The Problem

Too many of today’s K-12 students are disengaged, struggling, and tuned out. This means that way too often these kids will find the cards stacked against them when it comes to leading productive and fulfilling lives.

How do they become tuned in?


Why it works

Developing Digital Storytelling skills (making short videos) enables students to create their own original videos. This process fosters critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration.  These skills are the first step in re-engaging students

Since the earliest existence of human communities, telling stories has been the most powerful means of communication. Today, with the accessibility of digital devices, our youth relate to their own ideas and stories created and presented through short videos.

Learning the art of Digital Storytelling empowers students and enhances their sense of self, engages them in their learning process, and expand’s their ability to communicate with the world they live in.

This completly revolutionizes the educational experience.

Transform learning using 21st Century technology

An Innovative Approach

While there are abundant examples of the recent movement away from traditional models of teaching and learning, DIGICOM reaches much further on two fronts:

• Digital storytelling has shown significant evidence of promise across all grade levels for the academic and social re-engagement of at-risk youth through development of their emotional skills, perseverance, self-expression, and collaborative behaviors.• DIGICOM’s teaching and learning model for digital storytelling engages students with the Common Core State Standards and increases digital media literacy.

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I see Digital Storytelling as a way to teach students to trust one another by sharing our stories, learning to work collaboratively toward a common goal, and appreciating individual creativity. I also think this is an excellent forum in which to teach the process and elements of writing. In content areas, I see DST as a way to deepen comprehension, interpretation, and point of view. I think it also helps to build community within the classroom. Susan Davidson

Connect Coach for Elementary Schools, Tustin Unified School District

I wanted to thank you all for the opportunity to be in the first class of DIGICOM Fellows, but more importantly, for your vision in starting, teaching, programming, funding and spreading the enthusiasm of this fantastic program. I loved every class, all the help I have received and of course, equipment! I have been teaching off and on since 1988 and DIGICOM has brought me a ‘winding up’ to my last decade in teaching instead of a burnt out ‘winding down.’ I can’t wait to continue using Digital Storytelling in my classroom, inspiring my colleagues to do the same, applying for equipment grants and of course, the future Film Festivals!

Elaine Gershenson

Teacher, Mount San Jacinto High School

When I first learned about DIGICOM, I was very impressed with the idea and with the quality of leadership, but I really didn’t understand the power of its work until I saw some of the examples that the students made. In each of those videos, I saw students able to connect incredibly important aspects of their lives and tell stories in very compelling ways.
I thought they were professional filmmakers. They were very moving to me. They were absolutely compelling, and I have no doubt that producing those films and showing those films to their family and community members had transformative effects on the lives of those children.

Mark Warschauer

Founder, Digital Learning Lab at UCI Graduate School of Education

My students are so engaged as they try to make their stories come to life. It is really exciting to see how excited they are each day and how much they are helping each other out. Using video is empowering in the classroom. Yes it does take time and effort, but after seeing the end-products, it is so worth that time. The students take such pride in what they are creating. Mardi Hagar

Teacher, Nellie Coffman Middle School

DIGICOM and the District are so far ahead of the curve in understanding that when students create digital stories, they are applying the essential 21st Century skills of collaboration, critical thinking, communication and creativity to their projects. Our kids are being prepared to have a big ‘leg up’ when they graduate.

Georgia Terlaje

Teacher, Della S. Lindley

Digital storytelling has been shown to enhance students’ curiosity, improve knowledge and recollection, communication and technical skills, media literacy, content organization, and an increase in engagement and motivation. Some indirect benefits observed were the development of a professional attitude, surfacing of new talents, improved relationship between the teacher and students, increased motivation towards school activities, family participation, community involvement, inclusion of students, and help students with self-expression. The research on digital storytelling heavily supports its ability in raising student engagement and motivation in the classroom.

Douglas E. Mitchell, Rabea Qamar, Garrett Brown

Researchers, University of California, Riverside

Student voices are powerful. They are voices of the future. They’re voices for change. Voices of hope and perspective. Each one is vibrant and unique, and to bring out those voices, teachers in PSUSD received training from DIGICOM that enables them to engineer compelling learning experiences that are rich in opportunities for choice. When the whole world is paying attention to their YouTube channel, students work harder. They ask more questions. They invest more time. Jessica Pack

California 2014 Teacher of the Year

I really think DIGICOM has helped kids tell their sad, funny, exciting and boring stories through a very creative and diverse way. In a way, people relating to these short lms just proves that no one is alone. Everyone has gone through something that has affected them in some way. Teachers have been given a new way to teach classes, making them excited and also something to look forward to, as well as granting the power of getting families together, and allowing parents to visually experience what their children are trying to say.

Antony Trujillo

Graduate, Desert Hot Springs High School

When I learned about DIGICOM, I was excited to be able to show who I was as a person and how I felt about life, and in a beautiful way, I brought my thoughts and feelings to life. Without DIGICOM, I would not have been able to be the voice for my little sister and I would not have the experience of creating lms.

Lexis Jones

Student, Desert Hot Springs High School