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Discovering Community Summer Institute: A Vermont Folklife Center Program
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7/8/2013 to 7/12/2013
When: 7/8/2013
Where: Middlebury, Vermont 
United States
Contact: Gregory Sharrow

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Save the date—July 8–12—for the Vermont Folklife Center’s week-long summer institute for educators, Discovering Community: Students, Digital Media, and Place-Based Learning, which will be held this year in Middlebury, Vermont.

The Discovering Community summer institute offers participants basic hands-on experience learning the methods of community-based research, the process of making a documentary, and the skills of working with digital media—in a school setting.

Past participants have come from a broad spectrum of roles in the K–12 system, including classroom teachers, special educators, librarians, and administrators. This diversity makes group process a rich opportunity to explore ideas, probe models, and collaboratively visualize site-appropriate applications.

Day one focuses on place-based education, service learning, and the power/significance of personal stories, including a practicum on the interview process.

On day two participants go out into the community as participant/observer teams to literally discover the extraordinary character of everyday life.

Day three offers an introduction to video, audio, and photography as documentary media, after which media teams spread out to preselected field sites.

Day four is given over to production work: learning the technology, finding the story, and producing a short documentary piece.

On day five participants reflect on process, refine project concepts, and outline plans for specific applications.

The Discovering Community summer institute will be led by Vermont Folklife Center Director of Education, Dr. Gregory Sharrow, with audio specialist Andy Kolovos, videographer Scott Miller, and photographer Ned Castle, as well as presentations by institute alumni and exemplary educators from around Vermont.

Discovering Community will carry three graduate credits from Castleton State College.

For more information go to our Web site or contact Gregory Sharrow at the Vermont Folklife Center, by e-mail ( or by phone (802) 388-4964.

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