Stories Just Got Reel Digital

By Hailey Tolleson, Staff Reporter

The spring semester of 2018 is embracing the future by welcoming a new English class.

Digital Storytelling is an English class which will teach students how to utilize technology to get audiences engaged in a story, said the instructor of English 2096, Brain Hudson.

Since more and more people are getting their news and entertainment from the internet, the transition to an all-encompassing medium seems natural, he said.

What’s interesting about this class is that since students are going to use a combination of text, audio, photography film and/or graphics, the possibilities for how they can express a story are endless. Also, by adding an interactive element, audiences get more invested than if they were only presented with one element alone, he said.

“Digital storytelling could be particularly helpful in connecting people to other cultures as well as their own since it’s a relatively new platform especially in the west, it still remains to be shaped, inviting artists and writers to determine how they are depicted,” Hudson said.

For instance, a program is in the works to develop a Cherokee computer programing language

and those students will be encouraged to use that information to develop their own stories, using their own langue, he said.

“The digital world is everything now and if you don’t see yourself represented, if you don’t see your culture represented, if it’s all someone else’s culture you’re not going to connect to it” said Hudson.

There’s also an important place for it in activism as is exemplified by Elizabeth Lapensèe’s video game, Thunderbird strike.

The video game protests the Dakota access pipeline by having players pose as a mythical bird that shoots lightening at the oil line and is intercut with photos of protesters, said Hudson.

The business industry has also expressed an interest in Digital storytelling for its application in marketing and so has the medical field for its potential to help patients better articulate past history to professionals and keep track of their health, according to Hudson.

This class aims to attract a wide variety of students, from writers to artists to computer programmers, with a wide variety of interests to create collaborative community that utilizes everyone’s strengths and supports each other, he said.

Hopefully, this will lead to creating a digital storytelling culture with in the Southwest that will reach other countries and eventually global connections and recognition, he said.

If anyone is interested in taking digital storytelling, they should also take CIS 1325 visual communication as a co-requisite, which will cover more of the visual aesthetic side of digital storytelling, he said.

Digital storytelling will not require any special software or books, only a notebook, pencil, and computer access, and at the end of the semester, students will showcase their work on campus, he said.

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