Category Archives: Digital Storytelling

Children of Hell

Jacob McKay created this digital story in the Drake University J-term class SCS 153: Documentary Video Challenge: Digital Storytelling for Social Justice.

The Progressive Nature of Social Media

Even just 10 years ago we could see the pope as more of a symbolic idea rather than a person. While the older media avenues has used the pope as a private catalyst to represent the evolving Catholic religion we see a great shift in this traditional interpretation of what being pope means. Today the pope of the Catholic Church is reaching more people than ever. Utilizing the evolving technologies of our time, we see the pope reaching newer and younger audiences.

The face of Catholicism is shifting in thought due to both the pope’s leadership and the message conveyed through public relations. Becoming more liberal and mobile than pope’s past, this religion has intentions to strengthen the faith in current followers and develop it in the younger population. While being connected it is extraordinarily easier to convey a humble and sincere message rather than reading a delayed version in the next day’s paper. This is the heart of how we see a given news source as “myth.”

According Jack Lule’s work, “News as Myth,” the media perpetrates a certain narrative when telling a story idealized for a particular civic group rather than us as individuals or an audience. We can also see how viewing the media and news as “myth” is often subjective to the reader at hand. With the increase in split views and biases in our media formats it seems that everyone has a story to tell, but who are we to believe anymore? With more denigration of media formats between the pope and the people we can have a better picture of what the real meanings and intentions are through an individual or an organization’s words or actions. The Catholic Church in many ways screens and scripts certain messages by the pope, but with an increase in media bias with contrasting or bipartisan voices, a stronger connection between the messenger and the receiver can occur limiting a sense of myth. The family unit is the product of the social environment and the policies that define it. Having a better understanding of what directly effects our social environment can allow us to think more critically of the policies that result and incite change. While widespread media has an influential bias when discussing the inter-working of the pope’s influential workings, we can limit the misinterpretation and assumptions by examining primary and public resources that are now easily accessible.

intersecting identities in ethnographic research

This short (3 min.) digital video story explores my location of self as an ethnographic researcher, an adoptee, and as a human.  I draw on research I conducted in Seoul, Korea and in the U.S. about transnational adoption.

Telling Stories to Change the World

IMG_5791 IMG_5792Students in Introduction to Women’s Studies are reading about the power of narrative to create social change.  We will soon begin digital storytelling service learning projects with local organizations.  “…the power that stories have to generate hope and engagement, personal dignity and active citizenship, the pride of identity, and the humility of human connectedness” (pg 1).


What would our world be like if “normal” were defined differently?  What would it be like if the things we valued the most weren’t things, but relationships and experiences?

I created this video at a Digital Storytelling Workshop for K-12 Educators at the Center for Digital Storytelling, Berkeley, California, June 2013, through a grant from the Olson Fund for Global Service Learning.

This semester students in FYS 15:  Diversity in the U.S. will create digital stories collaboratively with 4th graders at Walnut Street International Baccalaureate Elementary School.  Stay tuned for our project updates.

Students in my Introduction to Women’s Studies course will make digital stories in conjunction with their service learning projects at various local organizations.