Digital Narratives: A Beginning

Context

As a Teacher-Librarian it is important for me to explore different types of literature and the what they can bring to teaching and learning. I am looking to develop my understanding of digital narratives and how they can be used in a classroom environment. Personally, I mainly use print texts, I prefer the tactile sensation and being able to flick backwards and forwards with ease. The South Australian Public Library Network provides access to eBooks and digital magazines, as such I have started using them when the text is more readily available this way.

Concepts and Practices

I find the transformation from printing press to digital publication quite interesting, and the speed at which the transitions have been happening is amazing. I think that the key point from Module 1.1 is that, as educators, we need to stay on top of developments in technology and learn how to integrate them successfully into teaching and learning programs. In order to keep 21st Century students engaged in their learning, resources need to be provided which they can interact with and follow a path of interest for themselves. It is important for teachers to assess the digital tools being used to ensure that they are adding value to lessons.

I had not previously considered there being different types of digital literature. As Walsh discusses they can range from eBooks to electronic game narratives. Digital literature use in classrooms depends on the level of ICT embedded there. As mentioned in Learning 2030: From Books to Screen, students can tell the difference between light and fluffy tasks and those with deep meaning. Students are more likely to engage deeper with tasks where they can see the potential of what they are learning and the tools they are using. Identifying the right type of digital literature for your audience is a key point in evaluating the literature that is used, and maintaining student engagement.

I think digital literature in classrooms has a range of benefits – it allows students access to textbooks and novels without having to physically carry a book, it allows access to a wider range of texts than might be available within a library, allows access to materials which support understanding and engagement of the text – for example embedded weblinks for definitions or further explanations, interactive maps related to the character’s story. These additions can help students connect with content and relate to the characters.

The premise of Leu, Forzani, Timbrell & Maykel’s paper resonated with me, that teaching online reading and learning is necessary for student who will be finding more and more information in digital formats. They highlight four skills for online research and comprehension: Reading to locate information, reading to critically evaluate information, reading to synthesise information, and reading and writing to communicate information. With my TL hat on, there are strong connections between these 4 areas and Inquiry/Information Literacy skills, which are a necessity for 21st Century learners.

I am looking forward to expanding my understanding of the types and uses of digital narratives available.

 

References

The Agenda with Steve Paikin. (2013, October 4). Learning 2030: From books to screen [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/215NPpHsQPk

Garrison, K. (2019). INF533, Module 1.1, Gutenberg to Kindle [Course notes]. Retrieved from Faculty of Arts and Education, Charles Sturt University, LMS web site: https://interact2.csu.edu.au

Leu, D.J., Forzani, E., Timbrell, N., Maykel, C. (2015). Seeing the forest, not the trees. The Reading Teacher, 69(2), pp.139-145. doi: https://doi-org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/10.1002/trtr.1406

Walsh, M. (2013). Literature in a digital environment. In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers (pp.181-194). Marrackville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia. https://doms.csu.edu.au/csu/file/863c5c8d-9f3f-439f-a7e3-2c2c67ddbfa8/1/ALiteratureCompanionforTeachers.pdf

One Reply to “Digital Narratives: A Beginning”

  1. Good points on the various types of digital literature and the speed at which things change…probably a new one will be introduced to the world before i finish this comment! (:

Leave a Reply

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