By Glynda A. Hull and Mira-Lisa Katz
I really enjoyed reading the personal stories about how digital storytelling affected the lives of these two people. It seems that storytelling greatly impacts how we think of ourselves. This scholarship dove into the lives of two people. Randy is a 23 year old male who is trying to save himself from the street life. Dara is a 13 year old female who struggled to do schoolwork but found motivation with digital storytelling. The paper spoke about how “stories speak to how conceptions of self have much to do with how and why we learn; the desire to acquire new skills and knowledge is inextricably linked to who we want to be as people(p.2).” Randy considered himself to be someone who is destined to end up in prison. He wanted to change that future for himself though. He exceled at digital storytelling and was even offered a place at an 18 month college program. However, the program tuition was $26,000. This was such an exorbitant sum that there was no way he could attend even though he was very skilled. Dara was a poor student in school. She considered herself a poor student so she had given up trying on school work. For an afterschool activity she did digital storytelling. She exceled at digital storytelling and eventually this motivated her to do school work as well. In both of these cases the study participant participates in the digital storytelling program and is able to change how they think of themselves. Randy now thinks of himself as someone who is able to take care of his mother and maybe even get her (and himself) out of low-income housing. Dara thinks of herself as a student who can excel at school work and be accomplished. In Dara’s story, her personality was different if she was around classmates from her normal school. In the after school program her personality was completely different. The article states, “Stories recur and they also change depending on who is listening and
the relationship between interlocutors. Thus, how we represent ourselves in storied
worlds depends on who we are trying to be in relation to others in the present.(p.4)” I have encountered this situation in my own life. There were quite a few years that I played an online game. In real life I am quiet, reserved, and not outspoken at all. In the game I had a ton of friends, talked, and joked all the time. I feel like I portrayed in the game how I really wanted to be in my real life. My personality changed because of the people that I was around. The same thing can happen with digital stories. We portray who we want to be. I personally don’t think this is a bad thing. It is good to have a goal for ourselves. If we put something out there like a digital story and we aren’t quite there yet, it gives us something very concrete to strive for. Overall this article really made me do a lot of thinking and I enjoyed reading it!
THIS is the article, if you'd like to read it.