Posts Tagged ‘critical reflection’

Critical Reflection

Three years ago in my first blog post for Concepts and Practices for a Digital Age (INF530) I wrote that I was “nervous but extremely excited to get my masters started” (Malbon, 2015, para 1). The nerves never really went away, but with each subject I gained more knowledge and my confidence as a modern learner and digital scholar increased.

In the first colloquium of Digital Futures Colloquium (INF537), Bruce Dixon of Modern Learners said modern learners are:

  • Inquiry-based
  • Social (i.e. connected)
  • Self-directed

(Dixon, personal communication, July 23, 2017).

For the remainder of this post I will reflect on the above three attributes of a modern learner in the context of being a student of INF537.

Inquiry-based

The final assessment for INF537, a case study with a topic of my own choosing, is the culmination of my learning over the last three years. Case study research is an iterative process and drew on the design thinking skills I developed in Designing Spaces for Learning (INF536)The topic of my case study, Open Educational Resources (OER), was inspired by the reading I did for my Digital Scholarship Interpretive Discussion Paper . Through research I wanted to learn more about the potential OER could have for the kindergarten to year 12 (K-12) education sector that I work in. My case study showed that as a teacher librarian I can play a pivotal leadership role in advocating for OER use and can assist teachers to use them.

Social (i.e. connected)

Prior to starting this course I was already dipping my toes into being a social learner by using social media and cultivating a PLN. Early in INF530 I was introduced to Connected Learning and the idea that knowledge and expertise can be derived from various avenues and through supportive networks (Ito et.al., 2013). During Knowledge Networking for Educators (INF532) I reached out to my PLN via Twitter and connected with experts on digital curation and was thrilled when they not only helped me but shared my digital artefact with their own networks.   


I was very fortunate this session to be involved in an online global collaboration with Rutgers University in the United States of America (USA). Julie Lindsay facilitated asynchronous and synchronous opportunities for us to connect. This collaboration gave me the opportunity to use Flipgrid for the first time to share my thoughts on being a connected educator. I was able to connect with a library hero of mine from the USA, Joyce Valenza. I look forward to participating in more global connections for informal learning and hopefully in the school library too.


With my case study I asked for help and feedback, and reciprocated when classmates reached out. I have developed a “feedback toolkit” of Flipgrid, Voicethread, GoogleDocs and Twitter that will be useful in my workplace and for lifelong learning.

Self-directed

During this course I have strived to go beyond the required reading and participate in discussion forums, online forums and the unofficial backchannel, Twitter. I have used countless videos sourced from YouTube, Ted and PLN recommendations to help me understand difficult concepts. Using a blend of open resources and Charles Sturt University Library pay-wall resources, I have taken initiative for my learning and taught myself how to use many different web 2.0 tools along the way. I am a digital scholar who uses participatory network technologies in my daily life for entertainment and to learn (Thomas & Brown, 2011). As a teacher librarian I want to model these skills and help educate colleagues and students to become digital scholars.  

As I said in my first INF537 blog post , I appreciate that throughout this course I have been given numerous opportunities to pursue my own interests and encouraged by my academic mentors to be a digital, open and networked scholar” (Weller, 2011). My masters may be over but the knowledge and skills I have gained will be applied now and into the future.

References

Ito, M., Gutierrez, K., Livingstone, S., Penuel, B., Rhodes, J., Salen, K., … Watkins, S. C. (2013). Connected learning: An agenda for research and design. Retrieved from http://clrn.dmlhub.net/

Malbon, K. (2015, March 2). Getting started with my masters [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/karenmalbon/2015/03/02/getting-started-with-my-masters/

Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). Arc-of-life learning A new culture of change. Lexington, Ky: CreateSpace.

Weller, M. (2011). The digital scholar. [Kindle version]. London: Bloomsbury Academic. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com.au

 

Critical Reflection

I was quite nervous when I embarked upon the subject Game Based Learning (INF541) and admitted this in my introductory forum post. My trepidation was due to my limited experience and knowledge of digital games. In Blog task 1 I stated that “my personal video game history was rather historical” (Malbon, 2017, para 1) and dated back to the 1980s.


Atari 2600 flickr photo by moparx shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

My professional exposure to game based learning (GBL) was limited to observing students playing both educational games and recreational games in the school library. My aims for INF541 were to:

  • overcome my lack of knowledge and experience of GBL
  • understand the applicability of games for learning within a library setting
  • be able to confidently share my learning with my colleagues

Although I could see the potential of integrating GBL, I felt unqualified to do so. I  also had some concerns about the challenging aspects of commercial-off-the- shelf (COTS) video games. Most of my views were informed by the mainstream media who are quick to blame video games for violence, obesity, injuries, addiction and aggressive behaviour in young people (Bourgonjon, 2011). I acknowledged that other teachers may share similar views as me in the blog post Social and cultural barriers and suggested strategies to overcome the negativity, barriers and tensions. One of these strategies was professional learning and I feel that I have made a good start by completing INF541 and will continue learning via my professional learning network (PLN) and the curation of my Pearltrees board on GBL.

Created by Karen Malbon

Games have their own literacy (Gee, 2012) and shared culture (Montola, 2012). I did not feel part of the culture of gaming, was unfamiliar with the language and lacked game literacy. In the blog post Learning a new language I wrote of how overwhelmed I was by acronyms and the steep learning curve to understand ludology. I created a glossary so that I could make sense of the module readings that were filled with unfamiliar language. I delved into the participatory spaces, also known as affinity spaces, where players share and create knowledge about their common interest using wikis, forums and videos (Gee, 2012). In the blog post Information behaviour I curated two Pearltrees boards to illustrate the interest driven communities for Minecraft and 80 Days. As an information professional I was impressed by information behaviour that contributed to these sites and could see parallels to information seeking in the library (Adams, 2009).

Created by Karen Malbon

The links of game mechanics, game design characteristics and game infrastructure, motivation and engagement to learning became clearer to me after playing Ingress, Spent, Free Rice and by watching walkthroughs of Minecraft, Firewatch and 80 Days. My novice journey as Agent Kleem9 with the location based multiplayer game (LBMG) Ingress was documented in the blog post Ingress. As I began to understand the mechanics of playing Ingress and received instant feedback on my actions, I became immersed in the virtual world and motivated to play, level up and contribute to the narrative. I could see educational applications of Ingress for senior students in a variety of subject areas but at the same time I was concerned about privacy and safety issues (Hulsey & Reeves, 2014). I discussed these barriers to using games in schools in the forum with Lisa Nash (Nash, 2017).

Over the last twelve weeks I have not emerged as a gamer but I have achieved my aims and become more knowledgeable about GBL. I have been exposed to research and opposing viewpoints on the pedagogy of GBL and the link games have to existing educational learning theories. I have experienced the characteristics of games that can potentially make them motivating and engaging. The social-cultural aspect of gaming and the learning that happens outside of the game through affinity spaces is really exciting and as a teacher librarian I can see opportunities for libraries and teaching that I wish to investigate further and implement. Game Over? No way,  the game it is just paused so that I can learn more with evidence based research and play.

References

Adams, S. S. (2009). The case for video games in libraries. Library Review, 58(3), 196-202. doi: 10.1108/00242530910942045

Bourgonjon, J., Valcke, M., Soetaert, R., de Wever, B., & Schellens, T. (2011). Parental acceptance of digital game-based learning. Computers & Education, 57(1), 1434-1444. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2010.12.012

Gee, J. P. (2012). Digital games and libraries. Knowledge Quest, 41(1), 60-64.
Hulsey, N., & Reeves, J. (2014). The gift that keeps on giving: Google, ingress, and the gift of surveillance. Surveillance & Society, 12(3), 389-400. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/docview/1556332658?accountid=10344

Jenkins, H., Clinton, K., Purushotma, R., Robinson, A. J., & Weigel, M. (2009). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st century. Retrieved from https://www.macfound.org/press/publications/white-paper-confronting-the-challenges-of-participatory-culture-media-education-for-the-21st-century-by-henry-jenkins/

Malbon, K. (2017, March 4). Blog task 1 [Blog post]. Retreived from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/karenmalbon/2017/03/04/blog-task-1/

Montola, M. (2011). Social Constructionism and Ludology. Simulation & Gaming, 43(3), 300-320. doi:10.1177/1046878111422111

Nash, L. (2017, April 24). Remediation and storytelling – Play Ingress, tell your story [Online forum comment]. Retreived from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&forum_id=_82110_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_42407_1&course_id=_24221_1&message_id=_1072337_1#msg__1072337_1Id

 

Images created by Karen Malbon contain CC0 images from Pixabay

Critical Reflection – Digital Citizenship in Schools

As a Teacher Librarian I have always taken an interest in digital literacy and digital citizenship by reading and curating relevant articles for my own personal learning and to share with my colleagues. I understood the definition of digital citizenship to be the safe, responsible and ethical use of information and technology and the Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship confirmed my thinking.

flickr photo by sylviaduckworth https://flickr.com/photos/sylviaduckworth/17190424026 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

After exploring other models of digital citizenship it became clear to me that I had underestimated the complexities of digital citizenship. Using network technology in a global world involves technical, individual, social, cultural and global awareness as illustrated in the Enlightened Digital Citizenship model.

Before starting this subject I had not given much thought to the relationship digital citizenship had with digital learning environments. I reflected on my own digital learning environment and the literacies and skills required to use them effectively. I actively embrace and play with mobile technology, social media and a plethora of digital tools in a responsible manner but some of my colleagues are not as aware or lack confidence. Some of the tools I use for personal reasons are now becoming part of the school’s evolving digital learning environment and placing new demands on teachers and students. The visual representation of my personal learning network (PLN) in my blog post  illustrates the role technology plays in my learning and the importance I place on lifelong learning. I reiterated this by commenting in forum 2.2 that it is imperative that I am a connected educator to meet current and future digital fluency needs and to model lifelong learning within my school community.

Assignment one was a living, breathing example of a participatory digital learning environment in action. As team member Heather said in her reflective blog post,

It was clear from the assessment rubric and online class meeting that this assignment was as much about learning about and through collaboration as it was about the particular aspect of digital citizenship we had elected to focus on.

Working collaboratively, team 5.2 created a learning module hosted on a wiki using a variety of communication and collaboration tools that Donald Tapscott refers to as “weapons of mass collaboration” (Richardson, 2008, para. 20). Digital citizenship theory was put into practice using an authentic learning task that visibly revealed our digital footprints, use of digital tools and collaborative efforts. The value of learning by doing was made very clear to me through this assignment. Teachers can apply similar methods by flattening their classrooms or lowering the walls so that students can learn by collaborating locally or globally (Lindsay, 2013), however as discussed in the forums, some challenges and barriers need to be overcome.

Given suitable digital infrastructure we can “learn whatever we want, wherever we want from whomever we want” in today’s digital ecology (Richardson, 2008). The tools that students use outside of school and increasingly at school, allow them to connect, collaborate, communicate and create. These are examples of twenty-first century skills and capabilities that along with critical thinking and digital citizenship are being encouraged by education systems around the world. Wherever possible teacher librarians weave digital citizenship and digital literacy into classes to spread the message, however I have learnt through this subject that embedding digital citizenship into the curriculum is best practice. The entire school community must develop common ground to educate students in a proactive rather than reactive way (Hollandsworth, Dowdy & Donovan, 2011).

I have learnt an enormous amount about digital citizenship in schools by engaging with the module content, participating in lively discussions in the forums, connecting on Twitter and meeting virtually with Julie Lindsay and my fellow class members. It is now up to me to show my school community what effective digital citizenship practice is through my own actions.

References

Bailie, H. (2016, May 19). Assignment one reflection. [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/hbailie/2016/05/19/assignment-one-reflection/

Hollandsworth, R., Dowdy, L., & Donovan, J. (2011). Digital Citizenship in K-12: It Takes a Village. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice To Improve Learning, 55(4), 37-47. doi:10.1007/s11528-011-0510-z

Lindsay, J. (2013). Leadership for a global future. In E-Learning journeys.
Retrieved from http://www.julielindsay.net/2013/04/leadership-for-global-future.html

 

Richardson, W. (2008, December 3). World without walls: Learning well with others In Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/collaboration-age-technology-will-richardson.

Part B: Critical Reflection


Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/david_kelley_how_to_build_your_creative_confidence

Design is all around us and I use products, services and spaces that have been designed for a purpose. Professional designers such as architects, engineers, artists, fashion designers and interior designers have expert skills that I do not possess. I do not consider myself a naturally creative person but I am willing to try and learn with my hobby of photography. David Kelley says we shouldn’t opt out of creativity but develop creative confidence (Ted, 2012). I have been able to improve my creative confidence with my hobby but could I do this in other areas such as design? It is argued that creativity is a set of thinking skills and anyone who develops and transforms an idea into a new and desirable artefact is a designer (Kuratko, Goldworthy & Hornsby, 2012).

To think like a designer an educator needs to learn new skills. The processes and skills of design thinking have been taken up by non-design industries. The terminology around design thinking varies but involves needfinding, brainstorming (or ideating) and prototyping (Siedel & Fixson, 2013). In assessment task one, I applied this process to my own problem space. I identified a digital space within the library that was being under-utilised and looked at new ways it could be used and came up with a prototype on paper. Initially I was concentrating on my own needs rather than those of the learner but in a later blog post I recognised that the outcome would depend on the library users.

Empathy is a core capacity for thinking like a designer (Forum post 3.6). According to Brown & Katz (2011) insight can occur when we connect with the people we are observing through empathy. I put my observation skills to the test in assessment task two by spending twenty minutes watching and listening and noticing the activities and design of an Aldi supermarket. I observe behaviour in the library on a different level now. Teachers and school administrators should apply the same observation techniques to gain insights into the needs of their students rather than making assumptions (Forum post 3.6) or maintaining status quo.

The iterative process of play, display and watch the replay (Kuratko, Goldworthy & Hornsby, 2012) resonated with me, so without the fear of failure I transformed a small space in my senior school library into a lunchtime pop-up zone for games, puzzles and colouring (Forum 1.1). The positive impact of the transformed space also reiterated the importance of the library as a meeting space (Forum post 3.2) where students can gather to socialise and learn in an informal setting away from the traditional classroom. Thornburg’s primordial metaphors (Thornburg, 2007) and McIntosh’s Seven Spaces (McIntosh, 2012) have made me more aware of the inadequacies of certain physical and digital learning spaces for learning and where improvements could be made.

group
Photograph by Karen Malbon

Creative industries such as Pixar and Google are informing the design of learning environments with flexibility, community, visibility and proximity (Blog post 17/9). However an innovative space will not necessarily change practice (Forum post 7.1). Teachers may or may not reimagine their teaching and students may appropriate spaces in unexpected ways (Forum 5.2).

I floundered with some of the concepts of design, was frustrated that amazing innovations were happening elsewhere and was challenged by the complex nature of the relationships with design, learning and space. I will endeavour to put my learning into practice in a rapidly changing digital environment.

References

Brown, T., & Katz, B. (2011). Change by Design. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 28(3), 381-383. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5885.2011.00806.x

Kuratko, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G. (2012). The design-thinking process Innovation acceleration: Transforming organizational thinking (pp. 103-123). Boston: Pearson. Retrieved from https://www.csu.edu.au/division/library/ereserve/pdf/kuratko-d1.pdf.

McIntosh, E. (2010). Clicks and bricks: How school buildings influence future practice and technology adoption. Educational Facility Planner, 45(1&2), 33-38. Retrieved from http://media.cefpi.org/efp/EFP45-1and2McIntosh.pdf

Seidel, V. P., & Fixson, S. K. (2013). Adopting Design Thinking in Novice Multidisciplinary Teams: The Application and Limits of Design Methods and Reflexive Practices. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 30, 19-33. doi:10.1111/jpim.12061

Ted [Username]. 2012, March 12). David Kelley: How to build your creative confidence [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/david_kelley_how_to_build_your_creative_confidence

Thornburg, D. (2007). Campfires in cyberspace: Primordial metaphors for learning in the 21st century. Thornburg Center for Professional Development. Retrieved from: http://tcpd.org/Thornburg/Handouts/Campfires.pdf

 

Part C: Critical Reflection


flickr photo shared by nikkorsnapper under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC ) license

Throughout history people have been both threatened and excited by the adaptation of storytelling to new mediums with the advent of books, radio, television and the internet (Koskimaa, 2007). Rapid changes in technology are impacting on how we consume information, read and tell stories. (Sadokierski, 2013). The literature landscape is in a time of transition and as I explained in my first assessment task, so am I (Warner, 2013). As a teacher librarian it is essential that I am informed and critical of emerging digital trends in storytelling. Digital literature presents literacy and management challenges but it also provides opportunities for participation, interaction and engagement.

Literature is no longer confined to the printed page and my long established reading practices are becoming increasingly screen based. In forum post 1.2, I considered my knowledge and understanding of digital narratives to be limited. Once I started researching categories of digital literature by Unsworth (2006) and Lamb (2011), I realised that I had been exposed to more digital literature than I had first thought (Blog post). I was familiar with hypertexts, re-contextualised literary texts and linear ebooks but I was unaware of how storytelling could be amplified by interactive ebooks, apps and transmedia. I started exploring the texts recommended on the INF533 Goodreads group and was amazed by what I discovered.

As I explored new forms of storytelling, I became acutely aware of my own weaknesses using the storytelling apps Chopsticks and Midnight Feast. New literacies are required to comprehend and navigate digital literature. Initially I felt lost and didn’t know how to approach the text. Swiping, zooming, pinching and tapping the screen engage haptic perception and Skains suggests readers that lack exposure to this technology may be resistant to engage with the text (2010). “The emerging role of haptic perception in digital reading” (Roskos, Burnstein, Shang, & Gray, 2014, p.6) is increasing with enhanced ebook apps. However, I was motivated by the quality of the stories and gradually discovered additional multimodal affordances by revisiting the apps and therefore improved my digital reading skills.

I was captivated by the interplay of illustrations, images, sound and motion in the interactive graphic novel of The Boat (Blog post). With very few words, meaning was conveyed by engaging aural and visual techniques. There was a synergy between artistic and technical features that is vital for a good quality digital story (Walsh, 2013). New communication technologies have changed the nature of text and additional criteria is required to select and evaluate texts for learning (Yakota & Teale). Texts can be written, spoken or multimodal. “Multimodal texts combine language with other means of communication such as visual images, soundtrack or spoken word” (Walsh, 2013, p. 181). To meet expectations of the Australian Curriculum it is essential that school libraries integrate ebooks into their collections and programmes. (O’Connell, Bales and Mitchell, 2015). As a teacher librarian I need to be informed and bold to meet the challenges of an increasingly digital and multimodal environment that involves Digital Rights Management, licence agreements and emerging formats (Forum post 2.3).

The ubiquitous use of mobile devices has increased internet and social media use by teenagers (Lenhart, 2015). Students are using the internet for social, recreational and informational purposes. Out of school, some students are creating, communicating and telling stories using web 2.0 and social media, however there are still students with low technical skills (Malita, 2010). Getting students to create their own digital stories is one way of embedding digital literacy into the curriculum. In preparing my own digital story for assessment four, I questioned whether I had the necessary skills to create a digital story. I was reminded by Alexander (2011) to consider the audience and concentrate on meaning. I soon realised that I could use my existing skills to research, plan and write the story. (Forum post 4.2) My greatest challenge was how to combine text, images and audio to amplify the story and connect with the intended audience. This requires thinking critically about effective combinations (Malita, 2009). The process of creating a digital artefact has given me the confidence to advise others and model digital storytelling. I have experimented with digital storytelling tools and my fellow students have introduced me to even more that I was unaware of (Forum post 4.2).

Literacy in today’s learning environment is evolving and requires access to diverse texts. Print and digital texts coexist and provide readers with choice. At the beginning of this subject I felt overwhelmed by the challenges involved with managing digital literature in schools and libraries (Forum post 2.3). I am prepared to confront these challenges and apply my learning in the workplace with the knowledge I have gained, the resources I have discovered and the tools I have been introduced to.

References

Alexander, B. (2011). Storytelling: A tale of two generations, Chapter 1. In The new digital storytelling: Creating narratives with new media. ABC-CLIO.Retrieved from http://www.eblib.com

Koskimaa, R. (2007). Cybertext challenge: Teaching literature in the digital world. Art & Humanities in Higer Education, 6(2), 169-185. doi: 10.1177/1474022207076826

Malita, L., & Martin, C. (2010). Digital Storytelling as web passport to success in the 21st Century. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2(2), 3060-3064. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2010.03.465

O’Connell, J., Bales, J., & Mitchell, P. (2015). [R]Evolution in reading cultures: 2020 vision for school libraries. The Australian Library Journal, 64(3), 194-208. doi:10.1080/00049670.2015.1048043

Roskos, K., Burstein, K., Shang, Y., & Gray, E. (2014). Young Children’s Engagement With E-Books at School. SAGE Open, 4(1). Retrieved from http://sgo.sagepub.com/content/4/1/2158244013517244.abstract

Sadokierski, Z. (2013). What is a book in the digital age? The Conversation. Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/what-is-a-book-in-the-digital-age-19071

Skains, R. L. (2010). The Shifting Author—Reader Dynamic: Online Novel Communities as a Bridge from Print to Digital Literature. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 16(1), 95-111. doi:10.1177/1354856509347713

Unsworth, L. (2005). E-literature for Children : Enhancing Digital Literacy Learning Retrieved from http://CSUAU.eblib.com/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=198496

Walsh, M. (2013). Literature in a digital environment. In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers (pp. 181-194). Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia. Retrieved from https://www.csu.edu.au/division/library/ereserve/pdf/walsh-m3.pdf.

Warner, M. (2013, May). Welcome to the Hybrid Age of Reading. Retrieved from http://www.christianfutures.com/welcome-to-the-hybrid-age-of-reading-how-we-read-affects-what-we-read/

Yokota, J., & Teale, W. H. (2014). – Picture Books and the Digital World. – 67(- 8), – 585.  Retrieved from – http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/trtr.1262

Critical Reflection of Digital Literature Experiences

My reviews can be found at the blog post Experiencing Digital Literature – Reviews

Assessment Item 2  – Part B:

In today’s reading landscape the definition of the book is constantly changing. “The book as a physical object with paper pages is now only one version of what a book might be” (Hancox, 2013, para 7). Digital or electronic literature emerged on the web in the 1980s with hypertext fiction (Rettberg, 2012) and further innovations in digital literature are redefining reading and literacy (Liu, 2005). Readers are expecting and demanding greater interaction with books, authors and other readers (Warner, 2013).

Digital literature is available in many different formats using multiple devices. According to Unsworth (2010) digital narratives fit into three categories. Electronically augmented texts enhance and extend the printed book with additional electronic resources. Re-contextualised takes literature that has already been published as a book and re-publishes it in a digital format. Stories that have only been published digitally constitute the third category of “digitally originated literary text” (Unsworth, 2010, p. 65).

Many readers are incorporating digital forms into their reading schema (James & de Kock, 2015), while others are overwhelmed by the complexity that surrounds this ecosystem. New kinds of literacies are required to experience digital books (Hancox, 2013). Devices must be mastered, accounts created before dealing with new visual, sensory and kinaesthetic features within the story. Motivated individuals can overcome these challenges but they are more problematic for others (Doiron, 2011).

Hypertext and interactive fiction allows readers to access “nonlinear narratives through various hotspots or links online” (Lamb, 2011, p.15). This dynamic format began by leveraging the emerging web environment in the 1990s. The trend towards e-readers and mobile devices has extended the reach of hypertext and interactive texts. It is argued that more cognitive effort is required for reading hypertext and that multitasking using a screen can hinder comprehension (Cull, 2011). However “individuals living in the digital world are becoming accustomed” (James & de Kock, 2013) to stories delivered this way.

Interactive storybooks have been available since the 1990s when publishers collaborated with software companies and the multimedia industry (Herther, 2011). “Multimedia allows users to learn via seeing, hearing, reading, doing and simulating” (James & de Kock, p.119). Careful selection using existing criteria for good literature and additional criteria for digital storybooks is essential for pedagogical application. “Overall, there needs to be an aesthetic synergy between the technical features, the artistic creation of the text and the ideas within it” (Walsh, 2013,p. 187). Apps for mobile devices are now a common platform for interactive storybooks and require a critical eye.

“Transmedia storytelling involves a multimodal, multimedia story with nonlinear, participatory elements” (Lamb, 2011, p.15). Readers are invited to “seek out, evaluate, and integrate information conveyed across different media” (Jenkins, 2010, para 4). Stories are moving beyond the page and reading is becoming a social and participatory activity amongst teenagers (Kasman Valenza & Stephens, 2012, p. 78). Whether this type of reading enhances or distracts the reader is a concern amongst some educators. (Lamb, 2011, p. 17).

Digital media is contributing to a “transformative shift in reading” (Liu, 2005, p. 701) that has advantages over the print environment with “interactivity, non linearity, immediacy of accessing information, and the convergence of text and images, audio and video” (Liu, 2005, p. 701). People read for enjoyment, to be entertained, to obtain information and to learn. Today “a tremendous amount of reading takes place in non-book forms” (Warner, 2013, para 6). Some stories may be better suited, enhanced, amplified and augmented by multimedia and multimodal formats. “When handled intelligently and sensitively – there are instances in which the embedded media are capable of creating a heightened sense of immersion and engagement” (James & de Kock, 2013, p118) that print cannot.

Print books are easy to navigate and have a topography that is absent with most screens (Jabr, 2013). E-readers have attempted to replicate the look of a book to overcome this issue however many people prefer print for concentrated reading. Attitudes will likely change over time with younger readers influenced by electronic media (Unsworth, 2008). Rather than debating the advantages and disadvantages of print versus digital, perhaps the story experience is the critical factor rather than the reading experience (Bowler, 2012, p. 44).

The natural environment is a topic studied by Geography students undertaking their Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE). Firestorm has pedagogical potential suited to this level. The personal story in conjunction with the factual information around bushfires is ripe for discussion and further exploration on how humans and the natural environment coexist. Firestorm is freely available online with a web browser so it could be projected to a class using an interactive white board. VCE students all have iPads so a flipped learning scenario could also be used.

References

Bowler, L., Morris, R., Cheng, I., Al-Issa, R., Romine, B., & Leiberling, L. (2012). Multimodal stories: LIS students explore reading, literacy, and library service through the lens of “the 39 clues”. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 53(1), 32-48. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1239092155?accountid=10344

Cull, B. W. (2011). Reading revolutions: online digital text and implications for reading in academe. First Monday, 16(6). Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3340/2985

Doiron, R. (2011). Using e-books and e-readers to promote reading in school libraries: lessons from the field. Paper presented at IFLA 2011, Puerto Rico. Retrieved from http://conference.ifla.org/past/2011/143-doiron-en.pdf

Hancox, D. (2013). When books go digital: The Kills and the future of the novel.   Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/when-books-go-digital-the-kills-and-the-future-of-the-novel-20098

Herther, N. K. (2011, June). From CD-ROMs to Ebooks. Searcher, 19(5), 12+. Retrieved fromhttp://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?

Jabr, F. (2013). The reading brain in the digital age: The science of paper versus screens. Scientific American. Retrieved from http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/reading-paper-screens/

James, R., & de Kock, L. (2013). The Digital David and the Gutenberg Goliath: The Rise of the ‘Enhanced’ e-book. English Academy Review, 30(1), 107-123. doi:10.1080/10131752.2013.783394

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Kasman Valenza, J., & Stephens, W. (2012). Reading Remixed. Educational Leadership, 69(6), 75. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.csu.edu.au/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ulh&AN=73183267&site=ehost-live

Lamb, A. (2011). Reading Redefined for a Transmedia Universe. Learning & Leading with Technology, 39(3), 12-17. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.csu.edu.au/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ehh&AN=67371172&site=ehost-live

Liu, Z. (2005). Reading behavior in the digital environment: Changes in reading behavior over the past ten years. Journal of Documentation, 61(6), 700-712. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/217977973?accountid=10344

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Warner, M. (2013, May). Welcome to the Hybrid Age of Reading. Retrieved from http://www.christianfutures.com/welcome-to-the-hybrid-age-of-reading-how-we-read-affects-what-we-read/


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