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#7715044 Apr 22, 2013 at 03:10 PM
Guild Officer
354 Posts
On April 9, the television show Defiance started on the SyFy channel at the same time people could order and play the game.. This is one of the more recent examples of transmdia

Henry Jenkins was one of the organizers on a symposium on transmedia.
http://henryjenkins.org/2013/02/announcing-transmedia-hollywood-4-spreading-change.html

How could we use a combination or mashup of media for education? What type of educational event could be designed?
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#7716070 Apr 22, 2013 at 06:21 PM · Edited over 4 years ago
Guides
561 Posts
There is a lot to digest this week, and I have decided to enter the Defiance forum. The reasoning? I have at least one student who has purchased the game and is playing the game and watching the series, and has the iPad APP (Definace -the Essential Guide) and the "sync" with pop-ups when you watch the series. I have the APP and can watch the series. I have seen the game in play [didn't buy game at $59-99] So they have several ways of getting you interested in more than one transmedia event. The feedback from my students is that the game is good and the series isn't. "I am stuck watching the series now to play the game," said one of my students.

Moral of the story, if we use transmedia, we must be sure that each piece of that transmedia puzzle is equally strong as the others. Or does it have to be? If this was an educational game, is it necessary that all parts be strong or "likable" if the goal is to teach in all aspects of the transmedia? Interesting thought.

When you look at the difference between "Destiny" and "Defiance" there isn't much difference, both are sci-fi and both are essentially "Defend the Castle" games. Unfortunately, even these video games teach, even if they are not intended to teach, and may teach something that isn't to the benefit of the player. I am critical of the stereotypes of the "races" in Defiance. The social structure seems to be on a white to dark skin and beautiful to ape-like features. One lesson in this series/game is that corporate greed is not good, the Liberata were greedy and have fallen to the lowest level of the social system where they work as servants or menial tasks to "make amends for the sins of the past."

There is a quick 60 second recap of episode 1 (after the commercial) Defiance in 60 Seconds - First Episode

In the creation of our worlds and characters, we must be ever careful that we don't just reinforce stereotypes, which I think Defiance does. So, back to the original question: "How could we use a combination or mashups of media for education? What types of educational event could be designed?

I am still looking to the interaction of my anthropology classes with public auctions where there are all those "cultural artifacts" laying around discarded and now up for auction to the highest bidder. I think it was my great-aunt Maude, who on looking at someone's entire estate on the block, "Sooner or later, everything is for sale." I could do the following and am open for suggestions:

1. Have a QR code that was in their online class shell taking them to a youtube video like shown on our week 6 page. There they might see say, 10 items and be told to do internet search to identify them.

2. They would go to an auction (as I described last week) and we go on Wednesday. There is a list of 34 items to find, prizes awarded.

3. We then could look at a film, regarding how much people throw away (Garbology) and my students really liked this one. Wasteland This is on the dump outside of Rio that employed 5000 people and now is closed. It is the story of the re-cyclers' lives, how lives can be transformed.

4. My students could then look at their objects and create stories about where they came from and what they may have meant to the people who owned them, (would be nice to cross-list with an English comp class).

6. Create either Interactive Fiction stories about the objects for others to play (hope for an APP) or do their own video and tell the story of their item.

What would I be teaching? I would be teaching them about cultural, the coming and going of what we desire and use, and times-past . They would learn what material possessions mean to people and how they let them go They would learn why the dumps and the idea of a throw-away society is culturally maladaptive, and by that, hoping that they will be more conscious of their own obligation to the earth and each other.

Even something as simple as mapping the origin of the articles they find to show the amount of importation into the United States would be educational.
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#7720799 Apr 23, 2013 at 02:55 PM
Fiero
26 Posts
#7716070 grasshopper98 wrote:

Moral of the story, if we use transmedia, we must be sure that each piece of that transmedia puzzle is equally strong as the others. Or does it have to be?



When working with transmedia I think it is important to determine what the ultimate goals of the design are. I must admit that I have my reservations of transmedia in that I feel they distract from the learning objectives for the very reason you are mentioning above.

Just because two things are great (bacon and ice cream) doesn't mean they will be great together . . . then again . . . they just might! ;)

It is also very difficult to look at a model such as Defiance because of the differences between education. What was the goals of Definace? Just taking a stab here but I think they are trying to create a cult following and get those buying the game to then sit down and watch TV, and those watching TV shows to then go buy the game. Then again, those who watch SciFi channel usually like to play games as well (sorry if I am way generalizing).

Problem is that not everyone as grasshopper98 pointed out are interested in "both" which can diminish the motivation that you are trying to build. Some want to just watch the show, some want to play just the game.

So let's go back to education. Transmedia works best, IMHO, when one of the media is not as "strong" as the other and designed for "homework", supplemental work, or extension work.

So, the other day my 6 year old daughter asked me to take her to pbskids.org because she wanted to learn more about a certain dinosaur she was introduced to in Dinosaur Train and they told her to go to the website.

(Already Hollywood does a good job of wanting you to get more by throwing in cliffhangers). What if there was "cliffhangers" that wanted to grab the instant gratification that our youth want? Then the learning switched between the three E's of Education: (Explore, Engage, Evaluate).

What if we used different media to rotate between a exploration to an engagement. (TV -> Video game). There will be absolutely no way that all students would like all aspects and find them "equal" due to personal preference (I like watching TV series more than video games but Billy Bob likes video games more than TV series).

Even when implementing one game into a class I find there are always a handful that don't wish to engage with the game because it isn't their cup of tea.

But that is also what makes transmedia more powerful in that you might extend the engagement than you would have otherwise.
"A game is a problem-solving activity, approached with a playful attitude."
~ Jesse Schell ~
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#7724315 Apr 24, 2013 at 07:59 AM
Guild Officer
187 Posts
You have some great points Sam and Grasshopper. This post is in reply to some of the points you brought up, but anyone else is ALWAYS welcome to just in! I put ice cream at the end of this post (sort of like a Monster at the end of a book) to coax out lurkers.

One thing you said, Sam, interested me: "So let's go back to education. Transmedia works best, IMHO, when one of the media is not as "strong" as the other and designed for "homework", supplemental work, or extension work. "

How do you define "strong"? If I'm wired to be more engaged by, say, a video than a website but you're wired to be the other way around...there's still the question of which one will tend to teach the content best. Will a video work best? A website? Students creating content (moving towards that participatory culture)? Which should influence us more when choosing/creating content for teaching?

A YouTube video engages us via video, sound, and even potentially interaction (via links). How can be best used based on its innate traits? Are there topics where a YouTube video would work better to reach students than a website/book/mp3/live demo?

It sounds like, to me, we can boil down your post to a couple of different directives:
1. Make sure you meet your learning goals.
2. Be flexible about delivering the content. People consume media differently.
3. Don't use media for the sake of using media. Use it for a reason.

I guess my addition would be:
1. Use media that works best with the material. (Text or video can be used to deliver a great deal of factual information, images are good for showing comparisons, interactive media encourages active participation, etc...)

Love this statement: "But that is also what makes transmedia more powerful in that you might extend the engagement than you would have otherwise. "

And, circling back to the topic of the thread again: What combinations of media do we see in popular culture and why? How can we co-opt Hollywood and use it for education?

Also:
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#7725395 Apr 24, 2013 at 11:44 AM
Fiero
26 Posts
#7724315 Leedale wrote:

How do you define "strong"?



While I am not completely bought into Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theory (MI) I feel that this is what I was trying to refer to as "strong".

I think that the lack of many use the MI theory as a generalization - (I am a very strong logical learner) and the MI doesn't take into consideration domains of learning or development of ability. Many use MI as a justification of why the prefer to not to learn in a certain style or why they are good at something else without looking at their strengths in different areas. I might also be great at interpersonal in some arenas of learning and not so good in others. MI is not a one size fits all generalization that it is sometimes portrayed to be.

I digress. I guess what I was referring to in my previous post was that what I might view as a difference in strengths between transmedia options may be viewed differently by another student with different abilities, preferences, and dare I say intelligence. Some say the book is better than the movie, some say the movie is better and it may be only how you personally prefer to transcode information into your mind.

Also, thanks Leedale for pointing out number 3 (Don't use media for the sake of using media). What is the purpose behind my using multiple media options? If I am doing it to "seem" cool I miss the mark of what my goal and efforts are trying to accomplish.

I am a huge proponent for the literary tool "Cubing" or viewing the same topic from different angles. Not only does it help students who didn't understand the topic the first time maybe have a different view, but it helps enhance the learning of advanced students who may see more depth into the topic.

#7724315 Leedale wrote:


Are there topics where a YouTube video would work better to reach students than a website/book/mp3/live demo?



I would argue that if you could enhance learning with both, then use both. If you are beating a dead horse then choose the best method of delivery.

So, how best to get get transmedia across? Due to my schedule I can't participate in the Google Hangouts (I watch the recordings) nor can I do the Twitter Chitter (or Tweetchat). I have a Twitter account, but I am so unmotivated when it comes to posting (I guess I'm the farthest thing from a social bug). So if I read a forest full of tweets, but don't tweet back does that mean I even exist?

So, in a MOOC it is fine to lurk in some areas and participate more in others, but in traditional education voluntary selection isn't a strategy. How can you build motivation when the TV series is not as engaging as the game?
"A game is a problem-solving activity, approached with a playful attitude."
~ Jesse Schell ~
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#7725656 Apr 24, 2013 at 12:25 PM
Guides
561 Posts
At this point I am in agreement that all components do not have to be equally strong, not all students will be interested in each method of content delivery. I think if it is a linear progression from media to media, there needs to be a clue or hook that makes them want to go on to the next one. In my class someone might say, in relation to the text book, "Well I don't have much interest in social structure but I am anxious to get to the chapter on religion." So you have to pass through one to get to the other. If it is a scatter-gun approach, that is you can seamlessly move from one of the medias to the other at will, then there has to be some common thread that is interesting to all of the students to gain their participation in all modules. Next question. Do they have to go to all the media areas presented? Will the get the full picture going to only one or two? Is the content redundant in each media? If they only go to one media will they learn or be exposed to everything you are presenting? Inquiring minds want to know :)
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#7738606 Apr 26, 2013 at 09:21 PM
Guild Officer
187 Posts
I'm cherry picking things to respond to as we're coming to a close on this fine MOOC. :-)

"So, in a MOOC it is fine to lurk in some areas and participate more in others, but in traditional education voluntary selection isn't a strategy. How can you build motivation when the TV series is not as engaging as the game?"

Voluntary selection isn't a strategy, no, but giving a choice of assignment is. I think that this segues nice into crossing over different media, actually. Given the choice between a video and an MP3 on the same topic, I'll pick the video every time because I'm visual. I can't stand TV but games will get me every time.

"I guess what I was referring to in my previous post was that what I might view as a difference in strengths between transmedia options may be viewed differently by another student with different abilities, preferences, and dare I say intelligence."

I remember when I started teaching. The information on my course site was very strongly text-based (well, it still tends to be). I discovered quickly that if I gave students a video to watch, it went over much better than if I gave them an article to read. It didn't matter if the article was 600 words but the video was 10 minutes (an eternity in YouTube-speak!). I was raised reading, not watching.

"I am a huge proponent for the literary tool "Cubing" or viewing the same topic from different angles. Not only does it help students who didn't understand the topic the first time maybe have a different view, but it helps enhance the learning of advanced students who may see more depth into the topic. "

Like I tell my students: Yes, I repeat things...it's my job!

This was an interesting idea. I was never exposed to the idea of cubing. I never went to middle school or high school, as I was home schooled. I appreciate you mentioning it, as it seems a good way to organize one's exploration of an object or topic. I found a brief PDF on it here, for anyone else who's interested: http://www.litandlearn.lpb.org/strategies/strat_cubing.pdf.

"Are there topics where a YouTube video would work better to reach students than a website/book/mp3/live demo?"

"Due to my schedule I can't participate in the Google Hangouts (I watch the recordings) nor can I do the Twitter Chitter (or Tweetchat). I have a Twitter account, but I am so unmotivated when it comes to posting (I guess I'm the farthest thing from a social bug). So if I read a forest full of tweets, but don't tweet back does that mean I even exist?"

Ok, my first and best reaction to this is: LOL

I've been there. I started on Twitter supremely uninterested in it. I've now found that it's my best source of new information. That's not to say I'm particularly social on it. I tend to be very guarded in my social interactions online. I do, indeed, read a forest full of tweets and don't tweet back.

Using multiple forms of media helps us coax different kinds of learners, no matter how they are categorized, into looking at things from multiple angles. Far too often students are introduced to cardboard cutouts that represent what are actually pretty fascinating topics.
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#7747851 Apr 28, 2013 at 07:07 PM
Artisan
58 Posts
#7738606 Leedale wrote:


Using multiple forms of media helps us coax different kinds of learners, no matter how they are categorized, into looking at things from multiple angles. Far too often students are introduced to cardboard cutouts that represent what are actually pretty fascinating topics.



I so agree with this. I think that a major transmedia franchise that accomplishes this for the subjects of reading and critical thinking is Dungeons and Dragons. See the official site here: D & D.

You can participate using the board game, online D & D Eberron, watch a movie D & D movie , books Novels , D & D library programs Library Materials, and other stuff Products.





To each his own game ;)
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