The nonprofit Mozilla announces $83,000 to support five creative, educational technology projects in the city of Eugene. The Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund provides funding to technologists, educators, and entrepreneurs in Eugene and four other gigabit cities across the U.S. — Austin, TX; Chattanooga, TN; Kansas City; and Lafayette, LA. Read the full story.

Executive Director Liora Sponko (right) and Arts Education Program Coordinator, Eric Braman (left) share the news from Mozilla.

Lane Arts Council is one of the five Eugene organizations selected as a Mozilla Community Fund grantee, enabling us to launch Gigabit Artist Residencies that will reach 175 students across four local middle and high schools in Lane County: North Eugene High School, Network Charter School, Kelly Middle School, and Oaklea Middle School.

These Gigabit Artist Residencies teach middle and high school students the art of digital storytelling through graphic design, audio engineering, and online presentations. Teachers from across the county participate in high-speed video trainings to learn new digital storytelling strategies to use in their classrooms.

Students have the opportunity to work with Olive DelSol, a practicing artist specializing in creative technology and digital storytelling. Lasting ten weeks, with three lessons per week, these intensive residencies explore the ancient art of storytelling through a technology lens.

“Working with Mozilla has already been an amazing way to enrich young people in Lane County schools. Students are enthusiastically embracing digital means to share personal and creative origin stories. Through the Mozilla Gigabit Grant, we are now able to place media arts technology in our students hands as a tool to influence modern society. Stories are a powerful way to share experiences and make connections. The students and I are very grateful for the opportunity to create culture with technology, made possible by the generosity of Mozilla.”        – Olive DelSol, Teaching Artist

Students engage in electronic music creation, graphic design, and audio and video recording as they build their stories and learn how to effectively share and present them. They explore mythological themes (heroes, quest, love, etc.), motifs, and archetypes and learn to storyboard their own ideas. With access to iPads and free web-based programs such as Adobe Spark and Adobe Draw, students add graphics and design to their stories and photos, and use Garage Band, a computer-based music studio, to add music and sound effects.

At the residencies’ completion, students will have a finished project that creatively tells a story and demonstrates improved web literacy and understanding of advanced technologies. Through group work and presentations, each student has has the opportunity to develop both public speaking skills and the ability to work collaboratively.

Teachers are also benefit from the Gigabit Artist Residencies. We are working to offer online training to teachers, preparing them to utilize these technologies and learning strategies independently.

We’re grateful to Mozilla for encouraging community projects that make such a positive impact. We’ll be sharing more as we dive deeper into the Gigabit Residencies this year!

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