October 2015 archive

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.

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.


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.


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

Context for Digital Storytelling Project

Assessment Item 4
Part A

Context for Digital Storytelling Project

The ancient art of storytelling has been transformed by technology. Digital storytelling harnesses multimedia and digital tools to communicate in a new way (Malita & Martin, 2010). Digital storytelling is about creating meaning and making it visible to an audience (Tolisano, 2015). A quality digital artefact needs to engage the audience with “an aesthetic synergy between the technical features, the artistic creation of the text and the ideas within it” (Walsh, 2013, p. 187).

Teachers can leverage technology to design curriculum resources that suit diverse learning needs. Instructional multimedia is one form of digital storytelling that is capable of supporting classroom teaching and learning (Kingsley, 2007). Narrative is a powerful tool for student engagement and understanding (Hall, 2012) and multimodal affordances can enhance the message. Interactive white boards, mobile devices and multimodal texts present new opportunities and challenges for educators (O’Connell, Bales & Mitchell).

Students are engaging with technology outside of school and are expecting their reading needs to be met by digital texts (O’Connell, Bales & Mitchell). Research is divided on whether reading on screens impairs comprehension (Jabr, 2013) however it is generally recognised that new literacies are required to navigate multimodal and non-linear digital texts (Walsh, 2010). Students are also becoming creators of their own content, including digital stories and sharing them using easy to use social networking and web 2.0 technologies. Both in and out of the classroom copyright issues arise with the sharing of writing that combines images, sound and video, therefore correct attribution of material and good digital citizenship practices are important (Weigel, 2009).

Ethical use of information in a digital environment is emphasised by the ISTE Standards for Students that requires students to ethically use information from a variety of sources (International Society for Technology in Education, 2015). The Australian Curriculum also addresses the rights of others in the general capabilities and ethics in the technologies curriculum. (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2015). Students and teachers should be aware of copyright and licensing laws when creating documents, blogs, websites and multimedia presentations.

Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation that provides free licences to creators wishing to make their work available to the public under certain conditions. Students and teachers can copy, share and sometimes modify and remix works without seeking permission from the creator (Smartcopying, 2015). Teacher Librarians play an important role in making teachers and students aware of the benefits of Creative Commons and how best to source material with these licences. Creative Commons licensing is also a good way of promoting good digital citizenship and academic honesty (Oldham, 2012).

Non-fiction storytelling is widespread in marketing and public relations (Alexander, 2011) and can be applied in an educational setting. A digital story will be created using Canva to design visuals, Animoto for production and a blog for hosting. The story will introduce students to the concept of Creative Commons and will recommend search strategies for material. Animoto presents images, video and text in a manner that should appeal to visually oriented teenagers. The audience for this digital story will be year eleven students, studying Twentieth Century History for the Victorian Certificate of Education. In area study two, students need to locate and select relevant resources for ‘Movements of the People’ for use in a research task. Using library and online resources, students investigate groups of concerned citizens who came together in the second half of the twentieth century to question war, the environment, globalisation and human rights.

The digital story will be implemented with the history class visiting the library before they commence their research task on ‘movements of the people’. The teacher librarian will use the visible thinking routine, I used to think…,but now I think…to shape the lesson. Students will be asked to share their thoughts, opinions and beliefs about using digital music, images and videos on social media, blogs and for their schoolwork. The teacher librarian will record these responses on the whiteboard or in a Google document. Following this discussion, the digital story will be played on the interactive whiteboard. The teacher librarian will then ask the students if their thoughts, opinions and beliefs have changed since viewing the digital story. With the guidance of the teacher librarian, students will use their iPads to search for images relevant to their chosen movement utilising the Creative Commons tools featured in the digital story. Students will be given the blog link to the digital story so that they can view it again and pause the video according to their individual needs.

The digital story could also be played on the library’s digital signage screen and placed on the library website to reach a wider audience.


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

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2015). Australian curriculum. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/

Hall, T. (2012). Digital renaissance: The creative potential of narrative technology in education. Creative Education, 3(1), 96-100. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/docview/963357400?OpenUrlRefId=info:xri/sid:primo&accountid=10344

International Society for Technology in Education. (2015). ISTE standards for students. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/iste-standards/standards-for-students

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/

Kingsley, K. V. (2007). Empower Diverse Learners With Educational Technology and Digital Media. Intervention in School & Clinic, 43(1), 52-56. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.csu.edu.au/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ehh&AN=26156207&site=ehost-live

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:http://dx.doi.org/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

Oldham, L. (2012). Creative Commons: copyright. Computers in New Zealand Schools, 24(1), 77-83. Retrieved from http://ndhadeliver.natlib.govt.nz/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=FL19455610

Smartcopying. (2015). What is Creative Commons?   Retrieved from http://www.smartcopying.edu.au/open-education/creative-commons/creative-commons-information-pack-for-teachers-and-students/what-is-creative-commons-

Tolisano, S. R. (2015). Digital storytelling: What it is…and…what it is not. Retrieved from http://langwitches.org/blog/2015/08/18/digital-storytelling-what-it-is-and-what-it-is-not/

Walsh, M. (2010). Multimodal literacy: What does it mean for classroom practice? Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 33(3), 211- 239. Retrieved from http://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/fullText;dn=413764741373610;res=IELAPA

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.

Weigel, M., & Gardner, H. (2009). The Best of Both Literacies. Educational Leadership, 66(6), 38. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.csu.edu.au/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=36666623&site=ehost-live