Me as a storyteller

I Want to Live

Part of this dissertation is to take a critical look at my role in the storytelling support process. Reflecting on my own role as a storyteller is central to that.

I’m a storyteller because…

… the dissertation is a form of narrative. This research project is a journey. It has a start point, stages, obstacles to overcome and an eventual (happy?) ending. There may even be wrong turns, dead ends and unexpected detours. I want my dissertation to do two things; provide clarity on DS in the context I’m looking at and represent the qualitative experience of writing it. I see a strong paralel between what I’m doing and what the projects themselves are being asked to do.

… telling the story is part of me learning about my role and becoming a more conscious participant. Hopefully, I will be better at my job at the end of this MSc than at the start of it and how I regard myself will have changed. Hull and Katz (2006) talk about the role of storytelling in creating “agentive selves”. They describe this as;

“…[being] able to influence present circumstances and future possibilities, and to situate self in relation to others in socially responsible ways.” (2006, p71)

They used storytelling as a means to help individuals take that active role. As Lave and Wenger (1991) might put it , I’m a legitimate peripheral participant in the community of JISC project support. I want to be able to play an agentive role in that. Telling the story of my actions will demonstrate to me what I’m acheiving there as well as to the other people involved in my journey.

…it’s all about the “red pill”!

“…No one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself” Morpheus, The Matrix, Warner Brothers 1999

Alex Henry of Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums (who is one of the Dramatis Personae of this blog) argues that in order to help people create their own digital stories effectively you have to know what it is like to do it yourself. Will Allen, my colleague was talking about advocacy and authority behind stories as the things that make them trustworthy. So, I need to be able to demonstrate that digital storytelling is something that I do, not just something I talk about.

It’s something I already do. Here’s an example:

And today I signed up for the DS106 Digital Storytelling MOOC (Massive Online Open Course), partly to learn new skills and refine and rediscover old ones, but also to join a community of people that are also exploring it. Assignments will be posted on my public blog but I might also include them here, tagged as DS106, as well as reflecting on my progress with it.

Hull G and Katz M (2006) Crafting an Agentive Self: case studies of digital storytelling, Research in the Teaching of English, 41:1, pp 43-81

Lave J and Wenger E (1991) Situated Learning: legitimate peripheral participation, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

Image: I Want to Live by thejbird – By-NC