The Modern Story is a not-for-profit educational organization that bridges the technological and narrative divide by introducing digital skills and storytelling practices to youth and educators around the world.
What We Do: The Modern Story recruits talented college graduates from the U.S. to lead 6 month digital storytelling programs for 8th and 9th class students at low-income inner city schools in Hyderabad. TMS also employs local instructors – Muslim women with disadvantaged backgrounds previously trained in Information Technology skills. Together, the Fellows and local instructors administer a curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking, creativity, digital literacy, English language practice and concepts of social justice.
What Separates The Modern Story from Other Programs: Few educational technology programs in India teach both hard technological skills paired with soft skills of social empowerment. Our curriculum offers students marketable 21st century skills, while providing an alternative to the rote-based pedagogy of Indian schools. TMS is also repaving the terrain of media and communications in the developing world. Instead of pointing cameras at the underprivileged, TMS puts the means of communications in their hands – our students are the producers of their own stories. Furthermore, our Fellows, local instructors and students engage in true cross-cultural collaboration, working towards a more just and healthy form of globalization.
Our Curriculum: Students progress from writing stories about their personal lives, to creating photo stories about their communities, to producing micro-documentaries about social and environmental issues facing their nation and the world. Throughout the program, students practice writing, discussion-based learning, debate and problem solving. Students also attend fieldtrips to Google Hyderabad, and participate in career panels and mentorship programs.
Benefits of the Program: Our eight and ninth class students are predominantly first-generation learners from the lowest socio-economic strata. They energetically seize the opportunity to become digitally literate and project their voices into the world. Their local instructors become effective mentors, proving that digital skills can translate into jobs and improve the status of women in their community. Our U.S. based Fellows participate in authentic development work by engaging in two-way learning.
The Results: Confident students who think and speak for themselves as agents of change with advanced digital literacy and communication skills; minority Muslim women as financial providers for their families; more aware Americans contributing productively to the global community.
Program Logistics: The Modern Story’s program runs from June to December, and Fellows and local instructors teach at several schools during the semester in addition to shorter rural workshops at Tamil Nadu based not-for-profit Communities Rising. Classes in Hyderabad are generally 2 hours long, held 2-4 times a week and capped at 30 students. TMS aims to work at schools with previously installed computer labs and provides additional technological equipment where needed.
- Years in operation: 5
- Number of TMS Fellows: 16
- Number of schools reached: 12
- Number of students reached: 600+
- Number of videos produced: 135+