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why we’re here

or maybe just me…but I find that digital storytelling works best when you see firsthand the possibilities of successful stories in the hands of a 10th grader. One of the great pleasures I experienced as a teacher was the unexpected surprises in student projects that could humble even the more accomplished educators.  Craig’s story is from western Australia, a rather remote area from the country’s more populated eastern and northeastern shores, but he is able to do a great job…which should give all of us hope that we can achieve meaningful success in our final products this semester.

update: (upon realizing the length requirement for this week’s blog…oops!) I actually began looking at compelling tales first, but found too many of the projects too self-indulgent. Based on this week’s readings, perhaps the personal nature of DST eventually leads to a certain amount of “me-ism”, or as I heard recently: the “I” generation: ipod, iphone, itunes, facebook, twitter–all eventually scream: “look at me!” in the world of LifeCaching.

So I moved away from compelling stories and looked at humor. Last semester, Mills Kelly showed us clips from a humorous spoof of Ken Burns-style tales about fictitious African-American astronauts. Then I thought better of it when I saw it again recently and realized that Mills wisely left out the vulgar parts of the video. But I was still intrigued with the idea of humor in DST. Finally, I reverted back to what I know best: education. I was happy to see a project outside of the US, as different sensibilities are always refreshing. Yet, Craig’s tale is one we can all relate to: a triumphalist story of someone overcoming poverty to help others in need. The fact that a 10th-year student created such a professional and compelling tale, was just a plus. And with that…I eventually realized that the compelling story I initially set out to find, found me.

Category: W2: Digital Story  Comments off
Rwany Sibaja

1st year Ph.D. & T.A. with a concentration in modern Latin America (minor=Modern Britain and New Media.) Issues of cultural, social, and national identity in Argentina will be the focus of my dissertation–using soccer to explore questions about what it means to be Argentinean in moments of crisis, and the political uses/implications involved (c. military Junta of 1975-1983.) At UNC-Greensboro, my final research centered on hooliganism in English football, and how the media and state authority fed hooliganism. With New Media, I hope to explore the role of digital history in maximizing student learning, which could inform best instructional practices.

I live in Oakton with my wife and 2 small children (ages 5 & 3), moving from North Carolina. Born in New Jersey, I lived most of my life in Los Angeles, Miami, and Costa Rica–where my parents immigrated from. I also lived in London for a semester as an undergrad at Elon Univ., and traveled to Panama, India, Western Europe and the US V.I. (and look forward to field research in more…

Category: W2: Bio  2 Comments