Untold Stories of migrants living in the Czech Republic

In summer 2008, there has started interesting project of company Cross Czech in cooperation with International Organization for Migration (IOM). Thanks to this project, interesting stories of foreigners living in the Czech Republic will be stored in digital form at www.untoldstories.eu and made accessible (without personal data) to broad public in order to let Czech society get better acquainted with lives of foreigners.

Untold Stories: Learning with Digital Stories (UntoStory), is a multilateral project under the Grundtvig 2007 call focusing on the provision by public libraries and museums of informal learning opportunities for migrant communities in specific regions of four countries (Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany and Greece), through shared Digital Storytelling, utilising the potential of new Web 2.0 technologies. It addresses important issues concerning the content and delivery of adult learning through the production, testing, comparative evaluation and dissemination of innovative methodologies for informal learning and will help develop on a practical basis the learning dimension of cultural organisations, including their competencies in this area. Untold Stories will enable individuals and groups from migrant communities to create, store, promote and share Digital Stories which reflect their experiences in their adopted country. In terms of format and technology. Digital Stories usually entail the creation by an individual or group of a short ‘digital movie’ integrating images, text, and sound with narration. Many different software programs are available that support Digital Storytelling, including tools that help find images and audio clips, modify images, record and edit audio and to put all of these materials together in a finished Digital Story. Through the Web 2.0 applications which will be integrated by the Untold Stories platform, previously passive recipients of content are beginning to engage, and to combine and recombine that which they are given or discover in new and interesting ways, with enormous applicability to Digital Storytelling.

 Untold Stories will use the 2 years of the project to: first develop a technical toolkit suited to the needs of end-users in creating digital stories; then to train the staff of participating libraries and museums to use and train others in the use of the toolkit; to engage a user testbed from the specified migrant communities; evaluate the first stories created by this user testbed and their learning impact on the users; to adapt accordingly and extend the model to a wider user group and then to evaluate impact and disseminate the outcomes more widely across Europe to policy makers and practitioners. The project will make toolkit-based access to the Digital Stories library and the training workshop resources and evaluation materials available to all for cascading to long term beneficiaries: migrant communities, all adult learners with a story to tell and cultural institutions and other interested informal learning providers. Untold Stories will also contribute to enriching the linguistic diversity of Europe by enabling migrants to create stories in their native languages, as well as those of their ‘host’ country.