Wednesday, October 08, 2014

My first digital story: about my parents' marriage

I developed an interest in digital storytelling a few months ago and found a website that has good instructions on how to create your own digital stories. It's called Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling and it's managed by the University of Houston's Dr. Bernard Robin.

I started reading through the material and by some stroke of luck or serendipity, I was perusing some free MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) offered by Coursera in July and came across the Digital Storytelling course to be offered for 5 weeks starting in September. So I enrolled and started on September 8. 

This is the last week of the course and in those 5 weeks, I learned how to identify the story I wanted to tell, my target audience, the learning outcomes, and the theme of the story (know this already from teaching). I also wrote my script for the story and received feedback from other students enrolled in the course (already know how to do this too). I narrated my script using a digital voice recorder (already do this as part of my work), downloaded it to Audacity (free audio editing software which I used once before) and did some edits. I sourced royalty- free music (thanks to many artists for sharing without compensation) from Jamendo (this was new for me) and downloaded wevideo (new for me) which is a free (with major limitations) video editing software.

The learning curve for me was navigating the software and using several value added features to my story e.g. the volume of the music, transitions, timing the images, audio and music, removing background sounds, fading in and out and using what is known as the Ken Burns Effect.

I chose to tell the story of my parents (wedding picture below) and the challenges they faced when wanting to get married over 60 years ago but belonging to two different faiths. The story is still as relevant today as it was in 1952. Here is my story titled: Breaking Down Barriers (update: April 19, 2016 - video not working because I didn't know that the free version had a shelf life. Too bad).

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