digital media

Digital Storytelling Web Development

VISTA Name: 
Laura Hadden
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

Our AmeriCorps*VISTA member will assist with CDS ongoing work in Community Digital Storytelling, both developing capacity for our community-based programs in the Bay Area, and working to assist the development of the Stories for Change Website and networking work among local,national and international organizations involved in Digital Storytelling with grassroots communities.

Theier tasks will include:

a)providing organizing and outreach capacities for workshops organized by CDS in collaboration with local partners including Youth Uprising, Art in Action, Girls Inc., and Marin Youth Center,

b)Assisting with a youth-focussed Digital Storytelling video festival at Oakland’s Parkway theater and San Francisco’s Zeum,

c) Assisting with editorial work, continued outreach, and helping to design an online training tool to help organizations use the Stories for Change Portal, and

d)assisting with the organizing and follow-up for the Community Digital Storytelling Gathering in Tuscon, Arizona, Spring of 2007.

Project Outcome: 

Laura Haddon Manages, a website for uploading digital stories and disseminating resources to facilitators of digital storytelling. She monitors the website, responds to user questions, helps resolve technical issues, facilitates content development and has implemented an initiative to broaden the steering committee and create an advisory board for the site as part of a strategic initiative to increase website utilization.

She has also worked on Center for Digital Storytelling’s (CDS) Silence Speaks website ( that focuses on disseminating digital stories of individuals that have survived violence and was in charge of updating content on the International Day for Telling Life Stories site ( This was an international initiative for promoting the importance of life stories, especially stories of marginalized voices, for developing solidarity and understanding in communities and across borders.

She has also participated in various CDS media and outreach campaigns, and will be involved in strengthening our internal digital story archiving system in order to better serve our workshop participants.

Impact Quote: 

They are both invaluable in terms of training staff in how to use the technology and being able to offer ideas about the potential of the technology for improving our services. In particular, Laura has been able to leverage past experience in the non-profit sector. She came to us with media and outreach experience and is comfortable framing the work of CDS in terms that other professionals in the sector can easily understand. Her leadership skills have allowed her to go to conferences and speak confidently about how digital storytelling is effective as a tool for personal healing and transformation, as well as effectively communicating new information to a variety of stakeholders, constituencies and key decision makers.”
- Andrea Spagat, supervisor

Youth Media Program Development

VISTA Name: 
Kevin O'Brien
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

Kevin further developed a youth web magazine project based on the project that CTC VISTA Alison Hale had started the year before. The name of the project is: Teen Limitz. Here youth participants wrote stories, took pictures, and learned many skills: Web publishing, Design, Macromedia Dreamweaver, HTML, Flash, and Adobe Photoshop. Kevin also taught a web design class for adults in both English and Spanish at the Center.

Kevin is to provide tech support to residents in the Villa Victoria neighborhood that were given computers through IBA’s computer donation program. He has made over 50 visits to fix software and hardware problems. He also developed a training manual to help residents learn about providing Tech Support. The guide addresses all the common problems that residents face and shows how to fix them. This guide is available online: (29 MB)

Project Outcome: 

Kevin successfully recruiting the three teens that had previously worked with Alison. He then taught them how to build their own webpages and link them together. He helped them with their writing and editing. By working with WiredWoods, he was able to get help with the curriculum development and tracking as well as get digital cameras loaned to the program.

The teens can now say with confidence that they know how to develop and maintain a complete website. They can also build their own pages, and enter into more advanced training programs. This could potentially be a way for these kids to find high-paying jobs.

Kevin also taught a dozen adults how to make their own pages. They were excited to learn and help each other learn.

Kevin was very patient and understanding with the residents. On each of the site visits to fix residents’ computers, I heard that he took time to teach residents about the computers and encourage them to take more classes.

Impact Quote: 

I was impressed with Kevin’s persistence and dedication to the project. He would knock on their [teen volunteers’] doors if they were late and work around their schedule to get things done. By the time Kevin left, I felt the teens had gotten a valuable experience from him.”
- Kimberly Lopez, supervisor

Philadelphia Independent Film and Video Association

Philadelphia, PA

The lead organization: PIFVA, founded by filmmakers in 1979, mission is to strengthen, promote and serve Philadelphia’s independent media community through programs which provide opportunities to learn, mentor, produce and screen work, advocate for the community and network. PIFVA is dedicated to increasing the creative capacity of Philadelphia media artists, promoting public appreciation of independent media making, and encouraging the talent and ability of the region’s creative community of filmmakers.

We support through grants and services, media makers who work to effect social change. We assist in sustaining their work.

Some of project goals are:

To increase access to new communication and information technologies.

To enable media makers access to tools to create work

To breakdown the digital divide, the gap between people with effective access to digital and information technology and those with very limited or no access at all.

To emphasize political change and increase political and social awareness and to raise awareness of the need for media literacy and a more public, democratic access to media.

Digital Media and Learning Conference

March 3, 2011 - March 5, 2011
The Hilton in Long Beach, CA

The Digital Media and Learning Conference is an annual event supported by the MacArthur Foundation and organized by the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub at University of California, Irvine. The conference is meant to be an inclusive, international and annual gathering of scholars and practitioners in the field, focused on fostering interdisciplinary and participatory dialog and linking theory, empirical study, policy, and practice.

Digital Media Questionnaire

Access Humboldt

A Digital Media Questionnaire that corps member Sam Kaplan created at Access Humboldt to survey Humboldt County digital media resources (institutions, organizations, programs, festivals, businesses, schools/classes, etc.) to determine what areas of the county and/or specific populations are most in need of additional digital media programs, and what types of digital media programs are most needed.

Banff + Next Media Conference

June 13, 2010 - June 16, 2010
Lake Louise, Canada

BANFF 2010 Program Highlights include content designed to keep you on the cutting edge of both traditional and multi-platform television programming. Building on the expertise and knowledge of 31 years, BANFF will continue to attract the most prestigious players in the industry while addressing the changing climate of the international marketplace.

Transmission Project