Mastering digital storytelling – previewing a new workshop

Victor Bezrukov

Port-142 by Victor Bezrukov, CC BY

Last week Hanna and I previewed our latest workshop – A Digital Storytelling Masterclass – to a selection of eager storytellers.

This was developed in response to feedback from our popular one-day workshop on the same topic. People told us they wanted more time to get to grips with the process of actually creating digital stories so we came up with a two-day version.

Before we asked people to commit so much time to this, we wanted to make sure we’d got it right, so we ran a preview with some invited guests.

What does the workshop cover?

This video that we use to support the workshop gives a good idea what it is about.

Where the one-day workshop takes a broad look at storytelling and its uses in education, this new one focuses on the creative process of producing a compelling digital story.

The extra time means that we can spend a whole morning examining how the shapes of stories and the language used in them keep an audience engaged. We also spend time sharing the stories we have written (a very powerful experience as it turned out!) before recording them.

We then look at finding the right images to go with the story, either on the web or by taking them ourselves and piecing all the elements together on paper in a storyboard.

In the last session, we build the finished article using video editing software and we share some tips for making small changes to timings and flow that make a big difference up on the screen.

Why run a preview?

Spending two or more days on a workshop is quite a big commitment to ask of people so it’s important we get it right before it becomes part of our programme. A preview lets us try out in practice what we’ve developed and, more importantly, find out what people outside Netskills think of it.

How did it go?

“This was the most enjoyable workshop I have ever attended”.

Getting feedback like this gives a lot a job satisfaction. We felt it went well too and we’re delighted that all the attendees produced fantastic, engaging stories to a very high quality.

A few things didn’t go to plan despite our best efforts. Due to timings some of the work that Hanna put into a fun session on taking pictures ended up on the cutting room floor and it would have been nicer to spend longer on recording the audio tracks. Feedback from one attendee gave us lots of ideas for enhancing the section on writing stories, too.

That’s why a preview is so useful and ensures that it will be even better next time.

Where next?

The Digital Storytelling Masterclass will feature in our Autumn workshop programme starting soon. It will also be available as an onsite workshop, where we come and deliver it on request.

We also hope to make an exciting announcement about an added benefit of attending the workshop in the near future. Watch this space.

If you’d like to know more about it leave us a comment here or get in touch.

Image: Port-142 by Victor Bezrukov, CC BY