Important Terms to Know Cultural Attractor VS Cultural Activator A cultural attractor is something that can bring together diverse communities It becomes a cultural activator when it encourages those communities to interact to solve problems, think critically about the work, and build upon the work with their own elaborations
Cultural Attractors andActivators in the Classroom In my classroom: Read the novel Holes by Louis Sachar Students visit the website http://www.scholastic.com/holes/treasurehunt.htm to play an interactive game involving the characters and plot from the story (if they haven’t read the story, the game won’t make sense) Students createblogsfrom the point of view of one of the characters View the movie after we have completed the book study; students could write a critical analysis of the movie in comparison to the book and interact in online discussion groups about their findings (This kind of interaction with the media is much like the media convergence created with the Matrix series as Jenkins mentions in his book Convergence Culture: Where old and new media collide (2006).
Cultural Artifacts In the classroom, a cultural artifact is anything the students can create to show their understanding of a certain subject matter (like a short film, character costume, or blog). For example, a fan of the Harry Potter series may create their own Hogwarts uniform, publish an online blog or “fanzine” about a particular story or character in the series, or even create their own spin-off movies about a plot twist or their own side story
Transmedia Storytelling Transmedia: when a story is told through many media types (video, written, short Internet film, video games, etc) and each type builds upon the original story line
Transmedia in the Classroom The principals of transmedia storytelling can be used when planning lessons Main lesson is taught in the classroom Students can access additional materials online to enhance the original lesson Students can participate in games or create short videos to build on to their prior knowledge gained in the classroom Enrichment and extension activities
Interactivity VSParticipation Interactivity can be described as the ways in which the consumer can interact with the media and is determined by the designer Is the activity “user friendly”? Participation is in the control of the consumer and is characterized by how the consumer interacts with the media The user decides how involved they want to become in the activity.
The Participatory Classroom Students are studying geometry They can play online games using skills they have learned in class Create digital artwork using transformations (rotations, reflections, translations) Create a homework help blog where they can answer each others’ questions.
A Message to Teachers Students need to be given opportunities to experience this kind of learning environment within the classroom if they do not have the capability at home Be aware of the students’ understanding of the main material before providing transmedia activities If a student does not have a comprehensive understanding of the content, the extended activities will not serve as beneficial tools, but rather further frustrate the student
References Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide. New York, NY: New York University Press.