Digital Literature – My Thoughts

As an educator often engaged in digital literature I become somewhat annoyed at the constant digital v print debate. I choose to read ‘digitally’ because that is what works for me, I find it convenient, I love the instant access it provides, portability and the “read-anywhere” affordances (Wilson, as cited in Huang, 2012, p. 177)  and the interactive features like inbuilt dictionaries, highlighting and note-taking. On the other hand, I love strolling through book stores, especially second hand ones. I also love buying old copies of classic books. I have read a few articles (like this one) that discuss the comprehension of reading digital as apposed to print texts, and I think it comes down to the individual and the context. The fact is digital literature is here, and we are probably only seeing the tip of the iceberg with what is to come!
This video puts into perspective a little about how I feel- yes I am digital- but don’t underestimate me or how I like to learn…


I love this quote by Annette Lamb (2011) in Reading redefined for a transmedia universe. Learning and leading with technology.
Once upon a time, reading was as simple and straightforward as decoding words on a page. No more. Digital age technologies have made such an impact on the way we interact with content that the old definitions of reading and books no longer apply.
Reading this reminded me of this post I wrote for INF530 last semester. A key point of this post and of digital literacy is that reading and understanding non-sequential and dynamic material (Bawden, 2008). Digital literature is all around us- magazines, newspapers, text books. Even as adults we need to know how to navigate and understand digital literature- it is so important to develop student skills to do the same. 
I think there is a clear difference between literature that has been represented using digital affordances and literature that has been transformed by digital technologies. When I think about digital literature, I think about the possibilities to create, not for myself only, but for students, authors and publishers. We need to think more about engaging a wider variety of people in texts and creating texts in a digital format could very well be the answer. On my recent study tour to the US, I visited Intel and that was the first time I had heard the term ‘transmedia’. Intel were describing some of their educational plans and a key part of their ‘envisioning a pathway forward’ plan was the notion of transmedia. Described to me on the day as a ‘story that continues across media, the story is extended’. 
Henry Jenkins (2007) explains-
Transmedia storytelling represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience. Ideally, each medium makes it own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story. 
A visual representation of transmedia: 
Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 9.20.18 pm
The whole idea of transmedia excites me when I think about the possibilities for learning and teaching. Like with any technology I think it is incredibly important that we think critically about how and why we use digital literature in the classroom. We need to ensure that the use of the text is having a positive impact on the learning process and is adding value to the lesson and the learner. 
Bawden, D. (2008). CHAPTER ONE: Origins and Concepts Of Digital Literacy. In Digital Literacies: Concepts, Policies & Practices (pp. 17–32). Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. Retrieved from
Jenkins, H. (2007). Transmedia Storytelling 101. [Blog Post]. Retrieved
Lamb, A. (2011). Reading redefined for a transmedia universe. Learning and leading with technology, 39(3), 12-17. Retrieved from


  1. Hi Bec, It’s great to see you connecting your previous readings with this subject – spot on! And you’re back from your ISTE tour – I bet that was fantastic too – such a great experience for you I bet! Cheers, Judy


  2. Hi Judy,

    Back from ISTE- it was amazing, so many rich experiences. Thanks for your comment, looking forward to staying in touch, it just isn’t the same without you running one of the subjects! 😉



  3. Hi Bec,

    Thank you for a very interesting post – I too like The Future of Publishing video from DK.. And I’m very interested in what you have to say about Transmedia, which certainly does seem to be the way the digital landscape is going.

    I look forward to working with you.

    INF530 Subject Coordinator


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *