This week was the first week of working full time with our youth employees in Storytellers in Parks! In the midst of many onboarding training sessions, we continued working on digital media projects. The first medium we are working with is photography, so we spent some lab time editing photos in Adobe Lightroom.
We also learned about different ways to improve our digital art. One of these lessons was a training about media accessibility. Our youth employees spent time with members of the Digital Humanities and Innovation team from the National Parks of Boston, and they introduced us to different tools we can use to make sure our projects that we share online are accessible to as many people as possible. There are various ways to make digital media more accessible. Some strategies the speakers covered included alternative text and image descriptions for photographs, along with audio descriptions for videos. Even being aware of details like the color contrast level in graphics and the length of sentences in writing is important.
Later, we practiced critiquing artwork. To begin, we talked about times we have given and received feedback from others about our work, and how that felt. We also set group norms to ensure that the feedback given was honest, constructive, and respectful. Then, we practiced critiquing photographs from an outside artist before each youth participant took a turn sharing a photo that they had edited. I got to take the lead on this activity, and it was great practice in facilitating and setting a positive tone for youth employees to share their work.
I’m eager to continue working alongside the youth employees, seeing their progress throughout the summer, and learning from them as well.
Agency: National Park Service
Program: Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Program (COR)
Location: National Parks of Boston