Celebrating the Individual in a Virtual Community: Digital Stories Connect Classmates on Blackboard
Jane K. Cleland, Lecturer, English, Lehman College
Distance learning can be isolating. Without integrating activities to build community, crucial benefits of participating in a college course are at least partially lost. Beyond group projects, digital stories allow students to get to know one another quickly, and in a meaningful way. Using information developed by the University of Houston and Cowbird (the largest repository of digital stories in the world), students learn to write for new media in this community-building project. Students create a professional script by explaining why a certain object in their home is meaningful to them. The presentation analyzes how stories can be informational, funny, and/or touching, but they’re always insightful and help build enduring relationships.