Module 4.1: Digital storytelling

What questions (or answers) have formed in your mind in relation to digital storytelling? How does social media fit into the mix for you? What are the most important connections to learning overall?

I find that I am questioning the expanse of digital storytelling and the applications I could make within the classroom. Is a twitter thread narrating an event that happened over the course of time considered a non-fictional tale? Buzzfeed articles are considered to be literature, as many articles in print form are considered but where does story fall into this realm? Alexander (2011) highlighted some examples of storytelling in the 21st century and it resonated the strength of story, especially online. As an avid player of the Sims I constantly build a narrative through gameplay and type their history and life into the game. Is this a digital story of fictional characters I have created? It might not be quality literature but it’s engaging and my aim is to make meaning for my fictional characters and myself.

Social media platforms can be a thorn for teachers due to age restrictions and cyberbullying but if moderated and utilise different safety features, social media can provide a wealth of information and stories for students to gather and enjoy. The most important connections with learning is the ability to utilise the technology tools and skills developed in the classroom in a range of contexts to strengthen students’ ability to be members of the 21st century (Tackvic, 2012).

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://ebookcentral.proquest.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/lib/csuau/reader.action?docID=678297&ppg=20

Tackvic, C. (2012). Digital storytelling: Using technology to spark creativity. The Educational Forum, 76(4), 426. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00131725.2012.7075622

Module 3: Exploring digital forms

Explore innovative digital literature sites. What did you enjoy most? How could you incorporate social networking sites for literature organisation and access, such as Inside a Dog, GoodReads or LibraryThing into your practice?

Being familiar with Goodreads is beneficial in being able to incorporate this platform into my teaching. Students are currently writing reviews for Oliver and as a class we could create a profile and post our reviews and ratings communally. Students would be able to see interactions with others reviews and provide an authentic voice to the target audience. The Goodreads shelves and Inside A Dog provide excellent and relevant literature for students to explore.

Inside A Dog, whilst more YA orientated than primary students (my current class), it provides students with an understanding of the current publishing industry audience. Students can create a literature study of any appropriate texts and discuss online which they would vote for and why they would consider it or not.

Another aspect that could be incorporated for students to present their views online but keep it within a meditated section would be to have a Google Site dedicated to our reading where each tab would provide options for students to add their experiences and engagement with literature and keep the discussions within the class. Personally, I love the idea of being able to express yourself globally but I understand a few of my current parents may not agree with that view.

Module 2.2: Challenges of using digital literature in the classroom

There is an enormous difference between facility with technology and being able to engage with the content of digital literature. How can you alter your pedagogy to ensure technology and digital literature is embedded in your educational practices?

The alterations need in my pedagogy needs to focus on the quality of the literature being used within the classroom. Technology can be used as a ‘hook’ for student engagement, however, if this hook provides no other value than novelty then the technology isn’t being utilised to its fullest capacity. Digital literacy and inquiry tasks need to have substance and provide students with connections to larger contexts. As discussed by Serafini & Young (2013) the opportunities to have quality digital experiences surrounding literature can be accessed through the reading, sharing, discussing and analysing activities and lessons, but they need to provide value to the students. Context and the ability to apply skills in a range of situations, especially from digital environments is crucial to teach to students. The challenge is finding the balance with engaging students and providing them the quality opportunities to expand their learning and love of literature.

Serafini, F., & Youngs, S. (2013) Reading Workshop 2.0. Reading Teacher. 66(5), 401-404.  https://org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/10.1002/TRTR.01141.

Module 2.1: Digital environments

Think about your own journey as an educator – what has changed in your teaching practice over the course of your career with regards to technology use and literature? Is that change embedded at a core level, or is it a matter of changing tools?

Having only graduated at the end of last year my teaching career hasn’t been a long one so far, however I am still learning and growing in terms of technology use and combining literature with technology. I got placed on a 3/4 class at the beginning of the term and their use of technology was amazing. I quickly got up to scratch on utilising Google Classroom and how to incorporate digital technology in any form of lesson. I had not heard of Wushka before and the students really enjoy reading texts from the Chromebooks. Students also have a Chromebook each, which was unheard of in any of my other teaching experiences. Students engage with literature in a different way and are able to access thousands of stories at a drop of a hat.

My teaching practice has to evolve to incorporate the teaching of new formats and teaching students how to develop their own multimodal texts, which is part of the English syllabus. I also utilise Seesaw which is an app where students can record themselves discussing literature and share that with members of the class, creating a stronger sense of meaning and formatting their ideas to be vocally coherent. The change is not a matter of tools but understanding and teaching students how to engage with this new format that is constantly evolving. Serafini & Youngs (2013) discuss how students are still decoding language, however, the structures and formats being presented are different and teachers need to ensure students have the skills to understand these changes. Sharing, such as on Seesaw, has also become global and students are able to participate in social situations to share, discuss and analyse texts online. I am an active consumer of ‘BookTube’ and discuss novels frequently with friends all over the world and I would like to incorporate it more in my classroom next term.

Serafini, F., & Youngs, S. (2013) Reading Workshop 2.0. Reading Teacher. 66(5), 401-404.  https://org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/10.1002/TRTR.01141.

Module 1.1: Evaluating digitally reproduced stories

After completing the above readings, consider Walsh’s chapter, and share your knowledge, understanding and experiences with digital narratives in the subject forum. What are the key points of synergy that you have encountered? What are the differences?

My experiences of utilising digital narratives is extremely limited. I am familiar with the ‘traditional literature re-presented in a digital space’ (Walsh, 2013) and have viewed Dust Echoes before but did not understand the value or consider the website as literature. Digital narratives feel overwhelming due to the various hybrid forms that they can be presented in, however, the value of engaging readers and presenting meaning-making in new and authentic ways should hopefully outweigh any hesitations that I or other teachers may be facing. As a future Teacher Librarian I need to formulate a deep understanding of how to best invoke the learning of students and foster that love of literature so prevalent in today’s society.

Unsworth’s (2006) provides categories to assist in developing an understanding of the e-literature environment how the continuum of literature is constantly merging, evolving and innovating. Key uses of synergy is to foster a deeper sense of engagement and provoke more from the story, whether that be emotions and reactions from the reader, connecting to a wider audience or emphasising a point within the narrative. Traditional literature can synthesise a combination of literacy techniques to provoke more but engaging more senses like touch navigation or audio combinations with visuals further impact on the reading experience.

Unsworth, L. (2006). E-literature for children. Enhancing digital literacy learning. Routledge, London.

Walsh, M. (2013). Literature in a digital environment (Ch. 13). In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).  https://doms.csu.edu.au/csu/file/863c5c8d-9f3f-439f-a7e3-2c2c67ddbfa8/1/ALiteratureCompanionforTeachers.pdf

INF533 – Assessment 3 Topic Proposal

Topic:

How is sustainability present within literature?

Stage 3 Students are divided into 5 groups and are given the choice of 5 sustainable texts to create a video around. Students are allocated a fortnight block throughout Term 4 to complete their video.

Text List:

Collected Poems by Judith Wright

Where the Forest Meets the Sea by Jeannie Baker

Milli, Jack and the Dancing Cat by Stephen Michael King

One World by Michael Foreman

One Plastic Bag by Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia

Digital Tools and Spaces.

Windows Movie Maker would be utilised for students to create their videos, working for a fortnight on their presentation to be uploaded to the class YouTube channel. Students are able to add clips, texts and pictures to make a holistic video.

Rationale:

Sustainability is an area not present at the forefront of learning within my current school. This project would be a Stage 3 semester summative assessment in either Term 2 or Term 4. Prior to the term a “sustainable” term would be run to provide students with the knowledge needed to complete the task and would run in either Term 1 or Term 3. This ensures that students can highlight and explore a range of sustainable measures that individuals and larger communities can take. The idea is that students are combining comprehension skills with an investigation and fulfilling research skills through creating a questionnaire within their group, aligning with both the English syllabus and the Science syllabus. Sustainability is also a cross-curriculum priority.

Students are provided with the digital skills to make this video and edit it independently throughout the “sustainable term”. The fortnight timeframe allows students to draft a script and brainstorm ideas, record the video footage and edit and upload their final creation. Students are required to compose, edit and communicate effectively their ideas on sustainability present within the text.

Sections of the resource:

  • Overall is a 4-5 minute video.
  • Minutes 1-3: showcases the text in video or animation form and then students answer the focus question: “How does this text promote sustainability?”
  • Minutes 4-5: Students will formulate one question each and ask that to the members of their group and record their answer.

Curriculum Codes:

ST3-4LW-S, ST3-1WS-S, EN3-1A, EN3-2A, EN3-3A, EN3-7C, EN3-8D.

 

I am so excited to experiment and make one of the presentations.

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