Digital Convergence

New media literacies are opening doors for students to become more creative, expressive, knowledgeable, resourceful, social… the list goes on. Digital convergence has created a whole new world of endless stories with multiple outcomes that students can explore. Digital convergence has bought media literacies together. Interactive apps are taking over the place books once held in the classroom. Rather than reading a book that begins from one set access point, transmedia allows students access from his/her own desired destination (Alper & Herr-Stephenson, 2013). Rather than setting a task for students to complete in a workbook, teachers can give students a topic or website to explore. Exploration in the digital world may not have one explicit learning goal, this leaves room for different interpretations. Students are participating by interacting with new media by finding, assembling and reassembling information (Alper & Herr-Stephenson, 2013).

Children will explore different communities through digital convergence. Information will be accessible to students through different discourses. The biology community may share facts about frogs and another link from the same webpage may have instructions from the art community on how to build frogs out of paper. Perhaps another link leads students to a movie that features a Muppet frog named Kermit. Students may then progress on to an interactive app with an educational game about frogs.

There are endless learning opportunities for students with access to computers in the classroom. But now consider this, digital convergence is not limited to what students do on a desktop or laptop. Digital convergence includes many other activities such as reading an eBook or playing open-ended video games (Alper & Herr-Stephenson, 2013). Digital convergence has created new storytelling pathways. When first introduced to the concept of embracing a digital world in modern classrooms one was adamant that it was to be the downfall of society. No longer would children be social in a real-world sense, and the standards for the academic pathways in the Curriculum would begin to drop. A different perspective on digital convergence provided by a unit in ‘Teaching and Learning in the Digital World’ proved useful in dramatically changing my views to embrace digital technologies as the children of today are. Learning should be shaped to incorporate the interests of students of the current era so that they can find value and meaning in learning.  

References

Alper, M., Herr-Stephenson, R. (2013). Transmedia Play: Literacy across Media. Retrieved from https://lms.curtin.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-3821605-dt-content-rid-22166148_1/courses/EDUC1000-FacHum-1183084446/EDUC1000-FacHum-1183084446_ImportedContent_20151214124648/Transmedia%20Play_%20Literacy%20Across%20Media.pdf.

Nesland, T. (2012). ARCHIDIS: Cultural heritage, digital convergence and the archival perspective (IMAGE). Retrieved from https://trinenesland.com/2012/07/30/archidis-cultural-heritage-digital-convergence-and-the-archival-perspective/.

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