Create Inter-Institutional Partnerships
Like all approaches to curriculum, you need funding and trust in order to have the space and support needed for CEDS learning experiences. Funding is a big concern when considering alternative approaches to curriculum because school budgets are built around traditional educational approaches. Assume that there is not a budget line for what you need. You will need to look for overlaps and expand nuances of language. Constantly remind yourself that the cost of integrating a CEDS-approach to curriculum is nothing compared to the corporate curriculum and rampant waste occurring in education. After exploring obvious options of grants, General Instructional Fund and partnerships, many American schools qualify for Title I dollars to pay for literacy and math instructional materials. Title I is a source of support for literacy and math. Schools can fund the purchase of CEDS gear through Title I by making the case that these activities create hands on, engaging, authentic literacy and math experiences, thereby driving student participation in these activities. Without engagement, even the most ornate strategies will run out of momentum.
Writing is understood by most educators and school leaders as being an important skill taught by schools. For that reason, Civic Engaged Digital Storytelling instructors need to able to list writing skills that are readily taught in these projects. The high level thinking skills, driven by creative expression and an authentic audience, drives investment in the CEDS Writing process. In the following pages, a non-exhaustive list of CEDS writing activities are listed below: Script, Treatment, Interview questions, Storyboard, Editing guides, B-roll descriptions, P2C, Voice Over, Transcription
Strategic institutional partnerships are a way to foster a sense of confidence in the product of digital content created in CEDS classrooms. They can also sometimes be a source of “seed funding.” Seed Funding, though it won’t pay all the costs, gets an idea in motion. It seeds the idea, thereby boosting the chance that other funders will get involved. In some cases, the other funders are your school district or school.
GPHS partnered with the Minnesota Historical Society for our project Transitions, and this eased the school district’s mind regarding the quality of student work that was going public. When student work was posted on our school Facebook page or the project website, comments were disabled. In six years of these projects, we never had an issue with inappropriate comments around CEDS online work. The institutional connection brought us an additional level of awareness about the online consumption of the product.