How does digital media and learning benefit an organization whose core programs center on the process and practice of writing—rough drafts, critiques, revisions, readings?
Young aspiring writers are often told to read widely and learn the techniques of those authors they admire by mirroring their writing. Writing through imitation is like copying a style or a structure, but pasting or using it in a way that repurposes the original piece into a new work. Similar to sampling music, it is the practice of remixing content.
Drawing on this practice of remixing that intersects the writing and digital media spheres, Girls Write Now piloted the Digital Remix Portfolios that aimed to seamlessly incorporate digital media learning into its existing Mentoring Program while staying true to its writing-intensive model.
The pilot program consisted of a small group of Girls Write Now mentor-mentee pairs working through spring 2012 to digitally remix and expand upon original pieces of writing to create new digital content. Mentees and mentors attended monthly digital media workshops hosted by partner organization, Parsons the New School for Design: dorskhops on Photography/Video, Typography/Animation, Audio Production, and Transmedia Storytelling.
The mentees documented the progress and outcomes of their remixing projects online through digital diaries hosted by Figment.com.
The Digital Remix Portfolio pilot program has evolved into the Girls Write New School Digital Media Mentoring Program with an expanded series of dorkShops, mentor meetings, and lab hours.
The Spring 2013 cohort of mentees explored creative publishing with their mentors and acquired concrete skills in writing, communication, and digital media, including:
- Knowledge of writing in various formats;
- Storyboarding techniques for digital and analog ends;
- Creating, editing and revising original content;
- Employing the full complement of grammar and writing tchniques;
- Ability to speak as peers with accomplished women;
- Hands-on experience with digital tools and programs (eg., Audacity, mobile game design, iMovie, blogging).
The culminating projects include the creation of a collaborative e-zine and a peer-to-peer exhibition.
This project was funded by the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in The New York Community Trust in 2011 and 2012.
Workshop curriculum on visual storytelling utilizing photo and video.
The Photo/Video dorkShop captured in images, tweets, videos and links.
Reflections on the dorkShops by youth participant.
Completed multimedia remix portfolio by youth participant.
A collaborative e-zine created by participants of the creative publishing dorkShops.