A few years ago we noticed the portraits of elementary school students attached to narratives describing their hopes and dreams for the future and, we wondered what became of the children and their dreams? If we interviewed them today, how would they describe their journey - did it go as planned or hoped or did things change, and why?
And what about the intervening time and the stories along the way? How exactly had the years in school, the many teachers and friends along the way and events in and beyond their control influenced their pathways and decisions? What have they learned along the way?
Then we thought, what if it had all been recorded?
With the proliferation of affordable technology in our everyday lives - at work, at home and in our school classrooms, we felt we were onto a worthy educational endeavor and decided to help students keep track - a first-person video journal over each and every successive school year - their's to author and keep forever. We hypothesized this might reveal new insight and understanding about themselves as they listen and watch themselves grow into productive members of their local and global communities. We wanted to elevate the voice of every student - to reveal aspects of their development in unique ways that would encourage lifelong learning and improve life outcomes.
Welcome to StoryCast.
We spent last year with elementary, middle and high school students, teachers and staff and asked a lot of questions trying to understand what life is like as a student from their perspective, through their eyes and in their own words:
Tell a story about a great moment at school this year?
What goals or dreams did you set for yourself last year or at the beginning of this year?
What has changed as you look back?
Tell a story about a moment that changed you?
Tell a story about a teacher or student who inspired you?
Can you describe a conflict or challenge you had and how you handled it?
From these curious, engaging and hard working members of the school community we learned many lessons that are and will continue to be incorporated in this platform. Please feel free to wonder through - it costs nothing except a little of your time, all of your curiosity and the desire to tell your stories!
We designed StoryCast to grow hand-in-hand with all its members - young, old and around the globe. Bring your ideas, your imagination and your stories to share and, in the meantime, thank you for getting to know ours.
WHY STORIES MATTER?
Stories have defined our world since the dawn of time, from cave walls to the tall tales recounted around fires. We use them to entertain, to share common experiences, to teach and to pass on traditions.
And let's face it, no two people are alike and neither are your experiences through the school years. Every journey begins one step at a time - through a world of exploration, discovery and understanding.
At StoryCast we think stories hold a key to self-understanding in unique and powerful ways. Each one has the potential to expand our thinking and enhance our understanding of the world as we share them with trusted friends, family and teachers.
We think the school years are more than just one story after another and far more than day-to-day instruction. but, with the pressure on students and teachers alike, it can be challenging to fully recognize those "ah ha" moments as they're happening.
So we made it our mission to encourage students from kindergarten to college to tell their stories from the beginning.
In fact, we want to build an archive of a million stories told by students around the world. As you post yours to share or listen to others in the months and years ahead, we think you will discover traits of yourself you may never have seen or even dreamed of - over the gradual process of maturing into a caring responsible member of the global community, spoken in real time and in your very own words.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson so brilliantly said, "Life is a Journey, Not a Destination". At StoryCast we think there is a richer world of understanding in every step and story along the way. With StoryCast and your iPhone, android or laptop, you can record and preserve what's important and share with others who may learn something new.
THE HERMAN FOUNDATION
The Foundation mission is to develop and support ways that encourage users of all ages and backgrounds, from ethnic and geographic origins around the globe to record the memories, share the stories and to learn from the unique experiences of others throughout the school years.
The StoryCast Project:
StoryCast is a mobile-ready digital platform built to upload audio, video, print and photo files to organize, archive and share every day and for generations to come.
Mark Herman, President
Ann Tracey, Director
Gail Niederhoffer, Vice President
Mark Herman, Director and Founder
Ann E. Tracey, Director
Gail Niederhoffer, Vice President and Director
John T. Grady, Director
Lily S. Herman, Director
The Herman Foundation is a publicly funded 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in January, 2013 and registered in (MA) and (TX). For questions and additional information call (617) 480-4814 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.