3 studentsstudents in Writ. Ctr.3 students

Digital Reflections in the Global Village

Digital Storytelling

My project:

While digital media has revolutionized the way people communicate, providing new ways to present, disseminate, and access information, many college courses have remained mired in the print-on-the-page era. With my background in photography, film, and theatre, I embraced the new mediums for developing and presenting students' work: digital portfolios and storytelling. I realized that helping students develop the technological skills to communicate their ideas in these new mediums, both graphically and textually, would not only energize my classes but provide students with valuable tools they will need in their jobs and community work.

When I began imagining my sabbatical project for the 2007-08 academic year, I knew that I also wanted to help students situate their work in the larger global context we are experiencing in the new millennium. I teach English courses, from developmental through transfer-level composition and literature. Gavilan College, with a population of about 4,000 students, is located in a rapidly changing area with pressures from Silicon Valley to the north and agricultural lands to the south. Many of my students are immigrants or children of immigrants, with the challenges of learning academic English and often working full time. Many are also raising families or dealing with problems in their communities, such as gangs and drug abuse. I knew that larger social and economic systems, such as globalization with the accompanying downsizing and increases in immigration, were affecting my students' lives, and I wanted to return to the university for more classes so I could better understand these forces.
As I began my research on digital portfolios, storytelling, and global/Latino studies in the fall of 2007, I was excited by the innovative work being done at other colleges and universities. For example, LaGuardia Community College in New York, an urban school with a diverse student body, has a thriving program, ePortfolios, which encourages students to reflect on their own learning, set goals, measure their progress, and document extracurricular experiences such as internships. Their ePortfolios are also useful for presenting their work to other faculty, family members, and future employers.

With this website, which I consider an evolving work, I am presenting some of the best resources I have encountered in both the digital and global/latino studies areas. As I continue to learn more about these, I will be adding more of my own work to the site. Please contact me if you have any comments or questions about what you find here.

Digital Portfolios
Latino & Global Studies
Teaching Resources

Gavilan logoKaren Warren, English Instructor Gavilan College * 5055 Santa Teresa Blvd., Gilroy, CA 95020 * kwarren@gavilan.edu 408/848-4850
page last modified 5/20/08