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FYI: Digital Storytelling Contest

Tell us a story that illuminates how social identities shape the ways in which we understand the world and our place within it. The concept of social identities was introduced during New Student Days, at the Inclusivity and Intercultural Literacy panel.

“Social identity” is a concept that enables us to think about and describe various aspects of who we are and how we are positioned in relation to others. These aspects vary depending on where we are from. In the U.S., some of the primary characteristics through which we identify ourselves and others include race, gender, ethnicity, (non)religiosity, social class, physical ability and health, sexual orientation, and economic status. In particular contexts, certain identities are seen or understood as “the norm,” while others are understood in relation to that “norm.” However we situate ourselves, we ALL have social identities that influence how we see the world and operate within it.

You need not tell your own personal story. Your account may be fictional, historical, or biographical—but it must show how social identities operate in specific contexts. Digital storytelling is a simple but powerful way to convey a story and share it with others. It’s fun to do, and you could win up to $400 for your story!

Here’s how...

  • Take a look at the criteria below, which the judges will use to select the winning digital stories.
  • Download the digital storytelling guidelines from this page
  • Create your digital story—maximum 3 minutes— using either iMovie (wide screen format) or Windows Movie Maker.  iMovie films should be exported as Quicktime movies, and Movie Maker films saved as .wmv movie files. 
  • Avoid using material (especially music) that is subject to copyright fees—otherwise, you won't be able to make your work public without paying the fees. You can find plenty of music that is licensed under the Creative Commons, and that requires only that you attribute the music to the artist who created it.
  • Other than access to iMovie and your digital photo collection, all you’re likely to need is a microphone, which you can check out from IT Support, located in Mayer Hall, or borrow from Josh Moore in the Office of International Education. (Quantities are limited—remember to reserve equipment in advance.)
  • You may collaborate with other FYI students (or, if you’re a transfer or exchange student, with another transfer or exchange student), but note that if your digital story wins, collaborators will share the prize money. 

Submit your story by 5:00 p.m. on November 18, 2014 according to the following submission method. If you need assistance with your formatting or uploading, please contact Jedidiah Rex at

  • Export the digital story to a .wmv, .m4v, .mov, or Quicktime movie. 
  • Login to your Beloit Google account and upload the file into your Google Drive.
  • Click on the app chooser and select "Drive."
  • Click the New button and select File Upload.
  • Choose your film from the Finder/Explorer. The size of your film's file is only limited by the available space on your drive.  (It may take a little while to upload.) 
  • Once your film is uploaded, select or open it in Google Drive, then click on the Share button and add "" in the "Add People" field.  When "Jedidiah Rex" appears in your list, make sure to change the access settings to the right of his name to "Can Edit".  This will simply allow the jury to be able to see your film, not to make any changes to it. 
  • Next to "Notify people by email," click on "Add Message" and write your name, the title of your film, and your FYI advisor's name in the message. If you are submitting as a group please include the names for each member in the message.

Competition for FYI Students

  • Grand prize of $400
  • Jury prizes of up to $200 each (several may be awarded)

Prizes will be awarded in the form of Turtle Creek Bookstore gift certificates.  Only students enrolled in FYI during Fall 2012 are eligible for the grand prize; transfer and exchange students, as well as FYI students, are eligible for the jury prizes. By submitting a digital story, you grant the college permission to publicize your digital story on the college web site and in college publications.

The Criteria

The digital story should:

  • illuminate how social identities shape the ways in which we understand the world and our place within it;
  • demonstrate a clear sense of purpose and audience (taking into account that the primary audience is other students);
  • have a dramatic structure, pace, and level of detail  that serves your purpose and engages your audience;
  • explore how ideas, arguments, and critical perspectives about social identity can be developed and communicated in stories in this medium;
  • use image and sound effectively to make the story more vivid, instructive, and moving; and
  • cite any material, music, or ideas other than your own that you use in the story.