Communications students create digital storytelling

At Penn State Greater Allegheny, students in Communications 471, a public relations methods course, taught by Kathy Taylor Brown, assistant professor of communications, have created digital stories that will be shown on campus. According to the text book the students use in class, Digital Storytelling: A Creator?s Guide to Interactive Entertainment, written by Carolyn Handler Miller, ?Even when designed to serve pragmatic goals, works of digital storytelling always have elements of narrative and always offer some degree of entertainment.?

Sam Weinreb, a Holocaust survivor who resides in Western Pennsylvania, had his story captured by Emily Blake, Shannon Putt, Robert Rex, and Kaitlyn Walos, all students in Browns class. The group?s story is a three part video on which they take a look a Mr. Weinreb?s life before, during, and after the Holocaust.

Students Alex Bobbs, Nick Johns, Dan Koenig, Dan Stritmatter, and Sean Wood made a digital story on a personal account of a man who was at Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969. The group focused on Ted Kelly and his experiences at Woodstock. The video included photos and music samples.

The final group documented something all Penn State students are familiar with, THON. Students Ashley Brooks, Allison Iksic, Lee Marts, and Alydia Thomas put together a documentary about THON?s history and what THON means to Penn State Greater Allegheny students. The group interviewed Breanne Nero who is the current CCSG THON Chair and the dancers from this campus that took part in THON this year.

In January the class attended a training session in one of the computer labs in Crawford, taught by Justin Miller, who works in the Digital Media Commons at University Park. The students were taught how to film, edit, save, and upload their videos to YouTube. Each student made a short video, added pictures and music, and uploaded it to YouTube.

The students have also been learning how to use social networking sites through the course. The class currently has a group set up on Facebook and Twitter. The Facebook group was used to critiques each other?s videos from YouTube and Twitter is used for any class announcements.