INF533: Assessment 4: Part C: Critical Reflection

Word Count: 750

Originally when approaching this subject, Literature In Digital Environments, I had a basic understanding that technology and books combined are eBooks, however, eBooks would not take over the publishing industry. Throughout this course I have explored the vast nature of digital literature, the ebb and flow of trends, the impact of digital storytelling and interactive texts can have on both teaching and learning as well as how to create these stories and implement them within the classroom myself. In my Introduction Post to the unit I noted my limited knowledge and practices, however, I failed to note my hesitation towards implementing digital literature as I was unaware of what is considered quality literature.

Throughout this course I have constantly referred to Serafini & Young (2013) because the article left a resounding understanding of what digital texts look like and what they offer in the classroom. The importance of having quality literature and pedagogies that allow students to explore the 4 areas mentioned by Serafini & Young has shaped the way I teach and the way I look at digital literature.

In Assignment 1 I did not understand the extensiveness of digital formats out there and stuck with limited choices rather than expanding my search and utilizing the time to find outstanding texts for my classroom. Digital literature provides a lot of choice for teachers to select from, however, the course has provided us with the resources and tools to select quality criteria (Walsh, 2013; Yokota & Teale, 2014) and as a result quality literature. Reflecting on my choices I regret not expanding into the wider web and selecting quality websites that engage students on a deeper level and provide more opportunities for controlling the narrative as there are numerous categories of digital narratives (Groth, 2018) that I was unaware of and unwilling to explore.

Another reference that has resonated with my understanding of digital literature is Tackvic (2012). Tackvic highlights the importance of teaching digital literature in a way that students can utilize the skills and technologies in a variety of circumstances as these will pave the way for students being 21st century citizens. Students need to understand the fundamental skills and advance their technology tools to maintain their role in a technology driven and focused world. Knowing how crucial it is that students have the capabilities to source their own information, read and create digital literature to share and analyse and to develop their own unique outlook on the digital world encourages the use of quality, authentic and numerous digital experiences that allow students to explore the digital world in an engaging way.

Tackvic (2012) discusses that through digital platforms, students can find the process of writing less challenging and more engaging. A great example being utilized in my classroom is Pobble365 where students select an image, discuss with a friend and then write a narrative in GoogleDocs and submit the narrative within the session. Students locate their own inspiration or be guided by the teacher’s choice. Digital photos have opened avenues for creativity and unique expressions of self that may have been more challenging to create by hand originally.

Alexander (2011) discussed how narratives have changed and examples of how storytelling occurs in the digital world. Alexander provided an understanding of the various forms that storytelling can be found and helped to create a framework of the ways in which students can explore narratives in a new perspective. Shifting the perspective from consumer to creator allows students to become collaborators and producers of creative narratives (Mills & Levido, 2011) that express themselves  in unique light.

 

One area that I am working to improve on is the implementation of copyright with digital texts. For the Digital Storytelling Project, I thought my idea was sound, however, creating a digital product is not a remake and I had failed to think of the copyright stance of creating a digital remake. Digital texts commonly use other sources and materials, but issues can be rectified with knowledge and learning. Teaching creative commons licensing and the importance of referencing correctly assist students in developing a better understanding and avoidance of major issues (Agnew, 2009).

This course has expanded my knowledge of digital narratives in multiple ways and I am thankful that my pedagogies have shifted to meet the needs of my students, co-workers and wider community.

Part C References:

Agnew, G. (2009, September 3). Restrictions of digital rights management [Video file]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/aRfX2gPwXMo

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

Bernard, P. (2019, July 28). INF533 Assignment Post 1 [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/paigespages/2019/07/28/assignment-post-1/

Groth, S. (2018, May 20). Still defining digital literature [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://thewritingplatform.com/2018/05/still-defining-digital-literature/

Mills, K.A., & Levido, A. (2011). iPed: Pedagogy for digital text production. The Reading Teacher, 65(1), 80-91, doi: 10.1598/RT.65.1.11

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.

Tackvic, C. (2012). Digital storytelling: Using technology to spark creativityThe Educational Forum, 76(4), 426.

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).

Yokota, J. & Teale, W. H. (2014). Picture books and the digital world: educators making informed choices. The Reading Teacher, 34(6). Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/3886534/Picture_Books_and_the_Digital_World_Educators_ Making_Informed_Choices

INF533: Assessment 4: Part A: Context.

Word Count: 750

The digital story-telling project is designed to engage students’ interest and display an example of how students can interpret their own creations. Originally the task was for students to redesign a sustainability text and critique the text on the important topic of Sustainability, however, after discussions of originality and copyright were presented, the texts then became an inspiration, rather than a digital copy. The audience for this story is the students of 5/6Gold to present their assessment challenge and create a unique exploration of Bowen Public School.

The story is presented as an adventure through Bowen Public School and students are presented with areas of sustainability and the impact the school community has on the environment. The subject areas of Science, through the exploration of human impact on the environment (NESA, 2015), and English remain at the forefront and the importance of sustainability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures (ATSIHC) remain prevalent and develop ICT capabilities as a cross-curricula priorities (ACARA, 2016). The purpose of the story is to formulate questions and ideas about ATSIHC and Sustainability present in Bowen Public School and encourage students to focus on the area that is most relevant to their individual lives (University of Houston, 2013). Students will then be grouped based on their interests and continue the project by creating their own digital story on their chosen topic within Bowen Public School and/or their local community.

Bowen Public School has a substantial amount of opportunities for students to participate in ATSIHC through NAIDOC, BroSpeak and SisterSpeak as well as in the classroom. The project allows students to focus on the areas that they need to address in their learning and feel comfortable presenting. Bowen Public School has a 50% Indigenous population. By providing the option students who are non-Indigenous can learn more about the Indigenous culture and Indigenous learners can either highlight their culture or learn about Sustainability. Sustainability is not currently a large priority for the school and this project is designed to promote an interest and understanding of Sustainability and how it could be further developed within Bowen Public School.

Multimodal texts as an area of study has been planned for Term 4 and the project is creating a space for students to explore how texts work in a digital format, how to shape their own digital stories and decide on their audience (NESA,2015), whether that be to the class, teachers or school community as a whole as well as exploring relevant and real life topics (Tackvic, 2012). Students are provided with guidance to support the various learning needs through different texts as examples of ATSIHC and Sustainability and the deconstruction of the story used as an example. Students are given guidance and support in constructing the storyboards and plans, as well as how to incorporate either video footage or photographs shot on iPads, iPhones or the professional cameras provided by the school. Each student has a Chromebook with Windows Movie Maker and explicit step by step lessons establish how the ‘hook’ story was designed enables students to edit their own digital stories.

The value of a digital storytelling product is through reading, sharing, creating and analyzing (Serafini & Young, 2013). The project requires students to read and understand texts on a deeper level to ensure that they are presenting the information correctly and accurately. They develop their reading and writing skills through the project and synthesise their ideas to ensure it fits within the 3-5 minute timeframe. Sharing is presented through the development and creation of their video to share on an online community and converse with the larger school community about topics that they are interested and engaging with. The creation of their video is a source of quality understand and assessment and provide students with a tangible product to admire and continue to reflect on. The creating process requires high-order thinking skills to be activated and students will need to have the confidence in their final product. Finally students need to critically analyse their final works and the other members of the class to reflect on their learning and experiences to help solidify learning and to inform further teaching activities.

This digital storytelling product requires students to be able to work in a group environment alongside having access to the recording devices and Chromebooks. Students need to receive a USB to ensure that students consistently have access to their product. Consideration to the length of the video, the language used and the supports students need.

 

References

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2016). Cross-Curriculum Priorities. Retrieved from https://www.acara.edu.au/curriculum/cross-curriculum-priorities

NSW Education Standards Authority. (2015). English K-10 Syllabus: NSW Syllabus for the Australia Curriculum. Teaching & Educational Standards, Sydney NSW.

NSW Education Standards Authority. (2015). Science K-10 Syllabus: NSW Syllabus for the Australia Curriculum. Teaching & Educational Standards, Sydney NSW.

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.

Tackvic, C. (2012). Digital storytelling: Using technology to spark creativityThe Educational Forum, 76(4), 426.

University of Houston (2013). Educational uses of digital storytelling: What is digital storytelling? Retrieved from http://digitalstorytelling.coe.uh.edu/page.cfm?id=27&cid=27

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