Digital storytelling workshops bring young imaginations to life

20 May 2021

City of Newcastle’s Digital Library is playing host to a series of workshops to teach local young people skills to share stories through modern mediums like virtual reality, augmented reality and animation.

Delivered through a partnership with Newcastle Libraries and Compass Housing’s Grow a Star Project, the workshops create an opportunity for students who would not usually have access to explore these emerging technologies, to develop new skills and express themselves.

Events and Community Relations Manager at Compass Housing Michelle Faithfull, Grow a Star Coordinator Shane Marshall and Councillor Carol Duncan with students participating in the Digital Storytelling Workshops at City of Newcastle’s Digital Library.

A group of local students today embarked on the five-week program which explores the theory of storytelling techniques and narrative development during hands on classes which will equip them with the technical skills to create their own interactive and immersive worlds.

Councillor Carol Duncan said the Digital Storytelling workshops encourage students to harness their creativity and imagination while sharing their experiences through modern story telling techniques.

“The Grow a Star scholarship program provides young people living in disadvantage with opportunities that they may not normally have access to,” Cr Duncan said.

“The workshops are an excellent way to increase digital literacy through creative digital technologies and ‘world building’ and at the completion of the course, the students will have a portfolio that will allow them to follow work experience and tertiary educational opportunities.”

“The young participants will also benefit from mentoring and will develop communication and teamwork skills by working together in small groups.”

City of Newcastle’s Manager of Libraries and Learning Suzie Gately said the workshops are a perfect fit for the Digital Library which is home to a variety of technologies and tools that modernise story telling.

“While the students will apply the traditional skills of storytelling and building a narrative, they will learn how to create video featuring virtual reality presented by a Newcastle virtual and augmented reality studio,” Ms Gately said.

“Immersive storytelling through innovative video is a powerful tool that can truly bring our imagination to life.

“At the end of this program we look forward to showcasing the students’ unique and creative stories on the Digital Library’s interactive story wall for our community to enjoy.”

The program starts on 20 May and runs until 17 June involving 16 young people.