Week 7 Reading Response

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Nilsson (2010): Developing Voice in Digital Storytelling through Creativity, Narrative and Multimodality

This was a reading I can relate to a lot and this could have been something worth reading earlier in the semester. One of the concepts discussed that I found interesting was the distinction between two language-based modes of thought or knowledge: the narrative and the logical-mathematical. Coming from an engineering background, I’ve spent much of my undergraduate degree and career in the logical-mathematical mode, where we mean exactly what we say. In this class, all of the stories I’ve been creating this rely more on the narrative mode, where we mean more than just what we say. This has been difficult at times and has really helped my storytelling.

One concept that was new to me in this reading, was the term multimodality, which emphasizes the variety and combination of multiple sign systems or modes. I have never heard of this before. Expanding on this, was the idea of digital multimodality which combine the use of images, writing, music, and sounds for digital storytelling. Another concept that was new to me was what the author referred to as the three meta-functions of language: ideational, interpersonal, textual. I didn’t understand the color analogies at first, but in prepping for this reading response, they started to make more sense the more I read them.

Finally, the key takeaway that I got from this reading (and this class) was that it is important to widen our perception of literacy to include new kinds of multimodal communication. I think this relates back to our week 1 reading and maybe this connection does make this a good reading for the end of the semester, as I feel that this has helped bring everything full circle. Before this class, I always thought of literacy as just being able to read and write, but I now know it to be much more than that and technology can certainly enable this.

Interest-driven Reading

As NPR Goes Digital, Photos Become Essential To Storytelling

They say “a photo is worth 1000 words,” well being an amateur photographer myself, I think photography can be an incredible powerful medium for digital storytelling. This article remembers two NPR photojournalist that were killed in Afghanistan and discusses why NPR, most recognized for being on the radio, employs photojournalist. NPR stated that to remain relevant in such a digital culture, they need to have photos with many of their articles to help tell their stories. Some of these photos were really powerful and speak to me on many different levels. On one hand, I want to know more about the story behind the photo; but on the other hand, I want to know more of the technical details such the aperture, shutter speed, editing process, etc. For me personally, a photo can bring a story to life more than just some written text.

Optional Reading

Open Digital Pedagogy = Critical Pedagogy

I passed up this reading the first time it was recommended so I decided to give it a shot this time around. This article discusses how free, publicly-available tools and platforms can aid instructors and students in teaching and learning together. I agree with many of the points and examples this article shared. Using these tools can help students share their lived experiences and empower them as learners by encouraging them to act as co-creators of the platforms and learning spaces they use for their college work. I’ve had a personal WordPress site, that started getting a little dusty, for years. Being able to use it for class has helped me reinvigorate life into it. Since blogging more, I’ve spent many hours tweaking and customizing it to my liking. This will also be a great place for future employers to see my work. This article concluded by stating that students do not often realize what working within an open system means. I definitely agree with this statement, as I don’t think I even fully understood this at first. When used, this is something that should be articulated very early on to make it clear to all students.


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