Participant Spotlight: Jing Qiu

I walked into the 3-day workshop with qualms about digital storytelling. I walked out a firm believer that it is a powerful thing. At the end of Day 3, after the showcase of our stories, I had folks coming up to hug me. And mine wasn’t even an emotionally charged one. Somehow, the story, the sound and images managed to connect to the audience and touch a few spots in their heart.

Like what I discovered through this story of mine, isolation only makes our curiosity about one another intensify. We all at some point of our lives feel somewhat isolated and vulnerable. We are all so very different and have different life experiences. A lot of times we are afraid of revealing ourselves and sharing our stories. But once we are brave enough to open up, the feeling is truly magical. I totally get it now – it is the human element in a story that matters.

This experience of telling my first digital story has impacted me in no small ways. It challenged and engaged me on many levels: emotional (going down the memory lane and some soul searching), physical (glued to the laptop all day, skipping meals and losing sleep), psychological (feeling vulnerable telling a personal story and overcoming the fear), and technical (crafting the story and dealing with technology). The multi-layered immersion had such a profound effect that what I learned is going to stay with me for a very long time.

It is my hope and desire to convey the same kind of energy to my students in the future to facilitate some real learning – deep, serious, lasting and transformative learning. I believe that the participation, the creative process, the sense of community, the research and critical thinking involved contribute to learning as much as to one’s self-discovery.

Jing QiuJing Qiu is the Coordinator of Library Instruction and Associate University Librarian at West Virginia University. She participated in the July 21-23rd workshop held in Morgantown, WV. 

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