A highlight reel of the work created by the kids enrolled in Ohio University College of Fine Arts Summer Digital Storytelling Camp.

Remembering ‘the Importance of Play’ With OU’s Summer Digital Storytelling Camp

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Last year, I had the pleasure of speaking to Ohio University College of Fine Arts summer art instructors Daniel King (also Communications Specialist for the College of Fine Arts
University Communications and Marketing) and Cassidy Brauner (also an Emerging Artist Post-Graduate Fellow in Photography and Integrated Media in the Ohio University School of Art + Design) about a Digital Storytelling production camp for children ages 10-13. The project concluded with the heart-warming experience of showing the (sometimes) easily distractible campers around my physical recording workspace at WOUB Public Media. The camp has returned this year, in a markedly different form due to the COVID-19 crisis; and, for the same reason, I haven’t seen my own physical recording workspace since mid-March.

“One of the great things about working with kids and technology at the same time is that it reminds me of the importance of play: this idea of problem solving on your own without your hand being held; which is why we encourage kids to play and explore already because they are seeing what works and doesn’t work and trying out new material,” said Brauner. “As much as we are guiding them, there is still such an element of them testing and trying the way they record something, or the way they look at something, or the way they play with (media editing program) DaVinci Resolve: they are testing things out. I know that right now the world seems really crazy, and we’re trying to figure out how to do things quickly and well, and I think it is a reminder for all of us to take these bite sized moments of play and test — and we’ll solve it, most likely.”

Digital Storytelling
A still from one of the videos created by the Ohio University College of Fine Arts Digital Storytelling camp.

Ultimately the campers created audio and video projects based on two themes: “dreams” and “places.” You can find a compilation of the camper’s work in the video, and hear my full conversation with Brauner and King embedded above.