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Thinking about Multimodality

Written by Danielle Nicole DeVoss
October 01, 2010

Because of my background as a writing teacher, and my interest in document design, I like to work at the intersection of text and images. Some of the most interesting work, I think, happening at this intersection is called “moving type” or “kinetic type.”

This is a digital art form where composers take culturally powerful quips and clips and typographically design them, working across color, text, space, movement, time, and more. A few of the best I’ve found are:

An example of exciting multimodal work in the classroom, specifically digital movie work, comes from Clifford Lee and Yumi Matsui. Both teachers are consultants for the Bay Area Writing Project; Lee works with English language learners in teaching language arts and Matsui teaches social studies. Students create, script, write, and produce a cross-curricular digital story.

Clifford Lee has also made available some fantastic reflections and advice on the project, included in the “Best Practices” and “Recommendations” links from the write-up.

A full write-up is available on the NWP site:, and the video is linked from the write-up or available directly at