This blog is late. I know that. It was meant to be finished before today but it wasn’t.
There are several reasons for this – a severe fear of failing a shorthand test being the main one – but more relevant to this actual blog is I have absolutely no idea what relevance digital storytelling or psychogeography have to journalism. Which makes it rather hard to write a blog about the advent of digital storytelling and psychogeography and its affect on the rapidly changing world of the media. And now? Well, my link to it is tenuous at best so you’ll need to bare with me.
However, the time has come to bite the bullet and ‘blog’ about it.
Do you know the difference between how French children are taught to write and how English kids are (I apologise if this is hideously out of date and therefore wrong)? The French focus on grammar – i.e. on tense, conjugations, position of punctuation etc – whilst the English figure if you leave children to their own devices they will learn through trial and error. So the idea is in England a primary school teacher tells a child to write a story and will then correct a couple of grammatical errors and in theory the child will eventually not do said errors again. The French drill grammar. However, what is interesting about these two different methods is they both produce essentially the same level of grammatical knowledge by the time the child is grown – whatever the Daily Mail may say to the contrary.
And here I see a link with the Capture Wales project, set up by Daniel Meadows in 2001. It was, and is, both an exercise in documenting history and teaching people how to use technology they may never have been exposed to before. Apart from the stories that come out, which in itself is hugely exciting*, what is exciting is the possibilities that Meadows opens up by teaching these people. One would think (well, hope) the students would leave at the end of the five days enthusiastic and would then go and explore other possibilities in the world of technology and the internet, rather like I did when being told to write stories (I read anything in a ten mile radius and wrote many long-winded and rubbish stories in my own time).
It is so much more interesting to be introduced and taught these things through creativity rather than through rote learning (or, in my case with the internet etc, ECDL, which was so hideously dull it quickly became an excuse for a coffee break). I rather think if I had been introduced to software and latterly the internet through a digital storytelling class I would be a whole lot more enthusiastic about the entire thing and possibly a whole lot more adventurous as well.
And my link to journalism? Well, these people have now become involved in ‘the conversation’ when in all likelyhood they weren’t before, meaning projects like Capture Wales are introducing a whole other strata to this ‘global conversation’. Which can only be a good thing in my opinion as – and I think I have said this before – ‘the conversation’ is too limited to too small group of people.
Hmm, a slightly tenuous link I know, but you can’t say I didn’t warn you.
* please do not think I did not write this blog because I did not like the subject matter – for the record, it was possibly the most enthusiastic I’ve been about any subject to do with online media so far!