Thursday, 29 March 2012

Transmedia chat

Two students today asked to create a video “chat” something I had previously mentioned was a possibility. They were creating a section of a narrative where a child is approached to meet a fellow chatroom user in real life.  Neither has particularly fluent literacy skills  with one  using English as an Additional Language.  They used the NetSupport chat and captured the chat window as video with Camstudio. I'd initially suggested they use Screenr but our Java needed an update. One of the advantages of capturing locally though, is that when imported to Movie Maker the chat can be speeded up.
I came back to help them do this and was surprised and pleased with the quality and quantity of their work. The fictional chat ranged from introductions through increasing interest in each others point of view, concluding with a suggested meeting. It was realistic and showed subtle progression to its conclusion. When I praised their work one said, “I’m always on MSN”. And I’m sure this lay at the heart of their achievement – they were able to write in a genre that had meaning for them.

There has been a fascinating virtual round table over on  though the focus has been rather more on classroom use than classroom production of transmedia stories. Since most of the participants were creative practitioners rather than teachers this was perhaps inevitable. There’s an interesting  summary of some research in the USA for using transmedia to raise standards. I thought I'd drag my own rationale-in-progress here from my Transmedia page.

  • It is a medium with which children are comfortable. In my experience they often have less trouble following complex transmedia than lengthy written texts. 
  • Familiarity with transmedia in the world outside school
  • As a creative activity can engage all the cognitive domains
  • It provides real opportunities to learn collaborative skills 
  • It provides opportunities for students to extend the skills that are their "element" - to get better at the skills they are good at
  • Being created from component parts means that different media can be created within different: disciplines and places
  • Component parts can be small and take a relatively short time to make.

  • Any suggestions for further points?

    Finally I thought I'd post a video from a project posted by one of the round table participants Robert Pratten. This showcases an Alternate Reality Game conducted across some schools in Florida