“Every community has a memory of itself. Neither an archive nor a authoritative
record…but a living history, an awareness of a collective identity woven of a
thousand stories.”- Unknown
1. The Digital Hero Book Project
2. Digital Underground Storytelling for
3. Streetside Stories’ Tech Tales
Cape Town, South Africa
“In 2006, the Center began a collaboration with South Africa-based
Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI) to develop methods for
bringing REPSSI’s paper “Hero Books” – collections of short stories written
and illustrated by young people to explore their challenges and potentials
– into the digital realm. A pilot workshop with seventh grade learners was
held in Cape Town in March, 2007, revealing the challenges of technology
capacity building within the country’s under-resourced public education
system” (Unknown 1).
“Hero Booking is a process whereby a young person becomes the
author, illustrator and editor of their own hero book. Hero Books are a
form of memory work, a process of setting up a safe space for an
individual to tell a story. This process of story telling can take place under
a tree or in a community centre, or it can be made tangible by making a
map, drawing pictures or writing the story down in a book, like a Hero
Book. Memory work is important in developing self-esteem, helping
people take control of their lives, empowering them and allowing them to
tell their story in a positive way” (Unknown 1).
“The Digital Hero Book Project aims to integrate hero booking into
the learning activities of IT-enabled schools in Cape Town, South
Africa, and other sites around the world, and put paper-based hero
books into the digital arena” (Unknown 1). Here is an example:
Digital hero story by Cafton at Digital
“The Digital Hero Book project is an inter-classroom exchange of personal and
positive stories by youth from around the world, which focus on their strengths and
“hero” qualities. By combining digital storytelling with online group
collaboration, the project develops literacy, digital media skills and cross-cultural
1. I like how this is children based!
2. I like how each child is seen as a
3. Lastly, I like how the hero books
develop literacy and digital media
Oakland, CA, U.S.A.
“Back in the late 1990s, when the Center was based at the University
of California at Berkeley’s School of Education, staff worked with
UCB faculty to initiate DUSTY, a digital storytelling research and
practice lab serving low income communities in West and East
Oakland. Nearly ten years later, DUSTY continues to bring together
individuals and organizations-children, undergraduates, school
teachers, community members, and professors-to learn, work, and
play together through engaging in technology-based literacy
activities” (Michelangelo 1).
1. To bridge the digital divide by providing children and
adults in underserved communities with access to
learning about literacy and technology.
2. To promote literacy learning with an eye toward
determining how reading and writing can best be
fostered in after-school, technology-rich settings;
3. To push the boundaries between school and after-
school, exploring how the literate and social
development of after-school learning and play can be
carried into students' and teachers' classroom worlds;
4. To provide a forum for intergenerational
communication and community building by bringing
children and seniors together to collaborate on the
writing and sharing of digital stories.
“To bridge the digital divide by providing children and adults in underserved
communities with access to learning about literacy and technology.” –Goal #1
1. It is cool to see that this program is
still going after 10 years.
2. I think it is good that they are mainly
helping the low income families
because children who come from
there still need to have the same
opportunities as any other child.
3. I like how they try to push the
boundaries between school and
San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.
“In 2004, the Center partnered with Streetside Stories, a well-established leader in
writing workshops with youth, to lead a program working with 300 seventh grade
students. The process adapted Streetside's traditional writing curriculum and
followed up with the recording and editing of digital stories by the participants.
The program’s 2005-06 year was evaluated by Wested, in an effort to assess the
impact of digital storytelling on student academic performance” (Johnson 1).
Streetside's Tech Tales Digital Stories
•“Eighteen years ago, brothers Seth and James Levy kicked off the first of two
cross-country “Rides for Reading.” To promote reading and writing, they
rode their bicycles cross-country, sharing storytelling, theater, and creative
writing with groups of youth along the way. After their second ride, the
brothers moved to San Francisco. There they established Streetside’s Tech
Tales” (Johnson 1).
“Having personally viewed Streetside in the classroom, I believe it is a
wonderful program that brings not only knowledge, but joy and deep
levels of engagement.” –Susan Stauter
1. The fact that they have reached 300
seventh graders is amazing to me!
2. I like how they really try to focused on the
academic performance of each child.
3. The history behind this program is really
cool in that it was two brothers that
founded it to promote reading and
“Stories live in your blood and bones, follow the seasons and light candles on the
darkest night-every storyteller knows she or he is also a teacher...” —Patti Davis