Hello, my name is Adrianna Matthews. I am a VSA Texas Work Study Student/Project Assistant. I was first introduced to VSA Texas last April through discussing my interest in learning more about disability and art with the Executive Director of the organization, Ms. Celia Hughes. That very same day, I signed up for an Opening Minds, Opening Doors (OMOD) six-week workshop with Chris Strickling. To make a long story short, I fell in love with this organization and its dedication and commitment to promote both art and disability in the most positive ways ever. I immediately knew that this was a place where I wanted to work. The stories created in the 2016 OMOD workshop were so inspiring that I could not leave without at least trying to get my foot one step closer to being part of VSA Texas.
Now here we are in February 2017 and I just finished teaching the It’s My Story: Introduction to Digital Storytelling three-week workshop. It’s a privilege for me to go from student to teacher and have my first real experience doing something that promotes disability rights and at the same time connects to art and storytelling, the two things I love
most in this world. The students I worked with, along with the volunteers and Artworks Director April Sullivan, made this journey magical for me. They brought so much life and energy to our digital storytelling community. I am so grateful for the opportunity to engage with each and every one of them.
The first week I taught the students the basics of creating a digital story as well as the steps necessary to make the story compelling and complete. After going over the digital storytelling process, the students were each assigned a partner to work with in completing a selection of nine interview questions. This gave the students an opportunity to learn about each other as well as practice how they can tell someone else’s story through an interview process.
Once the students finished their interviews, they took a few moments to go around a circle and share what they had learned about each other. The next goal was to have each of the students choose one of the questions they had answered about themselves and turn it into a full story. Once the students finished writing their stories, they learned their first digital story application called Voki, which is an educational technology with a free collection of customized speaking avatars. The goal in using this application was for the students to take their stories and create their own personal avatars to tell these stories. During the next two weeks, the students used similar creative writing prompts and produced more digital stories using other applications, including Slidestory and GoAnimate. Take a look at two sample digital stories made using Voki and GoAnimate below.
Watch Sydney’s “Deciding” story made with GoAnimate below:
If you want to create your own digital stories, then I strongly encourage you to register for one of our next It’s My Story digital storytelling workshops! You can find out more information about the It’s My Story program here. Don’t miss your chance to create some dynamic digital stories!