OLLI Service-Learning Class

Duke Digital Explorer’s Club

Publishing a GPS-Based “Durham Literary” App

Ever dreamed of creating and publishing an App for smart phones? Here’s your chance to be part of a small team creating one. Durham is rich with writers, and you will have a chance to meet, interview, photograph and write about them. Then, in partnership with five retired writers and teachers, you will help expand the”Durham Literary Mobile App,” which currently covers 11 writers (available on iTunes at Duke Location Learning). Imagine walking past one of the Pauli Murray murals around town and wondering whoshe was, then using this app to hear actress Courtney Reid-Eaton talking about Pauli Murray and reading from her book, Proud Shoes.

This free workshop will run every day for one week and will be divided into two parts. In the morning, we will meet with authors at the Regulator Bookshop on 9th Street from 10-12. The authors will represent a variety of styles including mysteries, children’s books, novels, and non-fiction. We will also visit the former home of Alexander Blackburn and search through his papers in the Duke Rubenstein Library. Blackburn was the mentor for many writers including William Styron and Reynolds Price.

After a training session in the use of the Zoom Recorder and the video equipment, we will pair up to tackle an aspect of the author profile: writing an author intro, audio recording of a passage, collecting background photographs and video, and a short video interview. Since there will be five teams and five project areas, we will rotate so everyone will have hands-on experience in allaspects ofthe profile development. In the afternoon, the group will take the Duke shuttle bus to the Multimedia Project Studio on West Campus to refine these elementsand integrate them into the app using the MyTours platform. This software is licensed by Duke and incredibly easy to use.

David Stein, together with audio specialist Zoe Grueskin and Duke student videographer Mohamad Chamas, will lead the program. For the last 17 years, David has been creating programs between Duke and the eight Duke Partnership Schools. Some previous projects with students include writing/publishing a book, writing and producing a play at Duke on migrations, and making a documentary. This free program for DPS students will be offered the week of April 10-14 from 10:00-5:00.

If you are interested in participating, please contact:


David Stein
Duke PepsiCo Education Technology Partnership Coordinator
Duke University
668-6271 (office)
812-5873 (cell)
919-668-6284 (fax)

Past projects

Fall 2016

img_1326For the Fall 2016 semester, we taught the first service-learning OLLI course called Bringing a Book to Life.

We worked with retirees and 2nd graders at E.K. Powe elementary school.

Together, they explored a stop motion animation and a comic book generating application on iPad.

The students (both retirees and 2nd graders) read books together and then brought one to life using the techniques they learned.

Watch our promotional video!

Final Projects Video