On March 16, CNDLS hosted a Digital Learning Webinar on ways to incorporate StoryMaps in course design. ArcGis’ StoryMaps is an online digital storytelling platform which uses maps and multimedia to enable users to shape narratives about any topic, spanning any discipline. ArcGis’ blog post on DC’s famous cherry blossom trees serves as one example of the tool in practice, but we’ve listed other Georgetown-specific examples below.
StoryMaps can be used in coursework across all disciplines, but is especially complementary in context-oriented course content like geography, history, cultural studies, or environmental science. In the webinar, we reviewed how students could, for example, show timelines of the past focusing on a particular place, capture traditions and events across the globe, or integrate with libraries and APIs to pull climate, water, park, and other types of data to lend real-time evidence to their projects.
After offering an overview of the tool and its use-cases, we collaborated to come up with a few examples of our own, and faculty provided examples of how they might use it in their classrooms in the future. Then, we used the tutorials outlined on ArcGis’ website to show best practices, how to import Google Docs into the tool, and the ways the tool enables users to insert and create media.
Preview a few examples of the ways StoryMaps have been used by Georgetown students, pulled from the Library’s Guide on Using StoryMaps:
- Professor Chandra Manning partnered with the National Park Service and the Organization of American Historians to create Escaping Slavery, Building Diverse Communities with her students.
- Emma Trone (COL ‘23) made “It’s a Great Camp for Us All”: A Musical History of Midwest Chinese Family Camp in Professor Mireya Loza’s Public History class. Read more about the project.
- Noa Offman (COL ‘25) made “Adult crime, adult time,” the story of juvenile lifers in a Media & Social Justice course. Read more about the project.
- A variety of other StoryMaps submitted to the Library Showcase are compiled on this StoryMaps in the Library Showcase page.
Faculty can login and use StoryMaps through the Georgetown Library website. If you have questions about how to get started, how to design an assignment using StoryMaps, or have questions about the tool overall, reach out to us at email@example.com.