Digital Storytelling is the modern extension of the ancient art of storytelling. It is a method which can easily be used as an empowering learning tool for special groups. The term digital storytelling describes a simple, creative process through which people with little or no experience of computers, gain skills needed to tell a personal story as a two-minute film. In this project Digital Storytelling refers to the Berkeley Model which was founded by Joe Lambert and Dana Atchley in the late 1990. Both in the community engagement and in the educational context – digital storytelling involves sharing the “universal” human experience. This social phenomenon reveals the power of the individual voice to influence positive change. Digital storytelling has the potential for connecting a community through shared experiences and developing tolerance by understanding someone else’s story. Empowerment of vulnerable target groups or groups who are not often being heard is a driving force in digital storytelling. This project will draw on recent research, papers and literature and use the existing knowledge from the digital storytelling network. The educational part of the method is more than the simple use of emergent digital technology. It´s a process in which people learn about themselves on an individual and participatory level.

Our intention is to learn and explore how digital storytelling could be used as a basic or central part of a teaching/working method. Our goal is to find out new possibilities for digital storytelling by bringing this method together with the concepts of inclusion and empowerment. This project will give possibility to improve and extend the competences of educators and adults with special needs in different European organisations with very similar goals and motivations. The wide aspect of digital storytelling as a method will deepen participants understanding of the value of empowerment in all teaching and learning.

Project involves 7 partners: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Slovenia and Turkey. All the partners are engaged to work with adults with intellectual disabilities or adults with fewer opportunities and adults at social risk. Within this partnership we will arrange basic training in digital storytelling and local activity to involve adult learners in each country. Also, we will arrange two transnational workshops for adult learners and two training events for staff members with the focus on inclusion and empowerment. At the end of the project period, there will be a final seminar open for all interested in the subject.

Expected results rise from the benefits of digital storytelling applied for learners with special needs. Teachers and trainers will widen their pedagogical understanding, learn new teaching methods and pedagogical tools, increase their understanding of inclusion and empowerment, improve their professional skills and motivation, be more confident in using digital methods in their work and have better skills in international project working. Adult learners will have better learning, social, reflection, digital, collaboration and presentation skills, improve their personal development, self confidence and identity and deepen their cultural awareness from stories made by other participants in different countries. Results to be disseminated will be digital stories, web platform, presentations, leaflets, tutorials and other stimulation materials. As general results we expect increased participation, understanding and knowledge, wisdom of inclusion and empowerment and new cooperation with various stakeholders including volunteers, students and policy-makers.

Project will have focus on these long term benefits:
– Participating organisations will improve their dialectical competences and have new skills to develop their educational services.
– Permanent relationships will give teachers/trainers continuity to learn more how to use digital tools to increase well-being of individuals and groups.
– Educational possibilities for adults with special needs will be improved and a new approach towards working with these target groups will be developed.
– Decision making in educational and social fields will possibly become more relevant
– Results of the project will offer a great source of inspiration for various organisations dealing with formal and informal adult education.