Digital Storytelling from Fitchburg State University

This summer, John Nordell, Adjunct Faculty at Fitchburg State University, taught a graduate course on Digital Storytelling. Students learned how to create and combine still photography, video, audio and music into digital stories. They studied the timeless fundamentals of storytelling and then infused these concepts into contemporary video projects. To deepen their understanding of storytelling across time and culture, students visited the Fitchburg Art Museum, where they role-played the vignettes shown in the photographs on display, made up stories based on viewing African masks and created art in response to these experiences.

The selections below were chosen by students to present. Three students chose work from an assignment that asked them to write and illustrate poems. “Unplug Here” is from an assignment that asked students to take a risk and then make a video about the experience.

“Peace”, a Haiku poem written by Elizabeth Rauktis.

Photography by Elizabeth Rauktis.
Read by her daughter Madeline.


My name Is Elizabeth Rauktis. I am a mom of two lovely girls and a happily married woman celebrating 10 years this month. I am the K-8 Art teacher at Paxton Center School. I am currently taking graduate classes at Fitchburg State University for a Masters in Arts Education. I have always loved Art and knew that being an Art teacher would enable me to empower children about how to express themselves in ways that are individual to each. When time allows I enjoy taking photos, especially black and white as well as watercolor painting. I will always love art and hope to stay part of something that keeps the arts in our schools.

April Estabrooks “Walk in the Woods”

She wrote the poem, spoke the words and took the pictures.


I, April Estabrooks, am an art teacher for grades K-12 at an Alternative School in central Massachusetts. I am presently pursuing my master of Arts Education in Art Education at Fitchburg State University. I enjoy walking in the woods.

“Rain” by Cyndi Bussey

She wrote the poem, spoke the words and took the pictures.


Cyndi Bussey teaches Computer Programming and Web Design at Franklin County Technical School in Turners Falls MA. In her spare time she enjoys photography, kayaking, and caring for her Boston Terriers.

“Unplug Here” by Michele Prunier

She created this interactive art installation at Wachusett Mountain and shot the videos, stills and conducted the interviews.


Michele Prunier is an artist and arts educator. She is currently working on her masters in Arts Education at Fitchburg State University.


The interviews, anecdotes, and oral histories recorded or presented for Street Level Sounds are designed to build a public library of the western New England experience, and are not intended as news content, or endorsements by NEPR’s staff or Board. For more information on Street Level Sounds, contact AudioFiles producer, Peter Chilton.

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