Negotiating Culture Through Digital Stories

Cultural Expectations and Experiences

Participants/facilitators bring to the process of digital storytelling their cultural expectations of authority and ownership.

  • Individual and collectivist approaches during production (and other cultural complexities)
  • Student voice and identity (as both an individual and a representative of their family/culture)
  • Being aware of issues in cross-cultural collaborations in story circles and peer review/feedback process

Imagined Audiences

Storytellers often imagine diverse audiences an anticipate responses to their stories involving diverse languages and cultures.

  • Multiple audiences and diverse purposes & use of languages
  • Participants as ambassadors for culture
  • Participants as individuals moving between two cultures and in borderlands
  • Cultural composition and readings of visual elements and soundscapes

Expectations of Power

Students’ and teachers’ educational expectations of curricular goals and student/teacher roles do not usually include sharing power.

  • Who controls the elements of the content and the process? What should be learned and who should be teaching?
  • Student-centeredness, creative production and the collaborative processes of storytelling in traditional classroom with various cultural expectations
  • Assessing and evaluating DS work (evaluating completion of process but not always the product’s content, evaluating 7 elements, using audience response)
  • How to structure in advance or decide in the moment when facilitators step in and drive

Stories Shown During Presentation

  • ESOL Intercultural Communication Classes
  • Somali Bantu Refugees’ Project Voice
  • The Charlestown Project
  • To view stories shown during the presentation, visit
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