Author in Publication - Digital Storytelling : Media That Makes a Difference

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Back in December, I was honoured to be asked to write for an academic publication around creative learning.
Now, in August 2015, the book is now published and along with another 27 chapter writers, I'm the author of Chapter 13 - Digital Storytelling : Media That Makes a Difference.

The book titled "Creative Education, Teaching and Learning : Creativity, Engagement and the Student Experience" Edited by Gayle Brewer and Russell Hogarth from UCLAN, UK and covers some great topics. The topics are sectioned into themes - Digital Technology, Narrative, and Art, Games and Student Partners.

It was brilliant to have the opportunity to talk about something I'm so passionate about, Digital Storytelling. The concept is, that the technical quality of the shots, editing and styling aren't as important as the story, the characters (real or reflective) and the words.
Having previously worked in professional broadcasting, it's great to be able to train people how to use equipment well, but also to make sure the final packages aren't just well polished fluff.
In the chapter I talk about the issues around digital exclusion and how digital is still not accessible to everyone. With the training we deliver at DigiEnable we aim to support these communities to gain digital skills and to tell their stories, digitally, to share with the rest of the world.

When talking about Community Media, I quoted Phil Korbel from Radio Regen, who is one of the key players in starting the Community Media movement, which seemed fitting then to pick a quote when Phil was talking about the most amazing guy in community radio, I've ever had chance to meet, Zane Ibrahim. I also mentioned The Community Media Association, where I was previously a Director and Council Member for, which represents the sector to organisations such as Ofcom, Licensing bodies and government.
Participants in community media usually care deeply about the issues close to them and have a powerful drive to tell their stories, a perfect combo for Digital Storytelling.
Also talking about not only community media, but the difference between the community media sector and "makers" I reference another publication by the brilliant Tamar Millen and Ann Light "Making Media with Communities : Guidance for Researchers".

It was also really nice to be able to add in some direct quotes from video workshop participants from the LGBT project at Renaissance, Blackpool, and to me, that's the voices that matter most. With this project we digitise and share the LGBT stories, that will otherwise be left behind and not archived, especially those before being gay stopped being illegal. Most of the participants are now joining the aging population and if we don't do something soon, will become the hidden community once more.
It was so amazing to be able to share some of our most powerful and engaging Digital Storytelling projects and how you can do it simply too.

There are multiple ways of using Digital Storytelling and one that I've been most interested in of late is using digital media for campaigning, activism and solidarity online. I quote Walton Pantland from Union Solidarity International, who use digital media and online content to share their stories and allows them to build alternative and negate stereotypes, sharing media that is true.

The final line of the chapter sums it all up for me. It is not about making something look or sound pretty; rather, it is about real-life and media that makes a difference.
I'm really proud to have been asked, able to write for this book, and actually be able to mention some of the most inspiring people and projects in it too. Digital Storytelling, can *totally* make a difference!