During my time in the course, I have learned quite a lot about what digital storytelling is, how to create an effective digital story and why people choose to get into digital storytelling. The answers to all of these has sparked a great interest in digital storytelling for me and is something that I am very passionate about continuing further, whether professionally or just for fun. Even though digital storytelling isn’t as easy as it may seem, it’s very rewarding to do.
The first project we did allowed me to experience and compose a different way of telling the most important story to me at this moment. I learned how vocal inflections can really make or break a digital story. I learned how to effectively use music to convey my story. I learned what language to use to send what emotion. I also got a chance to explain my story in a different way. I’m so accustomed to simply writing out my long, personal narrative and knowing that most people don’t read it. Being able to condense it into a few minutes helped me a lot and helped to convey my story to more people.
The second project we did was so much more than I had bargained for. I spent at least three entire days at Ponce City Market, where I paid far too much for parking and ramen. However, it gave me a deeper appreciation for one of my absolute favorite places in Atlanta. This project gave me a reason to really sit down and learn the history. It gave me a reason to deeply explore this giant building. I learned how to focus on the smaller aspects of such a large place and how to effectively explain a place to someone who may not have ever experienced it. This sense of place project is something I can see myself doing for fun in the future, as weird as that may sound. It gives an interesting perspective to a given place.
The third project was our community engagement project with Rescue Dog Games. I was really honored to tell this family’s story because it was something really special. Being able to not only get adopted but adopted the same day as your furry best friend is something I’m sure many people envy about the family’s daughter. The family was so nice to meet and speak to and I can only hope I did their story justice in the end. Being able to connect with the community and see their eyes light up when speaking about something they’re passionate about is such a priceless thing to witness. I only hope I can do more community engagement projects in the future.
Our fourth and final project was the podcast project, which I loathed. I find podcasts to be extremely boring and being forced to listen to them made me almost bash my head against the wall. However, the information I found on the foster care system and adoptions was very special to me. In short, I was adopted when I was two days old so the whole topic of fostering and adopting is a huge part of my identity. The biggest takeaway from this project was the need for reform in the foster care system.
Working with images can be tricky, as this class as taught me. Your images should either paint a better picture of the idea you’re trying to get across or help the vibe of your story. I think images to help with tone and vibe rather than further explaining a story is easier because it’s more straight forward. I learned that exploratory paths are kind of great because it allows people to learn about your viewpoint or a story deeper if they choose to or just stay on the surface. It’s neat to give the readers that choice.
This entire classes exposed me to so many different types of digital storytelling in ways that I would have never even dreamed of. I am grateful for the chance to interview a loving family on their dog. I am grateful to have learned about and created multiple digital stories. The lessons I learned in this class are lessons I hope to carry with me throughout the rest of my academic career and hopefully into the work force.