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Joan Giampa

Digital storytelling is a method of telling a story utilizing multimedia technology as the medium.  Multimedia can include, voice, music, text, photography and video.  The stories are generally short and powerful emotional messages written and narrated by the person or situation in process.

Digital storytelling can also convey different kinds of messages such as stories about survival, memoriam, adventure and accomplishment.  There are seven elements to a digital story:

  1. Point of view
  2. example
  3. Emotional content
  4. Voice
  5. Pacing
  6. Economy
  7. soundtrack

The most important element is point of view as it should answer the dramatic question which threads throughout the content of the storyline.

The most important issue with digital storytelling is the quality of the script.  The script should be written with the phrase in mind that less is more.  The story is carefully planned and crafted and then like all art forms becomes a public statement no longer in ownership of the maker and takes on a life of its own.  The content is important, but the process of making the film is equally important.  Good craftsmanship can make or break a digital story and when done properly, allows the viewer to engage without the technological medium impairing the story.

In short this method of storytelling has many advantages to the educational system of our society as a whole.  New technologies and websites such as You Tube are great ways to promote you story and there is free software available for anyone to be able to capture their story and digitize it for the world.

Category: W2: Digital Story  Comments off
Unknown Existance

Unknown Existence by Cooper Wickum

Cooper Wickum narrates the story of a man named Dale Wickum about a trip he took on the railway system in the central part of the United States in 1970 to research the life of hobos.

It seems as if Cooper had the photographs and some written evidence and pieced what little he had together to formulate his script.  He repeats himself and that leads me to believe that he has little information to go on.  He tells us that the hobos are loners and many of them alcoholics.  They form bonds quickly and are all engaged in survival.

Apparently, Dale Wickum spent three months traveling on railroad cars with a camera and some black and white film to document the life of hobos.  Dale met many men during his trip along the railway system.  There were some quotations from Dale in the film and one feels removed from the story because the plot has little or no evidence of detailed events that happened during Dales trips.  The writing has straight forward facts with a few of Dales quotes about the hobos sprinkled into the film.

Technically the film was good.  However, I would have liked to see more photos in the film.  The music in the background had a suspenseful and dramatic tone to it and felt it helped the film greatly.  The music was perhaps the best sensation about the whole film.

Perhaps Cooper was privy to a journal left behind by Dale? One asks the question about Cooper’s relationship to Dale.  Perhaps Dale is his father or uncle but it is not revealed during the story.  The story would of been better if Cooper were to of told us more about actual events that Dale encountered along the way.  It was if we were looking through two lenses and left to ask many questions.  This story would have been much richer if there were more photographs and intimate details about Dale’s true experience on the trains.

Joan Marie Giampa

My name is Joan Marie Giampa and I am from Washington, DC.  I was born in Arlington, Virginia in 1960. I received an MFA in painting from the University of Maryland in 1998 and a BFA in graphic design from James Madison University in 1983.

I teach Introduction to Design 101 at Northern Virginia Community College, Loudoun campus.  Other courses I teach are:  Computer Graphics 101 and 201,, Digital Imaging 256, Drawing 101 and 201, Painting, and Integrated Arts (humanities core course), Multimedia 345 and an online course—The Introduction to art 101.  I have been teaching college level courses full and part-time since 1997.

My passion for teaching has grown exponentially over the past thirteen years.  My primary reason for obtaining an MFA was to be able to teach while working in my professional life as a painter. The MFA in painting prepared me to be a fine artist; it did not prepare me to be a teacher.  For this reason, I enrolled in the doctorate program for college teaching in the higher education department at George Mason University in 2005 and will advance to candidacy this in the Summer of 2010.

Over the past several years, I have been involved with two new associations: Foundations in Art Theory and Education (FATE) and The International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL).  I was on a discussion panel for FATE at the College Art Associations Annual Conference in Boston.  In the spring of 2007, I chaired my own panel “Fostering the New Millennial in the New Learning Environment” at the FATE Biennial conference in Milwaukee Wisconsin.

I own and operate a small gallery, The Red Caboose Gallery, in historical downtown Vienna, Virginia.  I am also the president and founder of the Arts Alliance of Vienna (AAV).  AAV ‘s mission is to develop a creative, comfortable and accessible environment among local art businesses that inspire, encourage and welcome the public to learn about and participate in the joyful experience of art.  AAV plans to give back to the community by hosting charitable events.

I have four amazing children, Giovanna who is graduating from George Mason this spring with a BFA in graphic design, Jeremy a high school senior who plans to attend Mason in the fall, John Nicholas and Aubrey.

This march I will have my doctoral exhibition at Mason Hall and am inviting you in advance to attend the reception on March 24 from 5-7 pm.  You can see my work online at  I also have a digital story posted about my work.  Thanks for reading about me and I am looking forward to the class.

Category: W2: Bio  2 Comments