Jan 30, 2010

The Importance of Storytelling and Multimedia Content (UPDATED)

Storytelling has been an important part of human culture for centuries and remains important, even thought it has been transformed by advances in technology.

It is transforming how young children think, communicate, and learn.

The following video from the University of Southern California's Institute for Multimedia Literacy (IML). In October of 2009, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting released a report that said that four and five year old children who had access to media tools had increased literacy levels as they entered kindergarten. A group of four-year-old preschool students were provided the opportunity to participate in the IML's workshop, Digital Storytelling and Recombinant Narrative, a workshop that is usually geared for adults.  Of course, the workshop was revised to meet the needs of a much younger group.

Here is the clip:

Digital Storytelling With 4-year-olds from IML @ USC on Vimeo.

Summative Evaluation of the Ready to Learn Initiative 
"The study, which was conducted by researchers at the Education Development Center, Inc. and SRI International, evaluated educational video content and associated interactive games from Super Why!, Between the Lions and Sesame Street, which are produced as part of the Ready To Learn (RTL) initiative. RTL aims to increase literacy skills for children aged 2-8 living in high poverty communities, by utilizing multiplatform content"

"The researchers examined the impact of the curriculum which included public media content in a randomized controlled trial with 398 low-income four and five-year olds from 80 preschool classes in New York City and San Francisco. The children who had public media content in their classes developed significantly more early literacy skills -- the ability to name letters, know the sounds associated with those letters and understand the basic concepts about stories and printed words -- than children who did not have public media content in the classroom."

Below is a collection of articles and links about issues related to storytelling in our digital age, from various perspectives.  The game is changing for everyone, especially for traditional teachers and journalists.

Better User Experience With Storytelling, Part One
Francisco Inchauste, Smashing Magazine, 1/29/10    (also read the comments to the article)

The Art of Storytelling
Christian Saylor, O'Reilly InsideRIA 3/23/09

Transmedia Storytelling and Entertainment - A Syllabus
Henry Jenkins, 8/11/09 
 Henry Jenkins is the Provost's Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. He arrived at USC in Fall 2009 after spending the past decade as the Director of the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program and the Peter de Florez Professor of Humanities. 

Henry Jenkin's syllabus includes the reading list for his class at USC of the same name, aong with great links to on-line publications related to the course. If you are pressed for time, take a look at Transmedia Storytelling 101.

Here is a link to a post I wrote in 2008 that provides a few good links related to storytelling:
Digital Storytelling, Multimodal Writing, Multiliteracies 


Video from USC's Institute for Multimedia Literacy:

IML: Background and Philosophy from IML @ USC on Vimeo.

The Center for Digital Storytelling  


Interactive Narratives

Innovative Interactivity's Top 50 Multimedia Sites of 2009

USC Institute for Multimedia Literacy

Knight Digital Media Center Presentations  Example: Old Journalists in New Media:  Collaborating with Writers

O'Reilly Digital Media Blogs

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