Blog Highlights: Interactivity

“The cult of the individual student, the solitary, one-way communication only for the teacher’s eyes, and for a grade, has killed higher education’s lure for many young people–especially boys. The problem is suspension of life in school, waiting until school is “over” to contribute and truly express oneself. This is changing and the nature of learning and teaching is changing for the better due to these tools.”

“storytelling 2.0 opens the possibilities of taking various tales, told by numerous characters, and re-arranging specific dialogue to create an original story. Suddenly, users can use modular dialogue and re-fashion them in a way they were not originally intended. In storytelling 1.0 and 2.0, the audience is a participant, is a creator (especially when the story is passed down to another generation). But what we can now achieve is a modular disassemble and re-assemble that can produce limitless results–with open and discoverable resources, open and transparent licensing, open and remixable formats needed. The question though, still comes back to the point we have discussed all along: is there a story worth telling?”

“I’ve been thinking about the term “storytelling” and wondering if it is really the best term for the interactive potential of the digital “Web 2.0” environment. Implied in storyTELLING is a focus of the “teller” of the story and not the interaction with and participation in the story. The author is the active party (i.e. the teller) and the audience is the passive party (i.e. the story tellee). An audience may not even be necessary for storyTELLING at all. Although it reminds me of the old riddle “if a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it make a sound?,” storyTELLING implies that communication is not required for a story to be told. In other words, the term implies that if a story is told and no one hears, storyTELLING still took place. Might “interactive storyMAKING” better embrace the communal nature of web 2.0? . . . . Our social structure is so intimately tied to notions of authorship, ownership, and property that the role of the storyTELLER (and the product he/she creates) is buttressed in innumerable ways.”

“‘Stories are now open-ended, branching, hyperlinked, cross-media, participatory, exploratory, and unpredictable.’” This statement seems most representative of the newest role of storytelling in an interactive environment. Stories have evolved from the pages of a book and the words of the orator’s mouth to the digital world’s landscape of possibility. Stories now exist to unite the collective thoughts of many voices and perspectives on a particular topic or event. These collaborative narratives come to life through an organic and ongoing process of interactivity; its users create and recreate the components and structure of a never-ending story.”

“Digital storytelling works in an interactive environment by giving the user agency, rather than the medium acting upon the user solely. In TimeSpace: Inauguration, we saw the Inauguration from different vantage points–it gave us a sense of story across space. The user can see the big picture, and as we lose identity as a society, maybe we lose our social context.”

“Not all storytelling in an interactive environment challenges the traditional role of reader or spectator. Breaking Ulysses into micro-chunks on twitter only effects the transmission of the story, challenging narrative coherence. Some storytelling might hold up better to fragmentation before becoming incoherent than James Joyce. Academic work might even benefit from increased fragmentation.”

“However, I think the main feature of storytelling in an interactive environment that distinguishes it from all others is its collaborative nature. Many people are involved in the creation process, combining microcontent from many different users, turning it into social media. While one person or small group of people may create the original story or idea, through comments, online discussion, response videos, and blog entries, the stories take on new life and new meaning.”

“All along we have been asking how digital storytelling will change academic arguments but perhaps we need to change digital storytelling to accommodate the academic argument. Fusing the old with the new seems to be an innovative move that our creative and intellectual minds can benefit from.”

“But what has really sparked the Web 2.0 revolution is a third element: read/write/remix. Web 2.0 gives us the ability to pull information together from disparate sources, creating our own story from various elements. This is what makes digital storytelling work in an interactive environment. Storytelling 2.0 (Digital Storytelling utilizing Web 2.0 tools) combines an interactive environment with collaborative attitudes from the contributors – up to and including the readers!”

“I thought the article Before Every Child Is Left Behind really hit home with several of the discussions we’ve had in class recently. It addressed the need for innovative thinking, the lack of innovative education going on in the classroom, the difficulty of working epistemic games into a curriculum focused on standardized teaching and testing, and how devastating this will be to the future of our nation. I felt like I was reading a future chapter from a history book that describes how the U.S. fell from grace as a superpower.”

“It is not enough that these tools and creative means to teach through digital storytelling exist, it is incumbent upon us to take the brave step to learn, and incorporate these tools into our experience. “

“With web 2.0 platforms, collaboration can occur in real time, with real time feedback and critiques as well. This question reminded me of that youtube video we watched in class showing the use of google docs to ask a girl on a date. This same type of engaged discussion can translate to the world of academia in digital environments.”

“The readings and stories explored for this week’s class show that interactivity can give the recipient greater agency in digesting the story. For example, The Washington Post’s “TimeSpace: Inauguration” allows the visitor to jump from photos to text to videos about President Obama’s inauguration. This format allows the viewer to interact with a timeline in the way that he or she desires; the participant is able to experience the event in a way that makes sense with his or her preferred style of learning. Interactivity also gives the author/creator more room for creativity.”

When reading the WaPo article, one relives the Inauguration, even if you weren’t there, allowing multiple perspectives and different stories that intersect (or not) within the greater story. This sort of interaction has profound implications for teaching, especially teaching history. . . . Text, like a history textbook, utilizes a linear format to tell the story, but using a digital environment one can create a timeline, multiple points of interest, allowing the viewer to see some of the things that were occurring at the same time and how everything blended together.

“If the interactivity comes from collaborative form of interaction (like writing Exquisite Corpse or designing an ARG), the challenge comes from creating broad rules or a conceptual framework that can organize multiple storytellers with some overall coherence. . . That said, these readings convince me that we still don’t really know all of the ways that storytelling and academic writing can work in interactive environments.”

Category: W9: Interactivity
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