Thanks to http://www.freerangedesigns.co.uk for the picture of the Storytelling Chair.

I really want one.

Henry Jenkins  on New Media Literacies proposes a set of new media skills, including Play, Performance, Simulation, Collective Intelligence, Visualisation, Transmedia Navigation. I shall use these ideas to think about how I help my students to go about creating their own digital stories.

This week the P7′s andI  focused on ‘Transmedia Navigation’: the ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities.

We are beginning to identify narrative elements that are common to and also divergent from books and digital stories. The overwhelming sense, unsurprisingly for these learners with significant literacy difficulties, is that ‘books are boring’ and that this form of accessing story is ‘cool’ and ‘magic’. At present they perceive working with Inanimate Alice as ‘much easier’: we are still in the first flush of enthusiasm where content rather than decoding is emphasised. They haven’t realised that this way of storytelling can also be challenging; that it just requires a different set of skills.

This might all change over the next couple of weeks when we delve into the convergence of text, sound, image to create our own story. We need to be careful not to get so carried away by the production that the fundamental elements of telling a good story are lost.

The story must be engaging, with a beginning, a muddle and an end. It must be told with as much detail as to make it coherent without becoming impenetrable. The story needs to flow, and sound and images must reflect, enhance or stand alone to move the story on. Adding gizmos because it’s possible will be very tempting, I’m sure and we may have to accept that less is more. We will have to ensure that we carefully consider what is an appropriate and engaging medium for each part of the story and eliminate extraneous extras which might detract from the whole tale.

First and foremost, we need constantly to be aware of our audience and ensure that the story has a clear purpose and narrative.

I also have to be conscious of balancing the necessity of learning how to use the tools with the demand for a compelling tale. The Tale is the thing!

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