The term digital literature covers a broad range of stories transmitted through digital means from e-books to interactive multimedia texts (Reed, 2018, July 22). It can be fiction or nonfiction but it should always contain a narrative (Reed, 2018, July 25). Story telling is part of the human experience and digital platforms enable our expression to be shared far and wide. Peverill-Conti and Seawell (2010) see it as is a nod to the oral traditions of our ancestors in that anyone can be a story teller and everyone can share in the experience. The flexibility of the digital environment and its ability to facilitate multi-modal experiences has allowed new genres to be created and others to merge or evolve. Continue reading
The advantage that fair use has over fair dealing in the area concerning digital literature is certainly the flexibility to adapt to technological change and allow for innovation (Australian Government, 2012, p. 76). Fair dealing has the use of works pigeonholed and this will become an issue in the future. Copyright law is complex but I think it is still important to protect the rights of creators. Adopting fair use practices that exist abroad may not be the way forward as the legal systems operate differently (Australian Government, 2012, p.77). It will take time to adapt Australian laws in a practical way. Continue reading
Part A: Context
The digital story project Romeo’s Fate (Part B) is a hypercomic that has been designed to be used in a high school as a resource for a Stage 5, Year 9 English program, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet (S. Coles, personal communication, 2018, September 11) which is a close study of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (1998). The unit has a focus on the conventions of tragedy and aligns with the English K- 10 syllabus requirement that all Stage 5 students ‘experience a Shakespearean drama’ (NSW Education Standards Authority [NESA], 2012, p. 26). Romeo’s Fate is intended to act as a digital learning activity that allows students to engage with and respond to one of the play’s central themes, fate and free will. It aligns with outcome EN5-3B (NESA, 2012, p. 144) as students will examine the structure of the original text. Students are required to study a range of digital texts (NESA, 2012, p. 26) viewing and responding to this digital text facilitates the building of knowledge and skills required to critically respond to a Shakespearean tragedy. Continue reading
Reading module 4.2 has highlighted the importance of using digital tools in the classroom. Bjørgen’s (2010) research highlights how students can use their technical knowledge of digital storytelling from outside of the classroom in their school work if given the opportunity. However, a range of limitations applies to this including the tools available. Access can be restricted by cost and school policy.
An effective teacher librarian (TL) in the 21st Century is a motivated, collaborative and reflective teacher and information specialist. TLs face a range of challenges in the 21st century environment as the information environment expands and changes their role must transform with it. They must have a comprehensive understanding of the goals and needs of their community and deliver services that not only meet but go above and beyond those needs. TLs need to be agile leaders who are committed to the continuous professional development of themselves and their colleagues. They must be skilled communicators to effectively collaborate and advocate for library services. Continue reading
Whilst studying INF533 Literature in Digital Environments I have come across a few readings that focus on the digital reading experience. We have read research that explores how digital reading differs to print and how this impacts learning. There has been some reference to pedagogy and a consistent message that students need to be supported in developing digital skills. There has been a lack of articles that focus on writing. I found this literature review ‘The practice of digital writing’ (Howard, 2018) on Twitter (Cohen, 2018) and it has filled in some of the gaps. Continue reading
Exploring digital literature has been exciting and challenging. The definition of the term is hard to pin down as it can encompass a wide range of digital platforms (Reed, 2018). These new forms of text have raised multiple debates over what counts as literature and what carries literary merit. There is a contest between print and digital that can manifest as academic and disciplinary snobbery. Within education we recognize that different skills are needed to interpret and create digital texts (Simpson & Walsh, 2012, para. 10) and there is continued discussion about what this means for curriculum and pedagogy.
What makes a good digital text?
The fundamental features that make a print text high quality also apply to digital texts. However, we need to adapt our criteria to evaluate the synergy of digital features with the traditional literary features (Walsh, 2013, p. 186). It is this synergy that sets a high quality digital text apart from those that use what Yokotoa and Teale (2014) describe as “window dressing” (p. 585) features that do not add value to the text. When I evaluated texts from three different genres, a hypercomic, a documentary and a news article, I considered the traditional features of each genre texts before evaluating their digital components. It was then easy to see how the digital design of all three texts carefully considered the reader’s experience and used technical features to enhance the narrative and experience in ways that could not be achieved in print. Continue reading
‘Into the Cave’ (Motherwell, Spraggon, & Hoad, 2018) is a multimedia news story from the ABC’s Digital Story Telling team. It is an immersive narrative of the rescue operation to retrieve 12 boys and their football coach who were trapped in a cave in Thailand. It harnesses a range multi-modal digital features that differentiate the emerging field of interactive journalism from other mediums.
Good news stories employ the ‘techniques of fiction’ (Bull, 2010, p. 10) to engage readers and stories in the digital environment are no different. Multi-modal techniques have been used here to make information easier to digest and enhance the narrative. Motherwell et al. (2018) use dark colours to create a dramatic mood and reflect the darkness of the cave. The background is black with white text and it is slowly delivered in chunks that complement the positioning of the other multi-modal features. It uses a title rather than a headline at the top of the page that makes it feel more like a story than a news item. The byline uses a rhetorical question ‘What could go wrong?’ to direct the reader straight into complication in the narrative. The writing structure uses a range of literary techniques such as short sentences and quotes dialogue to build tension and a sense of connection to the reader. Continue reading
‘K’gari’ (Rubeli, n. d.) is a 10 minute interactive documentary created by SBS, that aims to ‘return Fraser Island to its rightful name’. It debunks Sarah Fraser’s claims of kidnap and mistreatment in 1836 by presenting the previously ignored perspective of the Butchulla people (SBS & Reconciliation Australia, n. d., p. 3). ‘K’gari’ uses Fraser’s original text and transforms it into an interactive experience that reframes it against the conflicting Butchulla perspective. It uses a rich and diverse range of multi-modal techniques including text, animation, visual representation, music, sound effects and interactive features to convey meaning and successfully contrast the competing narratives in a way that print could not.
Kgari trailer via Youtube
‘Duck has an adventure’ (Goodbrey, 2012) is a fun, entertaining and humorous hypercomic game from Daniel Goodbrey’s (2018) ‘New Experiments in Fiction’ website that brings the choose your own adventure genre firmly into the 21st century. The multiple narratives see our protagonist, Duck, experience life, love, education, along with the more outlandish humorous storylines that include encounters with pirate kittens and interdimensional travel.
Duck’s adventures are driven by the reader clicking square comic book style panels to reveal the next part of the story. The reading direction starts with what Sly (2017) would describe as the traditional left to right, top to bottom orientation (para. 24). However, the digital nature of this text allows the panels to form a reading pathway of stepping stones that gradually changes direction. The navigation is intuitive as each panel is revealed on the reader’s click and this device leads the reader through the story like a trail of bread crumbs around the screen. This allays the fears presented by Lamb (2011) that the reader may get lost within an interactive narrative (p. 15) and highlights the high quality of Goodbrey’s design.