Prioritizing meaning making in Digital Storytelling: A Latte with Angeline Koh
The Hotel Jen in Singapore is known for steaming salted caramel lattes served in a tiny cafe surrounded by artwork, photographs of Singapore landmarks, tall chairs, and gentle nudges toward languid conversation.
Today was the perfect day for sips and smiles with my friend, Angeline Koh. Angeline is the Director / Principal Storytelling Coach at Tyros Global. Angeline’s digital storytelling work has been featured in a National Day Rally for Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
On my first trip to Singapore, my fellow doctoral colleague, Oscar Guzman, arranged for Angeline Koh to speak to our digital storytelling SIG (special interest group). Then, the first insight I learned from Angeline Koh is that “Conversations become as much about story-telling as ‘story-listening'” (Koh, personal communication, March 17, 2015). Angeline and I went on to co-present a digital storytelling session for Pepperdine GSEP Student/Alumni Symposium in 2016.
Today, I had my notebook ready to learn more.
As our latte’s cooled, Angeline agreed to speak a little about the universal appeal of digital storytelling.
The sharing of ideas, experiences, and cultural perspectives found in digital storytelling videos has the potential to shape a common and dynamic cultural and historical heritage, background (Barab & Duffy, 2000) while intersecting and strengthening different perspectives (Beare, 2008) and building trust (Copeland, S., & De Moor, 2018).
Angeline Koh promotes storytelling as a tool for empowerment for us to “live our great story.”
Angeline enthusiastically encourages the art of storytelling expression reflecting “a community with a significant history, a common cultural heritage” (Barab & Duffy, 2000, p. 14).
Digital storytelling provides opportunities for many people in healthcare, business, and education to utilize multimodal affordances in meaningmaking (Teague & Pruett, 2016; Kress, 2010).
Digital storytelling production forms a foundational commonality that mirrors Lave’s anthropological conclusion that “meaning is connected to practices and contexts” (in Barab & Duffy, 2000). The meaning-making experience is pivotal to obliterate bias in communication, increase awareness of stereotypes among generations, and encourage open channels of dialogue
These digital storytelling conversations often extend beyond the contest submission incident to additional conversations. Students describe a strengthening of their identity and seeing themselves included in the aging continuum. Identity is
a vital and essential component of Communities of Practice (Wenger, 1998). Stories from older adults to the younger, listening student, reflect the older adults’ identity and purpose. They offer a shared knowledge between the senior subject of the photo and the younger student apprentice. Continual dialogue prevents a community of practice from becoming a “hostage” to understanding (Lave and Wenger, 1991, p. 10). As a result of the contest experience, a nurtured practice
develops. The practice is a shared history of intergenerational learning in an ongoing, social and interactive arena (Lave and Wenger, p. 101).
Or, as Angeline says, “You can tell a story. Digitally.”
Thank you, Angeline, for a very enlightening Latte break!
Learn more about Angeline here.
Barab, S. A., & Duffy, T. (2000). From practice fields to communities of practice. Theoretical foundations of learning environments, 1(1), 25-55.
Copeland, S., & De Moor, A. (2018). Community Digital Storytelling for Collective Intelligence: towards a Storytelling Cycle of Trust. AI & SOCIETY, 33(1), 101-111.
Hardy, P., & Sumner, T. (Eds.). (2018). Cultivating compassion: How digital storytelling is transforming healthcare. Springer.
Koh, Angeline. Personal Communication, Singapore. March 15, 2015.
Kress, G. (2010) Multimodality: A social semiotic approach to contemporary communication. London: Routledge.
Lave, J., Wenger, E., (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation (Vol. 521423740). Cambridge: Cambridge university press.
Teague, H., & Pruett, C. (2016, April). Intergenerational Digital Storytelling Goes Global and Mobile: The Images of Aging Photocontest. In Global Learn (pp. 414-419). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning as a social system. Systems Thinker, 9(5), 2-3.