Digital Storytelling- What will your Great-Grandchildren Know About You? by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano

Digital Storytelling- What will your Great-Grandchildren Know About You? by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano

Cross Posted on Langwitches Blog

I just returned from a road trip with my husband and daughters. It was a trip into the past, as we visited my husband’s eighty year old aunt (the baby sister of his father who passed away when my husband was only seventeen) and other relatives.

This trip was about learning as much as possible of that father, but also about his grandparents and the area in Connecticut that they lived in. There are few photographs left of them. We relied on these images as well as the oral stories the surviving aunts that knew him could tell us. We visited the places they lived in and worked at trying to piece together a puzzle to construct a life long gone.

In one hundred years, our present will be ” a life long gone”. What will we leave behind for our descendants, so they can piece together the puzzle of Who we were?

  • What would you like your great-grandchildren to know about YOU?
  • What was your life like?
  • How did you look?
  • Where did you live? How did the town/city look?
  • What was important to you?
  • Who did you call family?
  • How did you spend your days? Work? Hobbies? Free Time?

Documenting these kinds of things for the generations to come was difficult in the past. Owning a still (or later on a video) camera was not wide spread. It was time consuming and often expensive. Writing a journal or conserving letters was probably the most used media in documenting daily lives and events.

Fast forward now to 2009. Almost everyone owns a digital camera in one shape or form (point & shoot/cell phone/webcam). There is no additional cost in taking as many images or video footage as we like, no more developing or purchasing film. It makes no difference if you choose to take 10 or 1000 images on any given occasion.

Not only do we have the equipment to freeze a moment in time, but it seems that we also have gone through a shift in our attitudes towards wanting to document our moment in space and time. Did generations before us feel the need as much as our generation does to document everything we do, say and think to paint a picture of who we are were.

With different digital media, such as images, video, text and audio, we can create our stories that will pass on to generations that will follow us.

I have written about using the following tools in creating digital stories before:

Here are a few more ideas and sites that can help create a snapshot to tell your descendants the story of your life.

Look at the 365 Photo Challenge on Flickr.

A photo per day project for 2009 – 365 photos by the end of the year. No rules, except that you shoot one photo per day. Doesn’t matter of what, or with what.

Can you imagine the story 365 photos can tell of a year in your life? Ups, downs, routines, surprises, life cycle events, travels, work, free time, laughter, sadness, etc…

Check also “Daily Mugshots” out, a site I stumbled across by a recommendation from Talking SmartBoards & Much More.

You take a picture of yourself every day and then turn it into a video. Daily Mugshots makes it easier to do just that.

  • It will send e-mail reminders to take the image
  • It allows you to e-mail images via your cell phone, upload from your computer or directly from your webcam
  • Create and have an old fashioned flip book printed from your shots
  • Publish widgets to your blog, facebook and other social network sites

If taken with your webcam, this can take less than 5 seconds every day and you could document the growth of your children or students, your own aging , a pregnancy, hairstyles, outfits, seasons, etc.