A resource guide developed by Digital Arts Service Corps VISTA Leader Erica Jones and 4 other VISTA Leaders to highlight the importance of telling the VISTA Leader Story, the basics of storytelling, and the tools available to create and tell a story.
They also collected VISTA Leaders stories and included them in a video for further illustrating concepts around digital storytelling: http://www.youtube.com/ejquoteunquote#p/u
Promotional video about Little Tokyo Center’s Digital History program to promote their new project DIY Productions made by corps member Melissa Niiya.
The first chapter of DIY Radio: Podcast This! a storytelling for internet radio and podcasting curriculum created by corps member Melissa Niiya
- Successfully apply for and run the MIT/Astronomy project. Includes outreach, volunteer coordinating, and running the program over the summer.
- Successfully run the Kinetic City program. Including familiarizing herself with the curriculum, choosing participants, building relationships with the participants, teaching the class, and creating a presentation of the end result
- Create a CyberY operations binder.
- Create a digital movie with youth/teens about their life experience
VISTA’s major duties included full responsibility of computer lab and resources for the lab.
Julia works in various capacities at Appalshop/Thousand Kites Project. She manages “StoryLine,” our online story-gathering project, for which she uploads audio to the content management system, and writes the copy for the website. She also responds to communication via our social networking sites and writes emailblasts. She works with community members (locally and nationally) to gather their stories about the criminal justice system and post them to the website. She also is currently creating a plan for a google map to document these stories using new technology. She also co-produces our campaigns. For our most recent campaign, Calls From Home, Julia coordinated the targeted outreach to radio station managers, prison chaplains, and prisoners and their families. She does the background research for the campaigns and organizes content. Including partnerships with other non-profits for viral marketing support. Julia works with community members (stakeholders) to identify community needs to inform future campaigns and communication strategies. Julia also produces our weekly radio show, Holler to the Hood, which broadcast online, as well supporting workshops that train community members and stake-holders in radio/online production.
When Julia arrived at Appalshop, she spent the first couple of months working with staff to revamp the project’s website, making it media rich, clean, and efficient. We now have an direct model for people to call in their stories and a way to share them on the web. At the same time, Julia aided in the creation of a Facilition Guide, which helps Thousand Kites be a model for communities to take action. This document makes our work process more efficient because we can now direct people to the guide, instead of having to talk through all the details with each individual community. It is available in print and online and has greatly increased our capacity to train and garner participants. Julia has taken the lead on developing our database, updating contacts, and training staff on a system for long-term use. Overall Julia has worked at all levels of the organization to build our communication, online, and digital capacity.
Julia is able to identify key opportunities, and run with them. While looking through old email to learn more about the project’s correspondence, she found an unanswered email from a poet who was willing to volunteer his time to the project. Julia contacted him about possible connections, and now his network of poets has become a tremendous source of capacity in our project. His online community of writers has generated hundreds of audio samples for our website. Another example of this was when we received an email from a woman in the Virgin Islands who is dealing with the prisoners from her community being shipped up to prisons in our region. Julia saw this as an opportunity to really immerse in a community’s issue and help them find ways they could take action locally. The group has since produced their own radio program and hosted multiple film screenings using the Kites tools.
Without our VISTA we would not have gotten several projects off the ground or reached the level of capacity that we have. Julia greatly expanded outreach and participation in our program by local, regional, and national communitiy members through building our communication backbone, developing a model for web-site content production, and building tools to lower the threshold of working with our program. It has simply impacted the entire organization to have someone focused on capacity building and research.
Naomi’s responsibilities were many and varied. At the beginning of the year, she assisted in the major redesign of our website, www.otxwest.org. Using tools such as Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and others, she added to visual elements as well as rewrote a significant amount of the content and reworked the navigation. Her technical duties consisted of helping to coordinate the installation of labs in schools and community centers. She worked with our network specialists to set up and occasionally maintain labs both in in schools and at community centers in various locations around Oakland. In addition, she often participated in our Tech Support Day, which is the day when recipients of our refurbished computers can come in and have their computers repaired or receive one-on-one instruction. She also assisted in the instruction of both our Take Home Computer Program, as well as four digital storytelling workshops, which varied in length from 2 days to four weeks. She would also occasionally supervise our volunteers.
Naomi enhanced the existing curriculum for our Take Home Computer Program curriculum, adding about 10 additional pages to our training manual, which covers basic computer maintenance and internet safety. She also created various instructional handouts for our digital storytelling classes. She was directly responsible for an increase in the attendance of our Take Home Computer Program by at least 300 students, which is roughly one third more than last year. She also helped upwards of 270 students become confident in the use of multimedia software during our digital storytelling classes. She also increased her technology skills, both software and hardware. She went from having little to no experience using audio and image editing software, to being knowledgeable enough to teach others how to use them. She went from being slightly nervous speaking in front of a group, to being a commanding and effective presence in the classroom.
Although it isn’t particularly specific, Naomi’s digital story “California Dreaming” inspired many students to learn to use the multimedia programs. It never failed to get applause when we played it in class.
The VISTA would be involved in a variey of activities including assisting and acting as a trainer in our Introductory computer classes for families, and working with volunteers to prepare the home computers that are critical to our community. The member would also be instrumental in building our second classroom, defining and preparing curriculum for delivery in this “high end”, multimedia learning environment. The member would become familiar with and provide assistance in our other areas including our “Cyber High at home” program.
Jeff has taken the lead role in building our second classroom. This was completed the middle of February. Jeff is very effective in identifying what needs to be done and completing it with quality. He is an integral part of all aspects of our home computer program including scheduling and coordinating families in our classes, coordinating the work of adult and youth volunteers, and many, many other things that are needed in a small organization with a big mission.
Jeff has also attended a KQED workshop on digital story telling and is working with Domingo Vaszuez, a multimedia professional, to finalize the curriculum for our upcoming digital story telling pilot workshop. The workshop has been scheduled, 20 students have been selected, and all is a go for the week of Spring Break, April 10-14.
We are currently working with project SOAR to schedule 200-300 7th graders into our summer technology workshop. This one week workshop, for 6 separate sessions, will run from June 26 to August 4. We will be updating our first classroom to also accomodate the students. The curriculum we will use will be that piloted in April. Jeff is involved in every detail of this large, (and new to us) endeavor.
Ray was responsible for managing our computer refurbishing lab, including creating a training program for refurbishing volunteers, researching an inventory system, developing and leading technology workshops for our students. While his work in the refurb lab was very valuable, his most significant accomplishment, and the one that was the biggest benefit to our organization, was the workshops he developed for our technology center.
Ray spent the year coming up with ideas for the workshops, creating the materials necessary to lead the workshops, and organizing the instructors of the workshops. Workshop topics included digital storytelling, silent movie-making, audio dubbing, and 3D imaging. Ray learned how create (and advertise) workshops that are appealing to teens and eventually had regular attendance at them. Students in our program earn a free computer system to take home. Our policy states that if they attend 5 workshops, they’ll earn enough extra credit to earn a year of free internet access at home. While nearly all of our students earn the home computer, many students weren’t able to take advantage of the free internet since they weren’t getting the opportunity to attend workshops. With Ray’s help, a great number of students were able to attend the workshops that are required in order to earn home internet. While having a home computer is valuable to our students, without internet they remain at a disadvantage when it comes to completing homework and projects for school.
Now that Ray’s term has ended we are happy to have a whole library of workshop ideas and materials at the ready. Because everything has already been developed, it is much easier for us to recruit volunteers to lead our workshops, since it no longer requires a significant time commitment on their part. We are pleased that we were able to, and will be able to continue to, offer so many workshops to our students and that they may earn internet access at home.