Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Chapter 2 Response

I chose to focus on two questions this week in responding to chapter two.  I feel my responses tie in together so I am combining the response.

What are your main insights and ideas from the given L&K chapter?
How does this reading challenge/expand/contradict your definition of (digital) storytelling?

I was frustrated when I got to the end of this chapter because I feel like a lot of what they wrote in chapter 2 could have been simplified into a few pages.  Parts of what they wrote were too complicated and hard to follow; I am a big believer in simplicity and less is more.  However, I found the section on encoded texts very interesting and thought provoking.  On page 45, Lankshear and Knobel write a discussion question about encoded texts and it got me thinking.  Encoded texts are digital stories.  They are texts that can ‘travel’ and be interacted with and never ‘frozen.’  They could take the shape of any story or photograph someone shares with another person.

According to Lankshear and Knobel, literacies are “socially recognized ways in which people generate, communicate, and negotiate meanings, as members of Discourse, through the medium of encoded texts” (p. 50).  When I first read part of this definition at the beginning of chapter 2, I was confused, but by the end, I understand what it means.  To me, this definition of literacies expands upon and confirms my definition of digital storytelling.  Early last week I had to ask people and Google what a digital story was exactly.  Now I realize there is no exact, perfect answer.  A digital story is any form of the definition of literacies above, it’s communicating and interacting through a variety of means and people are free to negotiate and interpret the meaning how they see fit.  Literacy does not have to be just learning to read and write as I previously thought. 

Before chapter 2, I didn’t think of Facebook or blog posting as digital stories, I thought digital storytelling had to be more formal, like Ted Talks or a news story.  I now realize that the whole feed on Facebook or blog role can be considered a digital story, they tell about an individual overtime.  What Jim Gee describes as Discourse, to me, can also be considered interpretation and how different people make meaning.  So I look at Facebook as informal and casual, while someone else might look at Facebook as a digital story of a person’s life, more serious.  I could be way off here, but like I said, I found some of this chapter to be hard to follow so please correct me if I am wrong!      

(Side note: I also felt like Lankshear and Knobel gave learning how to use Facebook too much credit in terms of becoming literate with the website.  What they were saying in that section was a stretch for me; however, I was part of the first group to join Facebook my freshman year of college in 2003/4 so perhaps because I have been using Facebook ‘the longest’ it comes easier to me.)


  1. Emily, thank you so much for your thoughts here! Seriously, I have been feeling the same way about the text and the meaning of digital storytelling. It all seems very convoluted and I have been doubting my actual understanding of it. But, I think I get it now. I appreciate how you broke it down in simple terms in your post. Your analysis is spot on and gave me an "ah-ha" moment! To that I am much obliged.

  2. Emily...I am glad I am not the only one that gets confused by this text! I have to constantly re-read to check for understanding! I'm glad I could help, if I'm even correct :)

  3. Emily-
    Thank you for simplifying and clearing up some of the points in the text. I was not exactly sure what qualified as digital storytelling either. I let myself get bogged down with the terms literate vs. illiterate in chapter one. A lot of the terminology seems to be used reused in new ways for the information age. I think one of the most important skills when finding information is the filtering of the reliable sources.