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Collection by
Troy Hicks
Published
Jun 17 2011

Resources in this collection

5 Resources in this collection
In this collection, Laura Fleming describes the history and theory of transmedia storytelling, then goes on to offer a number of implications for reading, writing, and learning. As students learn how to produce and consume digital texts in incresingly diverse ways, having an understanding of transmedia storytelling will provide them with new opportunities to craft characters and narratives that are compelling to a variety of audiences. 
As a "born digital" text, the transmedia story "Inanimate Alice" provides a young adult audience with the opportunity to interact with Alice and help move her story forward. As one reader/viewer of "Inanimate Alice" describes it, "The story is heart-pounding, exciting, and adventurous." In this resource, Laura Fleming takes us into Alice's world and shares implications for teaching and learning transmedia with our students. 
In her quest to better understand transmedia storytelling, Laura Fleming has developed a blog, "EdTech Insight" and a Twitter presence. As an educator thinking about educational technology, new media, and learning in a digital age, Laura's years of experience in the classroom and media center emerge with passion through the vocie of a relatively new edublogger. This resource highlights a number of her posts from the beginning of her blog in August 2010 up to the present, showing the ways her thinking on transmedia has developed. 
As teachers and students learn how to create their own transmedia stories, they will have to become adept at what Larry Lessig calls remixing. In his book, Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy, Lessig describes our "read/write" culture and how young people use remix as a form of expression, despite the pervasive and punitive ways in which copyright is enforced. In this resource, Laura Fleming suggests reasons and resources for teaching students how to remix exisiting materials into transmedia stories. 
In this resource created by Laura Beth Fay, we are introduced to Henry Jenkins, Director of Media Studies at MIT. A preeminent scholar in the field of media studies, Jenkins offers us many new ideas for thinking about teaching and learning in a digital age, most notably the ideas of "participatory culture" in which we all take a more active role as readers and writers, listeners and speakers, viewers and producers of visual texts, and "transmedia storytelling," which is the focus of this entire collection. 

Reading and Writing Transmedia

Inanimate Alice Logo

We have told stories to each other since the dawn of human history. We instinctively organize our thoughts as stories. Well-crafted stories engage us, inform us, inspire us and – long after first hearing them – resonate with us. Stories have always carried messages and meaning for us long before writing, radio, film, television, or the internet helped us tell them. The core elements of story never change – character, plot, settings and obstacles to be overcome – but the ways in which we tell stories continue to evolve.

The new media that surrounds us as educators and as learners has forced us to pay attention to, and to change, how education is conceived. One significant change to ‘Learning in the 21st Century’ comes in the form of “transmedia storytelling,” a process of writing and reading stories that invites participants into stories in ways that they have been unable to do before digital technologies and the internet allowed us to connect in so many ways, so quickly. It is this changing face of storytelling that sits at the core of this collection.

Given my own interests in digital writing, I am always on the look out for "what's next" in terms of theories and technologies that we might see in schools.

As the concept of digital writing -- including the process of creating media such as digital videos and podcasts -- becomes more and more a part of the writing curriculum, I am curious to see how we might move students forward in creating transmedia stories.

Not only will they combine images, text, and voice in single pieces of media, but by using web-based tools such as VoiceThread or using other media authoring tools such as Sophie, students can create multi-layered stories, and connect those stories across different media. 

Thus, this collection of resources primarily authored by Laura Fleming represents one educator's vision of what transmedia is, and what it can be, for teachers and students learning to read and write in a digital age. 

Creative Commons Licence

Comments

4
<p>I know it is just the way that the site is structured, but would it be possible to re-structure things so that the person who actually does the work of gathering and editing resources gets the credit on the front page of each collection? The superb transmedia collection pulled together by Laura Fleming is a case in point as it appears to be credited to Troy because of the way that the site is designed. It may seem a trivial matter, but i always think it is important to ensure that the right people are credited properly for work done.</p>
<p>Hello John. Thank you for writing about this important topic. What is true is that the system is designed to have one author per resource or collection, which is where the challenge emerged here. I believe that Laura and Troy were intending to show shared authorship by having Laura develop the main resources for that collection and then have Troy pull the 4 of them together in a collection with a couple additional resources too. (Another way that people have gotten around this is to create a dual-identity as the author - see Ann Herrington and Charlie Moran collections or resources made by "Writing for Change" as examples of this.)</p> <p>That said, being able to clearly show collaboration in the system is on the development road-map for sure -- it is a key 21c skill after all! That said, without that actual feature in place, different co-authors are thinking about how to negotiate this in different ways. Therefore I'm sure that Troy and Laura will take into consideration your concerns and they can decide what they think is best to do at this time.</p> <p>Thanks for writing.</p> <p>Christina</p>
<p>Christina &amp; Elyse,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>You are both very kind to reply so fully and so positively. I raised the issue because I came across a blog post yesterday in which Troy was being praised highly for the quality of the transmedia collection. i had no problem with this because i know how much work there is involved in the preparation and editing of a collection such as this, but i just felt it a shame that the layout of the site meant that Laura would not get credit for the work she had done unless you delve into the collection itself (which is what we hope will happen of course), in which Troy has been very generous in his proper crediting of the work.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Best wishes,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>John</p>
<p>Hi John,</p><p>The issue you raise is not trivial at all; we would all want crediting and sourcing to be accurate and effective. In the case of Digital Is, the author area is populated by the profile of the person making the resource or collection. In this case, it looks like Laura made the resources and Troy pulled the collection together.&nbsp;This can be a problem if one person, say Troy, did the system work on behalf of another person. Then the visible profile will be of the person who worked in the system. In most cases, collections are built out of resources authored by many different people, so the curation of the collection is an explicit authoring step.</p><p>It may be that the authors feel the current design is accurate (that Laura made the resources and Troy made the collection). If this division is correct, but there is a desire to feature Laura more prominently, then the top level text could credit her more directly. If not accurate, and folks would want Laura's profile to show up for the collection, then Troy and Laura could request we make a change administratively.</p><p>Thanks for bringing this to the attention of the curators and administrators.</p><p>Elyse</p>