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Digital storytelling for Africa: case study of an international digital media project


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Presentation given at eLearning Africa, Accra, Ghana, 30 May 2008, about the Digital Hero Book Project

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Digital storytelling for Africa: case study of an international digital media project

  1. 1. Digital storytelling for Africa: case study of an international digital media project Steve Vosloo
  2. 2. Background HIV/AIDS, poverty, conflict & unemployment Significant psychosocial needs of youth in South Africa Hero book: a child is the author, illustrator, main character (hero) and editor of a paper-based book that is designed to help them overcome a specific challenge or obstacle in their life to reach their goals Good but limited reach
  3. 3. Overview (intended) Hero book •Increased self­ + + esteem Video Discussion forum ● ● •Resilience •School environment Global ● •Safe, secure platform Stanford University Reuters Foundation
  4. 4. Pilot sites Cape Town, South Africa Nyeri, Kenya San Francisco, USA
  5. 5. Outputs South Africa 78 learners created paper hero books Hero booking was offered in Reading, English, Administration, Life orientation and Arts & Culture lessons. 15 learners were part of the online exchange. 20 learners created digital versions of their books through 2 digital storytelling workshops. Kenya and USA 7 learners created paper hero books (Kenya). 15 learners were part of the online exchange (Kenya and USA).
  6. 6. Digital stories See Word / Writer (script) Adobe Photoshop / Picasa (images) Audacity (audio) iMovie / Windows Movie Maker / Adobe Premier (video) Soundslides (slideshow)
  7. 7. “Some of my learners who were the most disruptive before, have been the most enthusiastic to embark on the project.” “They definitely have more self-confidence.” “The workshop helped me to overcome my problem. I am now able to talk in front of people without becoming nervous.” “It was an experience of a lifetime and I learned many things. I learned a lot of computer skills.”
  8. 8. Challenges Educator related Educators' capacity (time and skills) Short lesson times Difficulty of online communications with educators Psychosocial related Dealing with psychosocial issues Challenge of scaling psychosocial work Evaluation is time-consuming General Curriculum alignment
  9. 9. Lessons learned and recommendations Digital media production is engaging Improved educator-learner relationships More interactive platform needed More inclusive digital activities The challenge of coordination More facilitation of online engagement Next steps: More schools in CT More in-depth evaluation Curriculum alignment Enable secure social networking Toolkit
  10. 10. Improving cross-cultural awareness and communication through mobile technologies Teens in South Africa and USA Camera phones and blogs Think about and present culture in: Your life Your home Your community Capture, upload, view, reflect
  11. 11. Implications for Africa Technology is mediating the way that youth around the world communicate, and consume and create content Increased collaboration across place and culture Need for cross-cultural awareness and communication skills is more important than ever Digital media technologies: cameras, phones, web can mediate the development of these skills Africa needs to: Develop more local content Collaborate more – inside and outside continent
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