Youth Media Program Building

Portland Community Media
VISTA Name: 
Gariet Cowin
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

OLLIE, Oregon Learning Lab for Information Education
The Oregon Learning Lab for Information Education, also known as OLLIE, is a collaborative effort between Portland Community Media and Metro East Community Media to meet the media education and technology needs of under-served youth, schools, and community-based organizations in Multnomah County, Oregon. OLLIE provides media literacy, tools and training to a variety of young people by bringing multimedia technology into the classroom.

The VISTA will work with the OLLIE coordinator, educators from Portland Community Media and Multnomah Community Television, and area schools and community centers to meet the goals of the OLLIE project.

Specific responsibilities include but are not limited to:

• Learn and be able to teach the OLLIE curriculum and equipment

• Participate in OLLIE productions as a trainer

• Communicate with OLLIE Coordinator regarding scheduling

• Keep a personal schedule of OLLIE training responsibilities

• Arrive at OLLIE projects on time and prepared

• Working with community partners to plan successful OLLIE projects and events

• Developing youth outreach and education efforts of Portland Community Media and Multnomah Community Television.

• Participate in OLLIE maintenance and development

• Research and submit OLLIE media works to
International, national and local film festivals

Project Outcome: 

In developing OLLIE’s digital distribution strategy, Gariet has achieved three major accomplishments.

First, Gariet brought the OLLIE program and Portland Community Media into the Youth Video Exchange Network (YVXN) as a steering partner. OLLIE’s participation in YVXN has allowed us to share broadcast quality student work with other youth media centers around the country, as well as acquire youth media content to broadcast on our own channels.

In parallel to his work with NYMAP, Gariet also researched and set up a site for the OLLIE program. This site allows us to share our videos with others at any time, and in turn allows our visitors to post the videos on their websites and blogs.

Finally, Gariet developed a website for the project using the Drupal content management system. This site provides a comprehensive resource about the program for the communities we serve, and includes a searchable video database. Through his research and work with Drupal and for our youth project, Gariet has set a course for the Media Center as a whole. Recently a staff member expressed that Gariet’s ability to explain the benefits and values of these technologies to others led to the media center to develop a digital distribution plan that incorporated the lessons he has learned. Gariet’s work has also had an impact on the larger community, including interesting and attracting a local foundation to provide operational funding for our project.

Impact Quote: 

Gariet’s technology skills and ability to learn and teach new technologies has been an extremely valuable asset to the OLLIE project. Gariet is also an excellent teacher. He is able to engage and inspire his students as they plan and create their video projects. Gariet’s positive attitude about working with this project and VISTA is enjoyed by those who work with him. His commitment to helping others and the value of youth media is appreciated.”
- Laura Craig-Bennett, supervisor

Transmission Project