Digital Storytelling: DPS meets CDS

Maggie Gordon and Daniel Weinshenker

Maggie Gordon and Daniel Weinshenker

This past week I was able to accomplish something I’ve been wanting to realize for some time now-introduce more people to digital storytelling.  Daniel Weinshenker from the  Center for Digital Storytelling (CDS) led a 2 day workshop for a diverse group of staff at Denver Public Schools (DPS).  Since I’ve worked with CDS in the past I knew that we would have a rewarding workshop.

CDS has moved away from the 7 elements of digital storytelling and now embrace 7 steps.  Some of them are similar, but the focus is now on the process and development of the story.  My own digital story took a dramatic turn after reading it in the story circle.  Only a few lines remained from the original draft.  This was also my first experiment with creating a digital story with a single image, letting the narration drive the story and deliberately choosing not to include music or sound effects.  This included my first foray into using the online video editor WeVideo.  Although the editor does have its limitations (especially obvious to someone who is used to Final Cut Pro) I was impressed with the range of tools it did provide and the fact that it is cross-platform with nothing to download or install.  This means that everyone in my district can use this tool. So, it does show much promise for future use.  TIP for WeVideo users, when it comes time to download your video, make sure you use Chrome for your browser.

But enough about me and the software.  What about my co-workers who took their first leap into digital storytelling? We’re still collecting formal feedback and discussing publishing the stories online.  I will certainly post a link here when some of them are published.  I know that everyone increased their skills in video editing and storytelling.  I know that everyone had a positive experience that bonded us together as a group of educators, co-workers, and human beings.  The power of story is woven into who we are as human beings.

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