06 SES 07, Digital Narratives in Open Learning
Parallel Paper Session
We live in a more and more “connected and mobile” world (Rheingold, 2002; Castells et al., 2007), in a continuous flow from real to virtual life and vice versa, stimulated by the spread of mobile devices and social media. Young people, in particular, are intensive users of these new technologies, fully integrating them in their daily lives (Caron & Caronia, 2007), despite their general unconsciousness of their risks and opportunities (Livingstone, 2011; Turkle, 2011; Buckingham, 2007 and 2008). Online interaction and content sharing have become common activities amongst young generations. Participatory culture (Jenkins et al., 2009), however, requires digital and social competences as well as an awareness of one’s own identity, factors that cannot be taken for granted in schooling-age subjects or in individuals living in disadvantaged contexts.
The study presented here is set within this context and refers to an informal education experience with second generation immigrant adolescents, based on the use of mobile phones and social media. The experience was carried out at Piagge, a working-class neighbourhood in Florence, characterized by a large numbers of broken families with low income, immigrants, and quite a few young people at risk of social exclusion (Manuelli, 2007). Since 2008, an after-school service for youngsters aged 11-16 has been promoted by the local community of volunteers. Last year, an action-research project was developed focusing on the construction of individual and collective narratives through mobile devices and social networks. The project involved 15 teens aged 11-16, four educators, a researcher who participated directly in the activity, and an external researcher. The aim was to explore whether the pedagogical use of such familiar devices could have a positive influence on young people involvement in educational activities, and also evaluate whether the collective mobile writing experience could contribute to the development of their self-expression, thus improving their self-representation and that of their community.
With this in mind, teens were involved in a gradual process of approaching the media to manipulate multimodal texts and express themselves in a shared space of representation. The activity started with a brainstorming on mobile functionalities to explore teens’ pre-existing skills and knowledge about mobile media. After this initial phase, teens were stimulated to share their pictures, imagines and music from their mobile phones, and begin to invent stories inspired by their daily life. The next step was to continue telling stories through a collective writing exercise based on the use of SMSs and FacebookMobile. The exercise ended up with the creation of six stories of different lengths and topics, and one of them was represented and video-recorded. If at the beginning several obstacles (lack of technical skills, different ages, low level of self-esteem etc.) obstructed teens to build their own narratives, the proposition of using mobile media encouraged them to build and share stories as testified by the final products. Of course, the use of media cannot be considered the only factor influencing the increase of teens’ involvement, but using popular media such as mobile phones revealed to be a promising strategy.
Buckingham, D. (Ed.) (2007). Youth, Identity, and Digital Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Buckingham D. (2008), Youth, identity and Digital Media, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. Caron, A. and Caronia, L. (2007). Moving Cultures: Mobile communication in everyday life. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press. Castells, M., Fernandez-Ardevol, M., Qiu, J. L. and Sey, A. (2007). Mobile communication and society: A global perspective. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogia do oprimido. Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra. Jenkins, H. et. al. (2009). Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21 Century. Cambridge, MA: The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Livingstone, S., Ólafsson, K. and Staksrud, E. (2011). Social Networking, Age and Privacy. LSE, London: EU Kids Online. Available at: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/media@lse/research/EUKidsOnline/Home.aspx Manuelli, F. (2007). Le Piagge. Storia di un quartiere senza storia. Napoli-Roma: L’Ancora delMediterraneo. Rheingold, H. (2002). Smart Mobs: the next social revolution. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing. Turkle, S. (2011). Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. New York: Basic Books. Sernhede, O. (2007). Territorial Stigmatisation, Hip Hop and Informal Schooling. In W. T. Pink and W. G. Noblit (Eds.), International Handbook of Urban Education (pp. 463-480). Dordrecht: Springer.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.