Transliteracy- not just web 2.0

This week, I found an article about transliteracy and the application of digital storytelling. Suzana Sukovic defines transliteracy as, “The ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks.” The idea of transliteracy directly relates to discussion about the new literacy. Communication is no longer solely regarded in traditional literacy, but must also be collaborative and social. Although digital storytelling does not always reflect the applications of transliteracy, the author notes, “Discussions about transliteracy and DS, although usually disconnected, reveal common interests in bridging different literacies and cultural meanings and experiences. The process of integrating personal meanings in collective knowledge building depends on the articulation of a sense of a perspective and an ability to see how pieces contribute to the collaborative construction of a puzzle.”


The article describes and analyzes a study in which a group of girls participate in a program called iTell at their school. Students engage in storytelling workshops, are guided with various digital tools, and ultimately tell their own story with multimedia applications. The study found that students reported they enjoyed their learning, were engaged in the project, and felt the program increased their desire to read and write in their personal time. Although many of the findings within the study were qualitative, the author presents her observations clearly and includes student feedback and reflections. Sukovic points out, “By entering a narrative through drawing, or discovering the beauty of reading through storytelling with multimedia, students engaged with activities they once found unappealing.” It is no secret that students are more engaged when they are utilizing technology and the communication styles that they have integrated into their daily lives.

iTell was conducted in a library setting. The author notes the opportunity for librarians to support literacy across all communication platforms. I appreciated finding a study with such positive results. Sukovic has great insight and celebrates creativity and productivity in literacy. It is yet another great article for me to file away as support for integrating multimedia storytelling in the classroom.



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