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Published on July 23rd, 2015 | by Jennifer Jones


A year of Digital Commonwealth: Beyond the Games

Today celebrates one year since the opening of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. With that, it gives us a chance to reflect on what we’ve achieved during the delivery of the Digital Commonwealth project – and we’ve managed to produce from what we’ve gathered and learned since the Games concluded last year.

We’ve worked with schools and communities groups from all across Scotland, using the hook of Glasgow 2014 as a context to help develop and support the practice of digital storytelling as a tool for empowering communities to use their own voice to tell their own stories online.

From each of the project elements (schools, community media, creative voices and #citizen2014) we’ve developed a creative output that gathers the learning, the creativity and the delivery processes in one place to capture the project in the form of a memory box, offering a reflective legacy from the work produced by all the participants taking part.

The project has been captured in the Digital Commonwealth documentary, produced and edited by Peter Murray from the Media Trust (one of our delivery partners). The documentary provides an overview of the project, what we did but importantly the reflections of those who took part and what they intend to do next.

One of the main objectives of the project was to help people from a wide range of backgrounds to tell their own stories, lowering the threshold for involvement in digital media. 23 local authorities participated in our schools programme reaching 584 learners and producing a wealth of curated media content (blog posts, audio interviews, videos and social media profiles) around the four themes of Commonwealth that underpinned the project (place, people, culture and exchange).

In March 2015, the project team were invited by Education Scotland to deliver a keynote lecture about the schools programmes at the Social Studies Digital Learning day (#diglearnscot) at the Stirling Management Centre. The recording of the lecture is available below:

The themes of partnership and networking were important to the project and in our community media stream we brought together 28 organisations for a community media meet up. During Games time, a further five partners worked closely in the delivery of #citizen2014 ( and 35 new organisations participated in our Archiving Community Storytelling event. The round up of the event through social media is available on Storify below:

Overall we formed and sustained links with 97 organisations during the project. 86 people across the south west of Scotland were involved in producing creative media practice outputs as part of the ‘Creative Voices‘ element of the project. Through community songwriting workshops an album was produced – which was released physically and digitally on bandcamp.

Similarly, those who took part in the creative writing workshops worked together to produce an anthology, “Writing for the Commonweal” – that’s available a hard copy or to download through magazine sharing site,

From the outset I wanted to ensure that any outputs we produced as a result of Digital Commonwealth were made open for others to use to continue telling their stories, digitally. From this, we’ve turned our training materials that we used during the project delivery into a freely downloadable Handbook of Digital Storytelling that can be used by individuals and community groups to help them continue their digital storytelling journey. We’ve made this into a hard copy as well to send to those who took part – but also anybody who is interested in using resources to help support the development of digital literacies.

If you want to know more about the project, or get in touch about future opportunities, you can contact the project lead Prof. David McGillivray or project coordinator Jennifer Jones

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