Part C: Critical Reflection

At the start of this subject, I thought that I had just commenced my digital literature journey. However, it soon became apparent that I had underestimated the extent of my familiarity with digital literature and my journey had started quite some time ago. In Discussion forum 2.1 I had indicated that my experience was primarily limited to non-fiction narratives, specifically interactive journalism (Linquist, 2021a). I realise now that I had been using digital story telling platforms and tools in my pedagogy and everyday life more broadly than I had initially surmised. I have regularly viewed student PowerPoint and Canva publications, colleagues’ Google slides presentations and a plethora of personal stories through social media. Despite this, what I did lack was breadth of knowledge of the enormous array of digital tools, and a thorough appreciation of their diversity and ready availability. What I did acknowledge was my need to incorporate digital literature more readily into my classroom teaching because of its engaging qualities. In undertaking further reading in preparing for assessment 2, I came across the article by Wright (2019), From Twitterbots to VR: 10 of the best examples of digital literature which provided me with some interesting and diverse examples of digital literature. This opened my eyes more widely to the scope of digital literature, and I instantly felt the need to share examples of what I had discovered with both colleagues, students and my own children.

Through my work in completing the Assessment 2 reviews, I came to an increased understanding of the attributes that make a digital story more appealing and engaging. In Digital Literature Review 1 I identified that the incorporation of sound into the artefact would have added to its appeal (Linquist, 2021e). This enhanced knowledge about the value of media in digital stories was fundamental in guiding me in the creation of my own Digital story project.

In Discussion forum 4 Digital stories and questions in my mind I raised questions about the  increasing willingness of people to share their personal stories on social media (Linquist, 2021b). In response, Walsh (2021) made the point that digital storytelling via TikTok and Instagram have been an important means of communication for her during the COVID lockdowns. This highlighted to me how invaluable and versatile digital technologies are in our world today. The impact of COVID, and my experiences with online learning have reinforced the need to further embrace digital technology in my pedagogy. In Discussion forum 1 Trends in digital literature, I acknowledged that the digital literature landscape is continuously evolving (Linquist, 2021c). As a teacher librarian in training, I came to the realisation that it was imperative that I strongly embrace digital literature and that I stay abreast of the developing trends.

This subject has encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone of using Google slides for my digital storytelling in the classroom. Module 5.1 Digital narrative artefacts highlighted the huge array of tools available to create a digital artefact (Croft et al, 2021). I had not previously created anything using PowToon, and decided to use this for my assessment, to embrace the growth mindset wobble that is promoted at my school. However, in evaluating the process of creating this digital story, I realised how time consuming it was.  The time required to produce a quality artefact may be prohibitive for teachers with their excessive work load. Consequently, this significantly limits my ability to create custom made digital stories designed for the specific needs of students in my classroom. The other factor evident to me from reviewing other people’s artefacts was that I must be willing to accept both peer and student feedback on my own work. This is especially challenging to have others critique your work, but is necessary to ensure modifications and improvements are made as part of ongoing teaching program adjustments.

One of the main areas where my knowledge and understanding was greatly enhanced by this subject and that will have an impact on my teaching practise is in the area of copyright. In Discussion forum 6 Fair Use vs Fair Dealing I indicated that Australia’s Fair Dealing system specifies ways that the use of material does not infringe copyright (Linquist, 2021d). I have never before raised the issue of copyright with students in my classroom. However, this subject has increased my knowledge and understanding about its importance and also given me the confidence to readily incorporate it into my teaching.


Croft, T., Nash, L., O’Connell, J., & Fitzgerald, L. (2021). Module 5: Interactive authoring tools [learning module]. INF533, Interact2.

Linquist, D. (2021a, August 8). 2.1 [Online discussion comment]. Interact 2.

Linquist, D. (2021b, September 12). Digital stories and questions in my mind [Online discussion comment]. Interact 2.

Linquist, D. (2021c, August 1). Trends in digital literature [Online discussion comment]. Interact 2.

Linquist, D. (2021d, September 25). Fair Use vs Fair Dealing [Online discussion comment]. Interact 2.

Linquist, D. [dikozlow](2021e, August 10). Digital literature review 1. Diana’s reflective journal.

 Walsh, R. (2021, September 17). Digital stories and questions in my mind [Online discussion comment]. Interact 2.

 Wright, D. T. H. (2019). From twitterbots to VR: 10 of the best examples of digital literature. The conversation.

PART A: Context for Digital Story Telling Project

The digital story Water and the Murray-Darling Basin is designed for the HSIE subject Geography focusing on the New South Wales Syllabus’ Stage 4 topic ‘Water in the World’. The intended purpose of this story is to address syllabus content utilising an engaging digital tool and material that is relevant to the students. This content includes the importance, use and scarcity of water, and the negative impacts of a hydrological natural hazard (NESA, 2015). The intended audience is a year 8 class of mixed ability students from inner west Sydney. The Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) is relevant for these students as it’s the source of many products that they consume. This digital story is a beneficial addition to the program because of its pedagogical features that support diverse learning needs, the development of geographical knowledge and skills, and for addressing cross-curriculum priorities and general capabilities.

This artefact is designed to enhance student literacy, numeracy and support diverse learning needs. Student literacy is developed through the inclusion of voiceovers utilising words that help to explain geographical terms from the syllabus. The geographical term aesthetic is matched with the more familiar word beautiful. The labelling of images and photographs further facilitates the development of literacy. For example, the geographical term fauna labels the photograph of an animal, and is especially beneficial as a form of literacy support. Media elements can be used to support readers’ thinking and comprehension by highlighting or simplifying important concepts and reinforcing key ideas (Lamb, 2011).

Student enrichment is facilitated by using question prompts that encourage them to delve deeper through further investigation. There are additional opportunities for enrichment stemming from this digital story including class discussions of the contemporary geographical issues of climate change and food security. Student numeracy can be enhanced through accessing and interpreting statistics and graphs that exist as links within the artefact. This can also act as a platform for further developing student numeracy through associated teaching and learning activities such as a classroom based poll related to favourite fruit consumption.

There are many forms of media present within Water and the Murray-Darling Basin designed to engage the user and reinforce key geographical concepts. The use of sound adds to the appeal of the artefact and provides for a more immersive experience. For example, the sound of rain gives it greater authenticity and reinforces rain’s importance. Appropriate sound and music can create an atmosphere and expressively connect to people in a way visuals on their own cannot (Mattka, 2018). Colour is used to help students visualise the story as evident in the use of orange writing when referring to the eating of an orange. Using colours in literature helps to construct a scene to enhance the reader’s ability to envisage and comprehend it (Kumar, 2015). Repetition of symbols (raindrops), and of concepts (eating of the orange and needing the umbrella) is designed to add continuity and familiarity to the story to enhance its relatability. Furthermore, the use of the literary technique of questioning is intended to stimulate student thinking and encourage active learning.

To promote the acquisition of geographical skills, this artefact provides access to a range of geographical tools including the compass, maps, graphs, photographs and statistics. Graphs and statistics, visual representations and maps are geographical tools that students are to be provided opportunities to engage with (NESA, 2015). Photograph interpretation is one example of a geographical skills facilitated through this artefact with the inclusion of comparison photographs of the Maranoa River when full and during drought.

Water and the Murray-Darling Basin can be used to facilitate learning across the curriculum. The cross-curriculum priorities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures and sustainability are both included within the subject matter of this digital story, and highlight its pedagogical significance. These cross-curriculum priorities encourage students to develop their understanding of and response to contemporary issues (NESA, 2015). This artefact also supports the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) general capability as students navigate through the digital story and its links. Investigating with Information and Communication Technology is one of the elements within the ICT general capability (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority, n.d.). This digital tool’s links can also be used to explain the importance of assessing the credibility or reliability of sources of information.

One of the significant advantages of implementing this digital story into the Geography program is that it can be easily modified and customised for future classes or specific students based on their learning needs. Additional links or questions for investigation can be added for an enrichment class, or more images could be used as literacy support for students of whom English is an Additional Language or Dialect. Technology can enhance student learning by providing opportunities to facilitate problem solving and creativity and at the same time support diversity (Kingsley, 2007). Water and the Murray-Darling Basin will encourage active student engagement and an appreciation of the significance of water in the world.


Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority. (n.d.). Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability.

Kingsley, K. V. (2007). Empower diverse learners with educational technology and digital media. Intervention In School & Clinic, 43(1), 52-56.

Kumar, R. (2015). Colour as metaphor in language and literature. Research Scholar, 3(2), 439-445.

Lamb, A. (2011). Reading redefined for a transmedia universe. Learning & Leading with Technology, 39(3), 12–17.

Mattka, R. (2018). How sound design is transforming UX. Creative Bloq.

NSW Education Standards Authority. (2015). Geography: K-10 syllabus.

My own learning during COVID

I have recently been using Padlet with my classes as a way for them to summarise their key points or key words from a topic that we have been studying. Where I would normally have done this on the board in the classroom, because of online learning due to COVID, I have found this to be even more useful. Students love it because I give them access to the padlet and they can all contribute. They can also then see what other people have written and this may spark ideas in their minds too. They feel more inclined to contribute where they don’t have to verbally make an answer as some are very shy, and another benefit is that they can modify their response at any time. They can then take a screen shot to add to their revision notes.

Another useful way to use this is to do a before and after the topic. The before can be used as a pre learning assessment tool and this can be compared to the end of the topic where a post learning assessment can demonstrate growth. A weakness is that all students need to have a device to participate and understand how to use padlet. Furthermore, some students may still have some hestitation in sharing their learning.


This was my contribution to the discussion for this week. The most important learning gain that I made from using Padlet during remote learning is that I can embrace digital tools quite readily in the classroom, and that they can actually enhance student learning and encourage participation.

Module 4: Questions in my mind

Module 4 helped to raise questions in my mind related to digital storytelling and the ever-increasing use of social media as tools for personalised storytelling. It especially raised questions for me as a mother in terms of what what my children see other people posting about their lives. Furthermore, it raises questions about what my children will share about their story in years to come. There is also then the questions about the sharing of the best parts of people’s lives and an minimisation of the worst parts. Is this creating unrealistic expectations for young people when they relate these stories to their own lives.