Transmedia

Transmedia is “the use of multiple media platforms to tell a story or story experience” (Sun, 2014, p. 2). Transmedia merges with education through transmedia play involving “experimentation with and participation in a transmedia experience” (Herr-Stephenson, Alper, Reilly & Jenkins, 2013, p.15). As argued on Henry Jenkins’ web blog Vimeo, transmedia plays a significant role in the lives of today’s students (Jenkins, 2013). Please follow this link to view Henry Jenkins’ blog: http://henryjenkins.org/2013/03/t-is-for-transmedia.html

When exploring transmedia in week 3, I was aware of the shift towards transmedia production and considered it the massive commercialisation of narratives to increase profits to movie and production companies. Transmedia play represents a role in the classroom as children are confronted with many forms of media, and it is important they interact with them confidently and wisely. As ‘digital natives’ (Prensky as cited in Howell, 2012, p. 6) many students will be accustomed to using many mediums of communication, although, as future teachers, we cannot expect all students to have the same level of digital convergence or fluency.

As a future primary school teacher, I considered suitable transmedia play for this age group. Through exploration of a story or historical event, students can build upon this by creating or expanding on characters, devising their endings to the story, bringing characters to life through dramatic performance, or communicating the story through a musical recital. Teacher and students could create a video via online multi-media tools to recreate the story and presented to fellow pupils and parents, or as discussed by Howell (2012), create a digital storybook to relay a story. Jeff Gomez, writer, and transmedia producer state, “The child can create a musical or illustrated version of the text story. The bottom line is that the student needs to be able to look at the world in different ways” (Sun, 2014).

To hear more from Jeff Gomez, please view:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9SlVedmnw4

Star Wars, one of the most famous transmedia productions:

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“Star Wars” (Universal history archive/UIG via Getty Images, 1977)

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