Third International Training Course in Bucharest - Digital Storytelling

The third International Training Course was hosted by the Romanian Museums Association from 16-18 November 2015 in Bucharest for 23 Romanian museum professionals and two NEMO members. The Training Course on "Digital storytelling: a practical training to understand the potentialities of the method in a museum context" was held upon request from the Romanian Museums Association by Melting Pro at the National Library in Bucharest.

The 21-hour training course aimed at teaching the participants about the methodology of digital storytelling, its use and advantages and how a digital story can be developed.

There are many theories and practices of digital storytelling, the approach that Melting Pro. Learning fostered and used in the workshop originates from the former Center for Digital Storytelling (CDS) now Story Center founded in 1998 by Dana Atchley and Joe Lambert and by the BBC method, a re-adaptation of the method in the UK context by Daniel Meadows.

On the first day participants learned the basics of digital storytelling and were introduced to the methodological and scientific framework on why we tell stories and why they matter.

Through a number of examples and best-practices from across Europe a look at tried and tested possibilities was taken. As a good practice the project Cultural Agora @ Your Library was presented. Here digital storytelling is used to talk about cultural diversity in libraries (presentation made by ANBPR).

Subsequently the participants were introduced to the digital storytelling methodology steps and features, such as the snapshot method, which encourages participatory approaches especially in a group setting. Despite the term "digital", digital storytelling stresses that the power and the benefits of telling a story are important. The digital device is a tool that helps the story to be heard and visible to others.
Thus, the training course continued with the participants creating their own digital stories. Starting with writing or creating a story, reviewing it and continuing with the further development to creating a connected experience. Followd by recording and editing the story and finally sharing it. This resulted in very diverse stories.

The digital stories created during the Training Course can be viewed here!

A closer look was also taken at participatory approaches. This will enable the participants to apply digital storytelling as another way of museum communication and mediation in the future. In addition different ways of using digital storytelling to pitch ideas and reach audiences were discussed.

The digital storytelling used in this workshop is a democratic process: low cost technologies, creativity and sharing are the key ingredients. Everyone has a story to tell, are you ready to let them in? - Antonia Silvaggi

Throughout the workshop the participants were supported by Melting Pro's (MeP) Antonia Silvaggi and Patrizia Braga. Melting Pro was founded by eight experienced cultural managers with the intent to make culture accessible to all through methodologies based on creativity and innovation.

A personal summary by Antonia Silvaggi and Patrizia Braga can be found here.

What is Digital Storytelling?

Storytelling is intrinsic to human beings and a natural way for people to understand new concepts, connect, make sense of the world around us and transfer knowledge and values.

Digital Storytelling is the encounter between the power of storytelling and digital devices to make a story visible and heard to other people. It's a personal digital short story of 2-3 minutes into people's life events. It gives the opportunity to give voice to people who usually don’t have this possibility.Digital storytelling uses a participatory led approach to allow all participants to share their stories, views and opinions. While having fun, participants from all backgrounds, develop a whole range of skillsets linked to the technical, social, creative and communication sphere. Most importantly while making their story they build their own confidence and self-awareness. It's a versatile tool that can find, depending on the brief and resources, several areas of applications.In the museum sector it has been successfully applied in many projects, such as the Diamond project, where it had an impact on continuous professional development for museum professionals. Participants valued digital storytelling and the process as a way sharing knowledge among peers and to know more about their colleagues.Moreover digital storytelling is an effective method of engagement and involvement in museum activities of marginalised groups and the digital stories might be used to evaluate the impact of the museum activities on the participants.

Thank you to the facilitators Antonia Silvaggi and Patrizia Braga from MeltingPro Learning, as well as the Romanian Museums Association!
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Written by Antonia Silvaggi and Patrizia Braga. Edited by NEMO.