Center for Digital Storytelling 2008

I chatted with Andrea Spagat, Education Director at the Center for Digital Storytelling in Berkley.

Pop-up Player Andrea Spagat(53:00)  mp3

"Every community has a memory of itself. Not a history, nor an archive, nor an authoritative record... A living memory, an awareness of a collective identity woven of a thousand stories"

The Center for Digital Storytelling is a non-profit arts organization rooted in the art of personal storytelling. They assist people of all ages in using the tools of digital media to craft, record, share, and value the stories of individuals and communities, in ways that improve all our lives.

Many individuals and communities have used the term "digital storytelling" to describe a wide variety of new media production practices. What best describes our approach is its emphasis on personal voice and facilitative teaching methods. Many of the stories made in our workshops are directly connected to the images collected in life's journey. But our primary concern is encouraging thoughtful and emotionally direct writing.


Over the last 14 years, their workshop practice has been honed and tested in a wide variety of contexts, with a diverse number of people, from the techno-savvy to the techno-phobic.

The goal of the 3-day Basic Workshop is to design and produce a 3-5 minute digital story. Students craft and record first-person narratives, collect still images and music with which to illustrate their pieces, and are guided through computer tutorials which enable them, with teacher support, to edit their own stories.

The 3-day Educator Workshop is designed specifically for K-12 Classroom teachers in response to the feedback The Center received about the challenges of implementation following a workshop experience.

The Center also offers a week-long Train the Trainer Workshop that explores the principles, methods, software tools, and curriculum issues that experienced technology educators must consider when teaching the digital storytelling process in their own environments.

In addition to offering public Digital Storytelling Workshops, The Center works with a wide range of community, educational, and business organizations to offer customized services and consultation on the development of special projects.

Their current areas of focus include: Oral and Local History, K-12 and Afterschool Program Curricula, Adult Education, ESL and Spanish Language, Public Health and Social Services,Violence Prevention, Disability Issues, Labor Organizing, Social Activism, Community Arts, Arts Education, Faculty and Staff Development, Knowledge Management, Futures and Scenario Planning, Organizational Development, Marketing/Branding and Executive Training.

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