digital storytelling

Ending & Beginning

This past week was our final one working with our TMS Boston scholars in the Computer Clubhouse at the South Boston Boys and Girls Club. On Monday and Thursday, we held our final classes of the workshop, and on Friday we hosted our finale showcase, where our scholars had the opportunity to share their completed “Where I’m From” digital stories with their fellow Club member peers, with Club staff and administrators, and, most importantly, with their family members who were able to attend the showcase.


Our scholars spent the final two classes in post-production, working with Fellows and interns on taking their digital content and editing and organizing it all into a final product in iMovie. After reviewing each others’ draft versions of their digital stories, scholars provided each other with feedback on how they could improve their stories. All of the scholars’ agreed that their stories could benefit from more scholar-produced imagery, and so we worked together as a TMS team (scholars and Fellows and interns alike) to take photos and videos, with everyone rotating the responsibility of being the camera operator or the director or an actor. Once these last acts of production were finished, scholars focused the rest of their class time (as well as some of their free time outside of class) in post-production. Fellows and interns worked with scholars to help them learn the intricacies of iMovie, and slowly but surely each scholar’s digital story came together. By the end of class on Thursday, our scholars had completed their “Where I’m From” digital stories, and were ready to share them with the world.


The next day was the finale showcase, and each scholar arrived early for TMS class. It was evident to all of us that they were both excited and somewhat nervous to share their digital stories. We had each scholar cue up their digital story on separate iMacs on different tables in the middle of the Computer Clubhouse. We discussed how scholars should introduce their stories, and encouraged them to share with their audience about the process they went through in making their digital stories as well as what they learned in doing so.


At 3:00 pm, one scholar’s father and another scholar’s grandmother arrived right on time for the showcase. We explained to them that they could view their scholar’s and the other scholars’ stories at that time, but that we would wait for more audience members to arrive in order to share all of the stories at once. Thus, in the meantime, we would encourage visitors to view scholars’ stories in a “gallery walk” fashion at their leisure. The scholar whose grandmother had arrived first wanted to wait for his father to be present to show his story, and so his grandmother graciously respected his wish and waited. Over time, some Club members and staff filtered into the Computer Clubhouse and rotated to each scholar’s table and watched their digital story with them. Our scholars did a great job of explaining the genesis of their stories and the process they went through in making them. By around 3:45 pm, we reach a critical mass of audience members in the room, including South Boston Boys and Girls Club leadership and the father of the scholar who was anxiously awaiting his arrival. At that time, I asked for everyone’s attention and welcomed them to our TMS finale showcase. I explained what TMS does as an organization, as well as what our scholars did over the course of our workshop. Then, each scholar was presented with a certificate by a Fellow or intern who had worked closely with them on their digital story. And finally we held a mass viewing of each scholar’s digital story.


The last story to be shown was that of the scholar who had his grandmom and his father in attendance. I could tell that he was both excited and anxious to show his story. Even I was somewhat anxious, as I knew that the scholar shared some very personal things about his family, and his dad in particular, in his story. What made me slightly nervous was when the scholar speaks about his father’s occupation as an electrician, and how his father has always pushed his son to do something “more than” being an electrician. The scholar speaks eloquently and powerfully about how his father and mother want what is best for him, and want him to succeed, and don’t want him to struggle in the same manner that they have had to struggle at times to provide for themselves and their family. I was slightly nervous because you can never truly tell how someone who is not completely familiar with digital storytelling will react when part of their story is being told by a loved one. I watched the family as they and the rest of the audience watch the digital story. From the very beginning, the scholar was sitting in a seat in front of the computer, and his father stood behind him with his hands on his son’s shoulders, while the scholar’s grandmom stood to their side. All three of them watched and listened intently throughout the story. When it came to an end, amidst the applause of the audience, the scholar looks up at his dad who was looking down at him. He told his son that he was proud of him and that he loved him, and he gave him a kiss on his forehead.


After the applause died and the crowd dispersed, the scholar took his father and grandmom into the media room to show them how he mad made his digital story. As he did so, I watched from afar. I was proud of him for telling his truth, and happy for him that he got to share it with his family that cares about so much, and who obviously love him beyond my ability to comprehend. I was proud of my scholars, each of whom had opened themselves up and given their all to their digital stories and to each other. I was proud of Franklin, Nicole, and Sam, and all the hard work they had put into guiding and supporting our scholars. I was proud of TMS, as much a movement as it is an organization, and one that has amplified the voices of youth near and far.


But what I felt more viscerally than any other emotion was a simple but powerful awe. Awe at the stories of our scholars. Awe at the power of their stories. Awe at the power of storytelling – to create, to connect, to liberate.


And awe at the fact that while this moment was in many ways an ending, it was also a beginning.


And for that, I am beyond grateful.


Ever onward.


– Rich


Intern, Sam’s reflections on the experience of working with The Modern Story:

Since TMS was essentially my first job working with kids, it really taught me about the challenges and numerous benefits of this practice. It taught me that to work with kids you must put yourself out there and although that is difficult at points, you will see results and wonderful relationships form as a result. The Modern Story aims to get children to see themselves and their world through a different lens that they may not always have the opportunity to use. During my time with TMS I saw that this ability lies within all of the children we worked with and they simply needed someone to hand them the tools to express it. 



Where I’m From

A "Where I'm From" script draftThe first two weeks of our TMS Boston workshop have been an exciting and engaging experience for Fellows and scholars alike. Our first class focused on introducing ourselves to each other, as well as introducing our scholars to digital storytelling. After an initial icebreaker and a brief discussion about Community Code – how we would treat each other and, ultimately, create a safe space for us to share out stories with each other during our TMS classes – I shared my “Where I’m From” digital story. In planning the workshop, the other Fellows and I decided to encourage the scholars to create their own “Where I’m From” digital stories as a result of the high level of interest expressed by the Boys and Girls Club members when we showed them “Where I’m From” digital stories created by TMS Newark (NJ) Scholars during our recruiting efforts for the TMS Boston workshop. The members became noticeably energized and inquisitive when we followed the “Where I’m From” digital stories with a selection of those made by TMS Hyderabad scholars and informed them that the digital stories they would make in our TMS Boston workshop would provide them with the opportunity to share about themselves, their community, and their culture with TMS scholars in India and beyond. Based on their enthusiasm and interest, we decided to model our own digital stories in this manner.


I was admittedly nervous about sharing my digital story, as it is the first one I’ve ever made, and it addresses some very personal experiences and issues that mean a great deal to me. Most importantly, I hoped that my digital story would serve as a good example and even an inspiration to the Scholars in their envisioning of their own stories that they would be telling. To my relief and delight, as soon as my story finished, everyone in the classroom started clapping immediately, and I knew from that moment onward that we would be able to accomplish great things within such a supportive community of digital storytellers.


One of our Fellow interns, Sam, showed her digital story after mine, and she too received a rousing ovation from the scholars.

After viewing both digital stories, we discussed the common themes between both of them, as well as the different images and Sam and I had used to tell our story. The scholars then brainstormed a list of images they would potentially use in their own “Where I’m From” digital stories and shared them with each other. Since it was their first time sharing with each other, some of the scholars were a bit timid, but once the “sharing juices” got flowing, those who were quiet began to participate, and we got to see how many great ideas were percolating amongst our eager scholars.


The rest of the first class was devoted to discussing general storytelling principles and practices, what digital storytelling is and what are the elements that go into making a digital story, and what type of digital stories the scholars would be making as new members of TMS. We ultimately ran out of time by the end of the first class due to th fact that the discussions we were engaging in had every scholar participating and contributing their ideas and opinions. The energy level was high, every scholar was engaged with each topic, and the scholars would build off of each others’ ideas while showing an impressive respect for each other and our collective space. My fellow TMS Fellow, Franklin, as well as the Fellow interns, Sam and Nicole, came away from the first class very impressed by ur scholars and energized for the classes to come.


The second, third, and fourth classes served to ease the scholars into the digital storytelling process, with the goal of having them draft their scripts during the second class, complete their scripts and storyboards in the third class, and actively producing audio and visual content in classes 3 and 4 during the second week. After Nicole shared her “Where I’m From” story at the beginning of class 2, scholars shared about a personal object that reminded them of where they’re from that we asked them to speak about with their peers.

This served as a good segue to sharing the TMS Newark scholars’ digital stories as an example of what our scholars could do with their own “Where I’m From” stories. After viewing these videos, scholars spent the remaining time brainstorming ideas for their stories and turning their ideas into scripts. Class 3 had scholars finishing their scripts and turning them into storyboards. Fellows and interns worked with scholars to adapt their ideas into scripts and storyboards that worked best for each individual scholar’s style. For example, one scholar expressed himself best verbally, and so Nicole decided that it would be best to ask him the brainstorming questions we had prepared for the scholars and to record his responses. In doing so, the scholar produced an impressive amount of audio narration content that they then worked together to cut down into more manageable pieces that could be edited into the final digital story. Two other scholars preferred to write short poems in the mold of the TMS Newark scholars, and so Sam and Franklin helped them complete their scripts and storyboards in a manner that supported their vision and complemented their skills. Class 4 had Fellows teaching scholars about audio (voiceovers and sounds) and visual (photos and videos) production using our digital cameras. After putting the finishing touches on their scripts and storyboards (their “text” content), scholars began creating their audio and visual content. They recorded their voiceovers, took photos, and researched images online that matched their text content. Scholars also began working on iMovie on the Boys and Girls Club’s iMacs in their Computer Clubhouse media room with support from Fellows and interns alike.

At the end of two weeks of TMS classes, and with only one more week to go, I find myself beyond inspired by our scholars and my peers. We are all working together to bring our stories to life, and in doing so, we are learning about each other and ourselves. It strikes me that this is the point. This is the reason we are doing what we are doing. This is why TMS does what it does. This is why I wanted to serve as a fellow. Because I believe we all have a great to deal share with and to learn from others, and that such elemental acts of reciprocity and respect are the primary means by which we may change our lives, our communities, and our world for the better. I am grateful for this experience, for my colleagues, and for my scholars. And I look forward to our final classes together.

Meet Rich

We are all scholars. This is what I tell the students, families, and educators whom I’ve served as a scholar myself. We all have knowledge of value to share with one another, and we all have the capacity both to learn and to teach. It is only by engaging each other as scholars – to learn as we teach, and to teach as we learn – that we can begin to access the innumerable learning networks that surround us. I believe that there is never a time nor a place that we are not learning, and as such I’ve always been in “school,” and I’ve always been a scholar.

My first teacher was my mother. Not because her profession deemed her so – as she has always been a teacher, and a great one at that – but rather because of her approach to how she raised me. The places she brought me and the experiences to which she exposed me were all focused on my development as a learner. Whether it was reading to me every day, or her encouragement of my love for Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers, or our frequent trips to parks and the local library, I learned from an early age that learning was not a compartmentalized practice within this act called “living,” but rather the essential element of life itself.

For as long as I can remember, stories have been my favorite form of learning. As a child, some of my most cherished memories are of my mother and father and teachers reading stories to me, and the best gifts I received were the books that transported me to far-away lands and introduced me to amazing characters and cultures. As an adult, I regularly immerse myself in all manner of storytelling, from novels to short stories to to documentary films to op-eds to interviews to simple stories told by elders at the kitchen table or over an evening fire.

I first joined TMS not as a Teaching Fellow, but as an ally who shared a vision for developing transformative models for community-based education. Having served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Zambia and as a community school director in West Philadelphia, I was immediately drawn to the work of The Modern Story and the stories of its students when I first met Remy and Piya in 2013. As I got to know TMS’ founders and as I gradually educated myself about digital storytelling, I couldn’t resist my growing desire to play a role in helping The Modern Story grow and evolve so that it can serve children like my scholars at Wilson Community School in West Philly, and my families in Katukutu village in Central Province, Zambia.

So, having spent the past year and a half working on various strategic planning projects, I now face my most challenging TMS role yet – to do the work that is most important and serve as a TMS Teaching Fellow. Over the course of the month of July, I have the great responsibility and incredible opportunity to work with TMS scholars in the Computer Clubhouse at the South Boston Boys and Girls Club. We will be learning about digital storytelling, watching and discussing the digital stories of TMS scholars from Hyderabad, India and other communities around the world, and creating our own personal digital stories. With that in mind, I am proud to share the first digital story I’ve ever made. I’d like to dedicate it to my family, my friends, my teachers, and my scholars. In so many ways, there are all but one in the same. Because we are all scholars, and I am because we are.

Meet Karis

When you’re young, you’re likely to have big dreams. Mine were pretty much as big as you can imagine. From year to year I decided I was destined to be a professional soccer player, a fashion designer, a CEO, and even a dolphin trainer. However, throughout all of these ambitious career choices, I kept doing one thing, just because I loved it: storytelling. I made newspapers for my friends, classes, and family starting at age seven, and started taking photos daily when I was 12. Finally one day I wised up and realized that I should probably think about doing what I did everyday anyway for a living. So I decided to become a professional storyteller, or as I usually call it, a journalist.

That dream has become a reality in some of the most incredible ways. I’ve reported for major newspapers and radio stations, and traveled to every corner of cities and around the world in the search for a story. To me, storytelling is the best way to make sense of your life, explore a new place, and interact with others. If you can put a human face on an issue or explain a complicated idea in a simple way, oftentimes you have made sense of it yourself and you can convince people to make a difference in the world. I’m motivated by action, and I’ve found a notebook and camera is the best way for me to spur action in the world. Storytelling was also the only way that I dealt with some tough issues in my life. Growing up, especially when you’re young, can be quite challenging. Asking questions, writing down thoughts, and expressing yourself in words and pictures is one of the best ways to explain your feelings and show the world the importance of your story. With that in mind, while I did journalism on my own, I also volunteered and worked with students to help them tell the stories of their communities and their lives in order to empower the next generation of storytellers.
So when a friend sent me information about The Modern Story, I knew it was the perfect opportunity for me. I’m so excited to travel to a new place, meet new people, learn about Hyderabad (and India), and instill a love of storytelling in more young people. Though it will be quite a bit hotter than my current home, Minnesota, I’m ready and absolutely thrilled to brave the temperatures and travel to Hyderabad to work with The Modern Story and its partners.

Meet Rachel

34 hours. That’s how long I’ll have between leaving my home in California and arriving in Hyderabad for the incredible journey that will be my first six months out of college. Between reading books from the list of selections we were given to educate us on India, tearing through Paolo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed again to remind myself what good teaching looks like, and listening to the 16-hour playlist I’ve carefully curated for the long trip, I can only imagine that the rest of the travel time will be spent trying to contain my excitement (or sleeping, but excitedly).

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an interest in social justice. So when I decided to study filmmaking, it felt only natural for me to explore how the two could be used alongside each other. But the mainstay of social justice filmmaking, the depressing documentary, left a lot to be desired. After working with a nonprofit that seeks sustainable solutions to poverty over the periodic dispensing of charity and an organization that provides participants with the technical training and tools to tell their own stories through film, my curiosity about what those depressing documentaries would look like if their subjects were the ones producing them intensified. I was drawn to The Modern Story because they were asking the same questions I was. What would it look like if we helped empower those most often spoken for or never spoken about to speak for themselves? What would we see in those stories that challenged the script so often dispensed? These are exactly the questions I hope to see answered during my time in India. And these are the questions that will carry me through my 34-hour journey when the revolutionary words of Paolo Freire and the soothing sounds of Sufjan Stevens aren’t enough.

Meet Dara

Last summer I heard the story of Cho, a Tibetan refugee, who walked by nightfall for two months to India from a Chinese-occupied Tibet. I was studying abroad in northern India and this service project, a simple language and culture exchange, was meant to serve as an integration method to help prepare us for living in a nearby village. However, for me, hearing his story had a profound impact. Cho told me: “Please tell others my story. I want others to know”. I remember wishing that I had the tools and the proper platforms to get his story out into the world, and not just my small connections to it.

Before I met Cho I understood how important personal storytelling and digital media could be in personal development. While living in New York City I volunteered to teach digital photography to inner-city junior high students. The transformation that occurred was stunning to watch – my students became more confident, it gave them a changed perspective on their world, and it excited them to learn more. It created passion. After meeting Cho I decided that I wanted to do more service for youth, and to help them find their voice in our ever-changing world.

This passion for service also propelled my interest in global education. Following university I moved to Kumasi, Ghana to work for an American NGO where I ran peer mentoring programs in rural villages. I spent seven months there working within the school systems, learning Twi, traveling West Africa, and hearing people’s stories. It was during this time that I learned about The Modern Story Fellowship, and knew that this would be the perfect next step for me to explore additional educational systems, listen to more people’s stories, and to also return to a country that I love.

I think that global education is an ongoing dialogue; it bridges cultural and religious gaps to achieve learning and understanding. I love teaching because I love being a part of that dialogue, and because I never want to stop learning about the world. I am so excited to be a part of The Modern Story, and for this new adventure!

Meet Nandini

When my sister and I were growing up in Bahrain, my father made up bedtime stories for us using characters from comics he read as a child in India. For the longest time, I believed that Chamataka the Jackal was entirely his own invention. Now I see how those stories let him keep alive something from his past, while connecting us to something we had never truly known. By linking generations and places, stories – both real and fictional – become central to the migration experience.

My parents also took many photos and videos over the years, zealously documenting our life in a new country that became home. Looking back, it’s no wonder I was drawn to visual media. I was already a voracious reader and video and photography opened up the world even further. One of the most fulfilling educational experiences I had in high school was working with friends to make a short documentary about local reactions to the imminent invasion of Iraq. In addition to digital skills and new perspectives on our teachers, classmates, and each other, the project let us take action in our community and speak back, in our own small way, to events that left us feeling powerless.

In my experience as an advocate, I learned more lessons about the power of storytelling. It was a critical tool, whether working with families who were fighting to save their homes after being targeted for predatory loans, or organizing with immigrant students for access to higher education and their families’ safety. Telling your story can provide an invitation, a catharsis, or a catalyst. It can bring people together and expose obscured truths. When we share the experiences that give meaning to our lives and define the changes we want, it creates space and strength for others to do the same.

The first stories that we learn might be about wily animals and their forest adventures, but we collect stories throughout our lives. Considering this abundance of narratives, we might wonder about the significance of our own. In those moments, I believe, it helps to remember how storytelling can transform us, and how the personal can be political. I can’t wait to embark on this journey with the TMS fellowship and collaborate with the young people, educators, and community organizations of Hyderabad.


Kelly’s Railway Reflections

After one week in moderately hot and sporadically humid Hyderabad- Dana, Emily and I have finished with the formal introductions – to students, teachers, commute routes, and culture. We have been left with the template of characters and stages that will be the basis of the story we tell over the next six months as teaching fellows with the Modern Story. On a personal note, I am surprised at how familiar the idiosyncrasies of India feel to me this time around – from the traffic exemplifying the potential for order in chaos, to the startling variety of human experience co-inhabiting the space of the streets. Wealthy, poor, Hindu, Muslim, Christian- boundaries between self and other broken- beckoning the foreign eyes to recognize the meaning of the Namaste greeting, an honoring of the place in each of us where we are the same.

We will be carrying out the Modern Story curriculum at a total of five government schools. Thus far, we have only begun classes at the Railway Girls School located in the Secunderabad area of Hyderabad, and will begin at the other 4 this coming week. All three fellows teach at Railway School, and then the tasks are divided up between the remaining four- with Dana and Emily co-teaching at two, and myself teaching at another two, called Sultaan Bazar and MGM. Initially I was struck with the distinct personality each of these schools had, and impressed with the quality of the computer labs that the students have access to. The greatest challenge I anticipate of our duties for the next six months is overcoming the language barriers, and finding a way for the students to actualize their creative potential despite the hurdles of communication. I enter this journey in a recognition that I must expect the unexpected, and that each school will present its own unique difficulties, but ultimately, and hopefully, through this will come a variety of voices in the media projects of the students.

Reading over the ‘script’ of our introductory videos with the girls of the Railway class.

We are blessed with the help of two inspiring teaching assistants at the Railway School, named Asma and Neha. Dana and I, co-teaching, work with Asma, while Emily works with Neha. I am struck by the calm maturity of Asma in the classroom and as an individual. The strength and determination I see in her rings to an age well beyond her young years, and I feel so fortunate for the opportunity to work alongside her. There is a strong network of support at the Railway School, and a dedicated interest in the program from the staff, that has been helpful in assuaging the anxieties of our first days. I am quickly growing fond of the students, and find myself needing to consciously keep the walls of student-teacher erect when I get swept by the instinct to just befriend the wide-eyed and attentive group. I am hoping that we will be able to harness their energy and direct it through their passion in a specific topic to produce nice media projects together.

This week was spent introducing the students to the Modern Story curriculum and what is meant by digital storytelling. We set rules for the class, reminding us to respect each other, listen to each other, and to not be afraid to share our own voices. We are orienting towards two goals, the technical product aspect of the digital component – technological literacy, camera, and writing skills – as well as the empowerment that comes through the process of creativity. We began with the questions of ‘What is a Story?’ and encouraging the students to recognize that everyone is a storyteller and they, themselves, are the lead character of their own individual, unique stories. The following is a slideshow of the student’s drawings done in a classroom exercise to practice connecting words with images. I am interested in the study of religion, so it grabbed my attention when many of the students responded that the first thing they do when they wake up in the morning is pray to God, or the first thing they see is nature. The religious diversity of Hyderabad is dramatically visible, and I am wondering if there is potential for exploring the topic of religion more closely throughout our time together.

‘When I wake up in the morning, I always…’

As the sun sets on Sunday and thus the weekend,the three of us are anxious to see what the next week has in store for us. The journey continues…

Until next time,


Kelly Adams, 2012 Fellow Introduction


My name is Kelly Adams and I am one of the 2012 teaching fellows with the Modern Story.  I rest tonight at the home where I grew up in Lebanon, Pennsylvania- in a state of, at once, reflection and anxious anticipation for the journey of challenges and triumphs that await upon my arrival in Hyderabad in the coming days. I would like to take this time to introduce myself.

I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to work on behalf of the Modern Story, and towards the mission of integrating technology and narrative in the classroom and encouraging students to engage with their personal, social, and natural environment in a proactive way. I hope to facilitate experiential learning through the Modern Story curriculum and production of film projects that will extend from language development, technological confidence, and career planning to personal empowerment, cross-cultural education, and creative discipline. I am also excited to develop along my own course of digital storytelling in this unique opportunity to bring awareness to the lives of urban, Indian youth on a global scale, through the voices, images, and productions of those concerned.

I come from a background in Anthropology and Environmental Earth Science, and align my academic focus to the junction of these two disciplines, where the nature of human experience meets the human experience of nature. My senior thesis in Anthropology concerned Native American sacred lands, and the reality of religious freedom and self-determination for the Native American population of the United States. Writing this paper was as much a process of self-discovery as it was an academic project, and I was left with a new respect for the true beauty in diversity of ways of being, seeing, relating, understanding, and defining human life that co-inhabit the cultural sphere, and with a determination to serve the sustenance of cultural and ecological diversity on planet Earth.

I am a firm believer in the power of the film medium as a tool to enhance recognition, promote self-determination, and serve the empowerment of disconnected and disenfranchised people, communities, and cultures of the globe. This will not be my first experience in India – in fact, I have only recently returned to American soil after an 11-month trip abroad that began June, 2011.  I spent 7 months living and working in Pune, Maharasthra on behalf of a new media online documentary film festival, whose mission is to raise awareness and evolve human consciousness towards a more integrated and holistic paradigm. Upon completing my obligations with this festival, I took an extended layover in Cappadocia, Turkey where I had my first practice run at the creative construction of my own documentary project, which I entitled ‘Landscape Biography: Cappadocia” – something that I would like to pursue further in my future studies.

I am so excited to return to India, and feel that I would need to be a poet to communicate the emotion that this country awoke in me. Although I was initially disoriented in this country, by the overwhelming colors, sounds, smells, and tastes, there is a spirit that infests its air that has profoundly touched me.  In the words of Jawaharlal Nehru, ‘India is a bundle of contradictions, held together by strong but invisible threads,’ and it is a powerful place to confront the true unity in diversity of life on this planet. I have grown so much from my experience in India, and am excited for the chance to give back-  hands on, on the ground, and immersed in this culture daily.  If there is one thing I have learned in India, it is the extent of education that occurs outside of the classroom  – with this in my heart, I am grateful for the opportunity to enter the classroom and have a holistic, reciprocal, learning experience between fellows and students.


I am also excited to share this experience with all of you in the Modern Story community! We will be sure to keep you updated on the activities and projects of the students!


Until next time,

Kelly Adams

Final Videos from Communities Rising Workshops

Arriving back from Pongal break last week, Ilana and I jumped into a long task list in our final push to complete projects and classes. We took the Railway girls on a field trip to the Google office in Hi-Tec City and had our last class and celebration with the boy at APRS. The students at Railway and Sultan Bazaar have been working hard to finalize their videos, and we’ll have screenings and celebrations with them tomorrow and Monday.

Before all the Hyderabad hubbub, though, I completed TMS workshops at Communities Rising in Tamil Nadu, and also had a final screening and celebration there. I am proud of the projects the students created in such a short time frame, so this morning I’m taking a few minutes to share them here.

At Communities Rising I worked with three different sets of students. The first video was envisioned and produced by Siva, a participant in the staff workshop I conducted. Siva is a computer teacher at CR’s after-school program in Periathachoor village. The video addresses the issues of fear and corporal punishment in schools and will be used by CR as a tool for promoting positive disciplinary tactics. Siva made both an English and Tamil version of his project.

Fear (Bayam) from The Modern Story on Vimeo.

As Ilana and I have experienced in our other classes, having a committed local teacher involved with TMS activities exponentially improves our effectiveness as digital storytelling instructors, both because of translation and the ability for the youth involved to continue learning when our program ends. After his own training, Siva played a crucial role assisting me as I taught photography, video, and editing skills to two groups of children in the Periathachoor after-school program. All of the equipment and software we used belongs to CR, and I know that Siva will continue guiding his young students through creative video projects in the coming months.

In the two projects below I created lesson plans that focused on practicing English skills while learning digital technology. My goal was to provide a model for meeting two of CR’s educational objectives–they emphasize literacy, math, English and computer skills–in an engaging way.

The following video shows two of five emotion dramas performed and filmed by 6th through 8th class students.

Emotions from The Modern Story on Vimeo.

The next video focuses on the English alphabet. Fourth and fifth class students explored letters visually with the cameras and verbally by reading on film.

ABC Movie from The Modern Story on Vimeo.

Communities Rising’s college volunteers created the final three videos, in which they discuss their life experiences and perspectives on CR’s role in education for youth in rural India.

Fire at Communities Rising from The Modern Story on Vimeo.

An Engineer from a Village from The Modern Story on Vimeo.

Education at Communities Rising from The Modern Story on Vimeo.