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Community Media

Published on February 11th, 2014 | by Jennifer Jones

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Recruiting now: Digital Storytelling Workshops in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Ayrshire

Do you want to learn how to be a digital storyteller?

Thanks to funding from the Big Lottery Fund Scotland, the Digital Commonwealth project has the opportunity to offer free training to individuals and groups in the form of Digital Storytelling workshops to help prepare and equip communities in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Ayrshire with community media skills in using online tools such as blogs, video, audio and social media to seek out and capture the community stories of the Commonwealth Games.

These skills allow those participating the chance to tell their own stories online, helping to develop the confidence to use the internet in a way that help better represent community issues, how to find a story and most importantly how to connect these stories to wider social and digital contexts, ensuring that the possibility can arise where those who are often unheard in the media get the opportunity to not only tell their story but to be in control of direction of it as well.

These opportunities are available to individuals or 2-3 persons from your group who will be tasked with cascading these skills amongst your group or organisation, sharing what they have learned by encouraging them to work with others to tell the stories that are brought to the fore when thinking about the Commonwealth Games coming to Scotland as well as representing their involvement with your organisation.

About the Digital Commonwealth project

The ambition of the Digital Commonwealth project is to enhance the capacity of individuals and groups to use freely available mobile digital (and social) media tools and techniques to ensure their voices are heard in a saturated (and often commercially) motivated media landscape. The Digital Commonwealth project focuses on lowering the threshold for involvement for individuals and groups so that they can be empowered to exploit creative tools and technologies to tell their stories, digitally. The project reaches out to individuals and groups experiencing social, cultural or economic marginalization, whether related to age, ethnicity, poverty, disability or social isolation.

The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games provides a unique opportunity to enable (and support) individuals and communities to explore and articulate their own stories. The Games bring attention to issues of global citizenship and identity as a focal point at this important point in Scotland’s history and the project provides a space for a conversation to take place (and be recorded) that includes individuals and communities less well represented in mainstream media narratives. The project activities delivered will develop the foundational skills, capabilities and confidence in the ‘unvoiced’ to ensure they can make a digital media contribution in the lead up to, during, and after the Games.

What will be achieved?

Working with the Media Trust’s Local 360 partnership and local 3rd sector and community media organisations in your area, the Digital Commonwealth project will act as a catalyst to connect existing groups with stories to tell with those who have experience of working with digital and community media, allowing for connections to be formed that will last beyond the scope of the Commonwealth Games.

Those participating will work with national community media experts who specialise in creating empowering content for the web, learn how to seek out a story whilst preparing to get it out there on social media, knowing who to connect to and why these channels are important. They will discover why an event such as the Commonwealth Games offers a unique opportunity to learn how to capitalise on events as a way of being heard, using the heavily media saturated environment to their advantage by working towards becoming a community reporter during the Queen’s Baton Relay that travels through Scotland for 6 weeks from the 12th of June, 2014.

How will this benefit your organisation and members?

The Commonwealth Games provides an environment with a number of pre-determined festivals, events and activities that will be occurring in your area through the Queen’s Baton Relay and other Commonwealth related events. These events are a starting point for understanding how the media works, as well as seeing how communities come together to celebrate these larger major events. They give those who have no experience in reporting the chance to find and tell their own version of events without the expectation that there is a right or wrong way to find a story, whilst also providing access to a number of people who will be willing to take part in interviews or other forms of media making through the ease of access to the subject area.

By cutting their teeth in a cooperative space with a lot going on, the participants will be able to gain confidence quickly in capturing stories for the internet and getting them online almost immediately. They will also be able to help and support each other as they work towards covering any major Commonwealth activity in their area. The techniques that are being taught in these workshops are designed to be passed on so that the participant can show others within their community how to participate through their own storytelling process, if it is about the Commonwealth or if it is about local activity beyond the project. Digital Storytelling skills are completely transferable and can only improve with use.

What you will learn?

The Digital Storytelling workshops will cover four areas; blogging, video, audio and social media. These four technical areas will give the workshop participant the opportunity to create, host and share different forms of media around the Commonwealth that can be used beyond the Games.

Blogging: Explore the purpose and role of blogging in the context of digital storytelling, explore your own ideas for blogging, play with the various design and creative elements of blogging (such as adding images, links and different fonts or colours as well as embedding their own and others multimedia content); creating a website and blog posts which help them find their voice and tell their own Digital Commonwealth stories.

Video: Exploring the concept of video production as a tool to tell stories online, different types and styles of video on the web and how to use video for digital storytelling around the themes of the Commonwealth.

Audio: Exploring the concept of audio production as a tool to tell stories online, different types and styles of audio on the web and how to use audio for digital storytelling around the themes of the Commonwealth.

Social Media: To use social media accounts and channels to tell and promote the stories you have produced that can be hosted on your blog from the previous week and can be shared through the social media channels associated with the Digital Commonwealth project. To develop and contribute to a support network to maintain digital media and social media skills as the learners’ use of digital and online media develop beyond the Commonwealth Games.

When the workshops are completed, the participant will be awarded a ‘Digital Storytelling’ badge, that connects together evidence of their contribution but also provides them with the opportunity to work as part of a community reporting initiative around the Queen’s Baton Relay in June and July.

What equipment will I need?

“Use what is in your pocket.”

The workshops will focus on skills and practices (such as storytelling and interview skills) that can be used in a variety set of different contexts outside of media making. Although it is not always possible, we encourage participants to bring along any media making devices that they might have already. A smartphone (such as an Apple iPhone or a device which runs Android) is often called the “swiss army knife” of mobile and digital storytelling, with many applications available to help you begin to create content and upload it to a variety of popular internet websites (such as YouTube or Soundcloud). Similarly, many of the websites that you will be shown can be accessed on laptops or tablets, where digital cameras and audio recorders can be plugged into to allow content to transferred across. We will be able to provide some kit for training to allow those taking part to access – and in some locations, there will be communal laptops that participants can use to work on their projects, but we also encourage those taking part to bring along anything that they might use at home or as part of an organisation so that activity can happen between sessions using tools that participants are already familiar with it.

What do you need commitment to?

You will get the opportunity to participate in a series of four workshops (morning or afternoon) in the areas of blogging, video production, audio production and social media in your local area but connected to a national project. These will take place over an 8 week period from March to May 2014. We would like you or a nominated representative to to commit to all of the sessions so that you can secure maximum benefit from your participation.

Glasgow: 10th March, 24th March, 7th of April and the 5th of May.

Edinburgh: 11th March, 25th March, 8th April and the 6th of May.

Ayrshire: 12th March, 26th March, 9th April and the 7th of May.

Workshops will take place in series of different locations details of which will be included in welcome packs accompanying for the training. You will get the opportunity to learn new skills, develop skills to help you build a website using blogging tools, find and tell your story using simple video and audio tools and to get it out there using various social media platforms to ensure that as many people as possible can get to hear it. These workshops will prepare you to be able to take part in a national community reporting initiative, seeking out and capturing the community stories of the Commonwealth games and Scotland in 2014.

How do I apply?

We are looking to offer these opportunities to people who may have not have had the chance to tell their story or to gain access to learning these type of digital skills before. We are looking for individuals or organisations to nominate 2-3 people from their groups who they believe would benefit from this training and can commit to the 4 days between March and May. In order to apply, either fill out the form below or download, print and return by email or post to jennifer@digitalcommonwealth.co.uk or Jennifer Jones, Digital Storytelling Workshops, Digital Commonwealth, Media Academy Knowledge Exchange, University of the West of Scotland, Paisley Campus, PA1 2BE.

The deadline is 5pm on Friday the 28th February 2014, the participants will find out if they have been successful on the 4th of March. IF you would like to find out more information, please contact Jennifer Jones (jennifer@digitalcommonwealth.co.uk) directly.

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2 Responses to Recruiting now: Digital Storytelling Workshops in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Ayrshire

  1. If you see our website looks ok but lack of extra knowledge and updated skills do not give me the confidence to keep the website running as it should be.

  2. Pingback: Tell your 2014 story digitally | The Big Lottery Fund Scotland Blog

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