Taking a Rich Archive of Learning from Static to Social

I’m interested in sharing the 4b2288;text-decoration: underline">Digital Storytelling Multimedia Archive with folks and brainstorming ideas on taking the site from its current, unfinished, static state to a truly social environment for students, teachers, and scholars of teaching and learning.

I see ties between this idea and those expressed around making digital archives social and also around taking archives and libraries public.  My apologies for how long this post is–I probably  have way too much detail in here!–so I put some stuff in bold after the next paragraph to facilitate a skim.  The real heart of it is in the last couple numbered points.

The Archive presents the results of a multi-campus study of the impact of student multimedia narrative production (or digital stories).  Digital stories are short (3-4 minutes) films combining text, music, voice-over, intertitles, and are used as an alternative tool for expression of academic arguments.  The Archive currently contains mostly interview clips with students and faculty from classes in Latina/o studies, American studies, media studies, and American history.  We have additional clips from ESL classes that we want to include at some point.

These interview clips are currently presented within a traditional hierarchical website organized by our three research questions. The three main sections present our ‘argument’ or ‘findings’ and folks drill down through statements of findings to evidence from student interviews.  We have an additional section which presents our findings within a ‘grid’ that ties together ‘dimensions’ of learning (the ‘grid’ is a little opaque at present, but it is cool to click around).  Finally, we have the ‘archive’ section, which at present is only a list of clip names with a link.

We are working on lots of obvious things like general clarity of writing.  We also have tags for all of the interview clips.   We want to make these tags public every time the clips appear (currently they are in a backend database).  In addition,  we have more digital stories to include and we want to tie examples of stories to interview clips.  We are also working on creating short, one-minute video “talking head” overviews of each section and also a screencast of how to use the grid.

However, what we want to do ultimately is to expand out the archive section and/or create a new social exhibits section.

1)Within the archive (really, throughout the site) we want to give folks the ability to add video of other interviews or of digital stories and to engage in their own commenting, tagging and adding tags to the existing archive.  We also love for there to be a way for folks to create their own grid, but marking tags that they think are important and linked and having those pulled together for their own presentation.

2) We’d like to also (perhaps using Omeka?) to create an exhibits section. This could allow faculty to showcase stories and interviews from their own classes, to pull together multimedia essays about what they think they’re learning about multimedia work, or to have students play in putting stuff together.

And so, I’d love to get input from folks on these and other ideas, how best to implement, what tools we can possibly use, what other ideas for increasing the ‘social’ nature of the site.

Also, see some additional stories at: gnovisjournal.org/coventry

2 Responses to “Taking a Rich Archive of Learning from Static to Social”

  1. bethrharris Says:

    This might dovetail with my own interests – developing an archive of images and video related to educational programs at MoMA, and then using Omeka to add interactivity — with educators uploading lesson plans, images of student work, etc.

  2. Arden Kirkland Says:

    This social element is definitely the Next Big Step for many of our projects. The implications for education are incredible. I look forward to this discussion!