling for Youth (D.U.S.T.Y) program, she helped students create stories that depicted how they viewed their neighborhood. The students were given a variety of possible storytelling modes to choose from, including art, oral history, creative writing, speaking, photographs, music, news clippings, digital video, the Web, graphic design, sound engineering, and animation.
Using Banaskewski's article, "Digital Storytelling Finds Its Place in the Classroom," as a blueprint, D.U.S.T.Y asked its students to answer the following questions:
For struggling or reluctant storytellers, story structure is often a a barrier that prevents them from accessing their own artistry. By providing students with guiding questions such as the ones above, we can help them break through this barrier and unleash their creativity. The level of success that the D.U.S.T.Y program students were able to achieve is a prime example of a determined group of teachers and volunteers thinking outside of the box and providing their students with the support they needed to be creative in ways that they did not imagine themselves capable of.
Kudos to the D.U.S.T.Y project!
I am a Special Education teacher currently pursuing his Master of Arts in Information & Learning Technologies (Option: K-12) at CU Denver. I work at Boulder High School in Boulder, CO. Here you will find my thoughts on education.