Roots with Wings, a Floyd County Place-Based Education Project:: Intergenerational Connections

Floyd Story Center

Since 1998, a community oral history collection partnership of the Old Church Gallery, Ltd., Radford University’s Center for Social and Cultural Research, Honors Program, Scholar-Citizen Initiative, Appalachian Regional and Rural Studies Center, and Floyd County High School. Our archives now hold over 100 interviews.

In our Roots with Wings project, college mentors, high school staff, and community volunteers meet weekly during the school year to teach the discipline of oral history collection to Floyd County High School students.


Students learn ethical, methodologically sound interview techniques, practice and complete several interviews, transcribe the audiotapes, create searchable content logs, archive interviewee resources and period photographs, learn the technology of audio and video recording, research historical backgrounds, acquire proficiency in iMovie and storytelling, and finally extract a theme from an hour long interview to create a seven minute movie production.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Just a Slice of the Pie

Transcribing, Content Logs, and Themes


     Following the interviews we have been busy transcribing and exploring the information from our interviews! The first step was transcribing the interviews. This involves listening to the interviews very carefully and typing out every word the interviewee and interviewer speaks. For this process we have special protocols which govern how we write and spell what we hear so that it is clearly understood and recorded correctly.

      From the interview transcripts the students created content logs which serve to categorize all the "main idea words" from the audio. Students learned that the process of making content logs is tedious but extremely important for the future preservation on the interviews. Essentially anyone around the world could find our interviews online if the topics they are looking for are listed in our content logs!
Dr. Wagner illustrates a lesson on themes
     The next step after content logs was to brainstorm themes. Our themes are what we will run with once we start the work on our movies. A theme is a statement or assertion. It says in the RWW Project Manual that "a theme for a movie is like a thesis statement for a paper". Once we find and hone in on our themes we will begin the process of movie making!

Students and mentors brainstorm themes in their groups
  As Catherine Pauley illustrated, the interviews are like our favorite pie and our movies will be like eating one delicious peice of that whole pie. The process is exciting now as we are deciding which piece we will go after!

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