Digital storytelling is a powerful way for young people to express themselves, advocate for others and engage with the world. Using blog posts, podcasts, Youtube videos and social media posts, there are so many ways for our students to join a robust dialogue online about what is happening in our world and how they can create change.
At the beginning of the Covid 19 experience in North America, service learning master trainer Cathryn Berger Kaye noticed there weren't a lot of online spaces for young people to post their thoughts, feelings and experiences. Being someone who has worked with teachers and students (K-college) for many years, Cathy and her CBK Associates team of consultants decided to create a platform for dialogue, and Documentar was born.
Documentar allows young people (25 and under) to submit art work, poetry, videos or any creative or reflective artifact. These are posted on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as a way to capture snapshots of stories and experiences. Adults can also submit pieces for publication, and these are posted on Fridays. All other days of the week are reserved for youth.
If you're a teacher, you can have students submit creative responses they make in your classes. Or you can use Documentar as a provocation for class discussions, particularly conversations about current events and how your students connect with the ideas posted by other young people living in different parts of the world.
Cathy is inviting educators to learn more about Documentar in a webinar on September 2 (to register click here). If you miss the webinar, access Documentar using these links:
on Instagram @documentar_ (with an underscore)
on FB and Twitter @documentarNOW
You can also connect with Cathy at cbkassociates.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Youth can submit to Documentar here: @ bit.ly/docu-123.
Hear my conversation with Cathy in the video below, and thanks for reading and listening!
Please visit my "Contact Me" page to join my email list and receive updates and resources each week.
It's time! The 2021/22 school year has started and classes have begun or are about to start. There's that fabulous buzz in the air that signals to everyone that a brand new year has launched and that the year lays ahead, a blank canvas.
Already, your mind might be thinking about headlines for stories you would like to see this year. "School launches new sustainability plan" or "Learning by design: being deliberate about how we engage with the world" or "Cafeteria reveals new plant-based options for sustainable lunches". Your hopes and dreams for 2021/22 will reflect the best of what you imagine for the year.
So, how can we be deliberate about shaping the 2021/22 experience to reflect these hopes and dreams? When it comes to service, sustainability and global citizenship education, how can we use our community forums, newsletters and communication channels to galvanize others to our programs, and to share the good news of what is happening?
No matter how developed your school's communication channels are, you can use existing opportunities to spread the news. This will begin to create momentum and conversation about what you and your team are doing, and you might find you begin to attract allies and supporters, too.
Some things to consider if you have a service/sustainability/global citizenship experience, course or project you'd like to promote in your school community for 2021/22:
* What existing communication pathways exist in your school community? Options may include a website, newsletters, emails to parents/teachers, community gatherings (such as parent meetings, staff meetings, assemblies), and other social media platforms (such as WeChat, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram: whatever your school already uses). Create a list and see if you can share information using any or all of these options.
* How can you write an article and share it with your community? Check out my guide on how to write an article quickly and efficiently. Sometimes it can seem daunting to write something that you're going to send out to the broader community, but this doesn't have to take hours of your time and it can be the best way to get the ball rolling with your communications plan. Click here to access my free guide to help you write that article!
* How can you take that article and whittle it down for use in social media posts? What are the essentials and how can you break those down into a bite-sized post for social media? Do you have a photo to augment your words, or could you take one? All you need to do is grab your reader's attention for a few seconds to help them become aware of what you're doing.
* Who can you talk to in your school community to get help with your efforts? Does your school have a marketing team and could someone help tell your story or promote your event/program? Could your school leaders, including your principal or assistant principal, help you? Are there significant connectors in your community (people connected to many others who could help spread the word)? If you can get a few people on board, you'll now have a team of people helping to share your message.
* Community storytelling: could you start a community storytelling platform for your community, something like a blog or website or podcast channel? Or a regular face-to-face event where people could share news? This could be something that a team of teachers launches together, or maybe you have a group of keen students who would like to help. Creating a community storytelling platform in a powerful way to share your own stories and to encourage others to begin sharing, too.
As we launch this new year, let's imagine how we can start building momentum for our service, sustainability and global citizenship initiatives using the power of stories and communication. Thanks for reading!
PS: Sign up for my email list by clicking on the first free resource I've created. It's the quick guide to writing your service/sustainability/global citizenship article for your community. You'll be prompted to enter your email address, which means I can email you a new free resource each week. I'm excited to build tools that you can use in your classroom and school! Here's another link: click on the button below. :)