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Transmedia Storytelling and Convergence

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Wait, What? What is Transmedia Storytelling?

We don't just consume stories these days, we add to them, we participate in the writing of them through our collaboration on social media. Storytelling is memorable because of it's use of image and imagery, rhythm and repetition of theme words or sound. But what do we mean when we refer to transmedia?

"Do, or do not. There is no try." - Yoda.

Here's an Example: Star Wars.

If you know the stories, you can consider how these stories have captured the imagination of many internationally, and cross culturally.  I make a reference to Star Wars in the TEFL Preparation Course! Consider the various forms the storytelling has taken, the back and forth between popular culture, the  screen and merchandise. Then consider the fan based  and alternative modes of storytelling through comic, video, game, homemade video, play acting, reference and memes.

The image for this post is a screenshot of images that came up for reuse when I googled "Star Wars". That was just images. Imagine the posts, news threads, forums and videos associated with that search.

The Star Wars story develops across multiple platforms and through multiple modes of telling. Even the tellers are varied in origin, skill level and motivation. It all adds up.  That's what is meant by convergence. All this storytelling activity meets and merges, the various modes step into each other's spaces and influences.

Media convergence means that with technologies available to us, stories have morphed into new forms driven by our engagement online. This can lead to whole new learning experiences in media-rich environments. So our question as teachers and professional involved in multi modal language learning is: how can entertainment and "edutainment" be used effectively in the classroom?


Some Books to Get You Thinking and Applying

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