BRIGHTS Face 2 Face workshop in Belgium: using Digital Storytelling to boost Global Citizenship Education

Hi everybody,

I’m Jochem, and together with Jan, we are national tutors for Belgium for the BRIGHTS project.

I would like to share my impressions of the Face-2-Face workshops I gave the recent weeks at our offices of Maks in Brussels, Belgium. We had two sequences, one on Wednesday may 2nd, 9th and 16th and the second one was on may 8th and may 14th. We had a variety of people following the workshop: teachers, youth workers, students, all working in different professional fields. There were people that had experience with digital storytelling, others for whom it was the first time.

As a Digital Story trainer, I find it very important for people who will use the methodology in formal or non-formal educational context to experience what it means to create a Digital Story. That’s why they have to make it themselves, to undergo the whole process. This makes it very clear where the difficulties are, what the pitfalls are, etc.

The workshop was divided into three main parts:

  • 1) Introduction + creating (writing) a Story around a GCE theme
  • 2) Recording the story (audio) + Storyboard + making/finding pictures
  • 3) Editing the Story + sharing

The first part started with some exercises as an introduction to Digital Storytelling and to each other. As a trainer, I also participated with all the exercises, which I think is very important to be on the same level. I would also like to advise this to anyone giving Digital Storytelling workshops.

After each exercise we had a little discussion about how to use it in formal or non-formal educational context with youngsters and how to bring the Global Citizenship Education themes to their personal environment. We decided together that for the stories created during the Face-2-face workshop, the participants could choose their own theme.

In preparation of the story circle, we did an exercise where everybody had to make a list of good experiences, positive thoughts or ideas about a certain GCE theme and a list of bad experiences, negative thoughts… This exercise worked very well to find story topics. We ended our session with a final Story Circle where everybody shared their first draft of their story.

The second part started with some visual exercises to introduce the storyboard. After that, we started finalizing the text before recording it. And then it was time to start with the Storyboard and to start looking for pictures.

The third part was the technical part! This part made it very clear that you have to know and test your devices and software before you start using it with students. Some participants worked on an iPad with iMovie, others with their laptop on DaVinci.

Both had their advantages and disadvantages. The iPads are very easy to work with and to understand the editing program. However, it is a very “closed” system. For example, we had to be creative to upload personal photos, taken with another device, onto the iPad. DaVinci is great editing software, even semi-professional, but a bit too “heavy” for normal laptops. It didn’t run properly or it crashed. But it was great to see how everybody was helping each other and sharing tips. 

In the end, everybody managed to make their personal Digital Story and we had a small presentation moment at the end where everybody could share their story and leaving the workshop with a positive vibe :-) 

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