The DISTCO 2014 is open for K-12 students and teachers in following categories:
1- Elementary (Students in Grades K-5),
2-Junior (Students in Grades 6-8),
3-Senior (Students in Grades 9-12),
4-Teachers (In-service or Pre-service Teachers*)
* Pre-service teachers who are in training in a college/university majoring in education are welcome to participate under the Teachers Category.
DISTCO accepts international submissions. Please note that all international entries will be evaluated separately under “International Category”. Please see a list of categories open to International participants under the CATEGORIES.
THE LANGUAGE OF THE STORIES
The language of the stories must be in English. However, a narration (e.g. voice-over, voice recording) in other languages are accepted if English subtitles are provided in the digital story.
|REGISTRATION & DIGITAL STORY SUBMISSIONS OPEN||December 8, 2014
The DISTCO website will accept Registrations and Digital Story submissions starting from December 8, 2014.
Step 1-Register at the http://www.distco.org/submission
Step 2-Take required survey and fill out Consent Form
Step 3-Submit your Digital Story by the closing deadline
|DIGITAL STORY SUBMISSIONS CLOSE
||March 27, 2015||In order to be eligible for judging, participants need to complete above steps in order. The DISTCO website will close Submissions on March 27, 2015.|
|JUDGING||March 27, 2014-May 1, 2015
||Official Judging and will take place between March 27, 2015 – May 1, 2015. Popular Voting is tentatively scheduled between April 1, 2015 and May 1, 2015.
|ANNOUNCEMENT OF WINNERS||May 5, 2015||Winners will be announced through the official website on or after May 5, 2015.|
|AWARD CEREMONY||May 16, 2014||*Tentative. Place: NAU and Time will be announced.|
PARTICIPATION REQUIREMENTS AND FEES:
There is no fee involved for participating in DISTCO, however student participants are required to fill out an online consent form and take a required survey related to their experiences with Digital Storytelling at the time of the submission in order to be considered and eligible for judging. The survey and consent form will need be completed prior to the submission of Digital Stories to the system. Digital Story submissions will not be accepted until the required survey and consent form is sent through the DISTCO submission website.
No fees are involved for teacher participants. An online consent form is required to be filled out during survey submission.
ELIGIBILITY AND NUMBER OF SUBMISSIONS:
Both student and teacher participants should send at least one original entry in order to be qualified for judging. Please note that categories in DISTCO are designed to accept only one entry. While student participants may send original entries up to three different categories, teacher participants may send their original entries to all available categories within the submission period. Participants submitting same Digital Story to more than one category will be disqualified.
A Digital Story can be created in variety of subjects. However when submitting Digital Stories to the DISTCO, the closest category related to the topic of the Digital Story should be selected. Following categories are available for digital story submissions in DISTCO 2014:
- SUBJECT CATEGORIES (Open to Grades K-12 & International)
- English Language Arts
- Personal Stories/Reflections
- Physical Education/Sports
- Pop Culture
- Social Studies
- SPECIAL CATEGORIES
DISTCO prefers individual work submissions. However, team projects will be allowed with following conditions:
- Group project should be submitted under one student account only. For example, group members may designate a group leader for this purpose.
- The group leader should submit the project on behalf of other group members.
- While registering to the website, the student representing the group should indicate the project as a group project and enter the names of group members. Failure to complete this step will disqualify the project for judging.
- In the case of winning a reward, student who registered on behalf of the group will be contacted. At least one person representing the group should attend the DISTCO Award ceremony. If necessary, an Absentee Form can be used for the award ceremony. See Awards section for more details.
- The winning group should acknowledge that the DISTCO can award only one reward (e.g. one gift card or one iPad) for a single project. It will be group members’ responsibility to decide on sharing the reward between the group members.
DIGITAL STORY FORMAT:
Digital Story should include following items:
1- An original script or a story (A script within the story is needed, a separate script file for submission is not required)
2- Multimedia elements such as images and sounds. Video clips are optional.
3- A narration, preferably a voice over by the author.
VIDEO FORMAT & SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS:
1-Video file size should not exceed 50 MB (Videos higher than 50 MB in size will be automatically rejected by the system).
2- Although the preferred lengths is 3-5 minutes, video lengths can be between 2 and 6 minutes (Videos shorter than 2 minutes or longer than 6 minutes will be accepted but may disqualify or receive low scores during the official judging)
3-For best results, your video display size should be at least (640×480) (Please see Project Saving Instructions in PhotoStory 3 for saving your project in PhotoStory 3)
4-Video file format can be in .mp4, .wmv, .avi, or .mov. Videos received in other formats will be disqualified.
Digital stories can be submitted to the system here after completing required steps. When uploading your file, please be patient as longer and bigger files in size might take 2-3 minutes to upload to the system.
DIGITAL STORYTELLING SOFTWARE:
DISTCO officially recommends following software:
- PhotoStory 3 (Download Photo Story 3 for free if you have a genuine copy of Windows) for beginners
- Windows Movie Maker for intermediate users.
- WeVideo (a cloud based video editing software integrated with Google Drive) for advanced users for creating Digital Stories.
Visit Tutorials page for a list and video tutorials of software that can be used for digital stories.
- How to create a Digital Story through PhotoStory 3
- How to create a Digital Story through Windows Movie Maker
- How to create a Digital Story through We Video (Coming Soon)
- How to submit a digital story to DISTCO website (Coming Soon)
The story (script) and multimedia elements (Images, sound clips, and videos) used for digital stories should be original work. Digital Stories prepared with original pictures taken by participants’ digital camera along with an original story is preferred by DISTCO and will receive higher scores during judging. However, when pictures from Internet will need to be used, students are required to follow copyright rules. A good step would be starting from copyright-free image/sound websites located at www.distco.org/resources.
If copyrighted images will be used or the copyright status is not known, the participants will have to properly credit/cite* the elements used in the digital story. Typically, a last slide/image can be dedicated to listing of the copyrighted material.
Participants sign a consent form at the time of submission indicating that the digital story submitted does not infringe upon or violate the rights of any third party. Furthermore, the participants release DISTCO, its officers, directors, employees, sponsors, licensees and successors from any liability or claimed liability in connection with the contest submission.
*This includes listing of all multimedia (images, sound, and video) and story (script) items as taken from a specific website/source. When citing specific URLs or Web addresses for multimedia or story, you may shorten the address by including only the domain name as seen in below example.
SAMPLE CREDITS SLIDE/IMAGE
Story:Effects of Climate Change by Time Magazine, http://www.time.com/time/interactive/0,31813,1620995,00.html
Image 1 (or Flower 1): http://images.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/Flower-Wallpaper-flowers-249402_1024_768.jpg
Image 2 (or Flower 2): http://www.28daysofhappy.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/purple_lotus_flower.jpg
(shortened URL with domain name only)
Image 1 (or Flower 1): http://www.fanpop.com
Image 2 (or Flower 2): http://www.28daysofhappy.com
Soundtrack: One Step Beyond by Karsh Kale
Digital Stories should be original work and not to be copied from any other person or person’s work unless obtained with permission.
There are two types of evaluation methods in DISTCO: Official Judging and Popular Voting.
The official judging takes place after the submissions close. Please see timeline above for details. Official judging is done by a group of faculty members at North American University and various other universities according to the criteria in Digital Storytelling Rubric.
In order to increase the popularity of the contest, a popular voting is conducted over our Youtube channel taking place during the Evaluations period. Public can vote for Digital Stories by clicking the “Like” button during this time frame. The results are based on Likes only, not Views or Dislikes. If foul-play is determined, digital stories will be disqualified from the contest*
*Any fraud involving such as buying Youtube Likes will result in disqualification. Sudden overnight increases in the numbers of Likes may be considered as a fraud.
Please see a complete list of categories and AWARDS here.
Please see information regarding DISTCO Scholarships at the AWARDS page.
In order to claim awards, students must attend DISTCO Award ceremony which will be held at North American University, Houston, TX. Please see Timeline for the date and time of this event.
Grand Prizes can be picked up at the Award Ceremony in North American University by the winners or a designated person (The winner should give written consent to the designated person by filling out Award Claim Form and submit it by its deadline). In the case of not being able to attend the ceremony at all, either the winner or the designated person, the Award Claim Form should still be submitted by its deadline. Failure to submit the Award Claim Form will result in unclaimed award.
After the successful submission of the form, winner or a designated person will have 15 calendar days to pick up their reward from North American University after the award ceremony. If the grand prizes are not picked up at the end of this period, they will be considered unclaimed.
- iPads and iPods may be sent to “out-of-state winners” by mail upon submission of the absentee form by its deadline date. Texas residents need to attend the ceremony or designate a person by using Award Claim Form to receive their iPad or iPod nano rewards.
- Monetary Gift Cards may be sent to “non-Houston residents” by mail upon submission of the absentee form by its deadline date. Houston residents need to attend the ceremony or designate a person by using Award Claim Form to receive their monetary gift card rewards.
Claiming Scholarship Awards:
Scholarship certificates will be given to the winners in the award ceremony or they will be mailed along with rewards upon successful completion of Award Claim Form.
*The DISTCO is not responsible for any lost item in the mail. The participant is solely responsible for providing accurate information regarding the address and phone number when signing up to the DISTCO website. Returning users in the DISTCO website are also responsible for updating any address changes in the system. In the case of lost item or wrong address information, the DISTCO won’t be reissuing the rewards.
Absentee Forms turned in after its deadline will not be accepted.