Digital Media Spotlight

Every kind of communication device — from the invention of paper and ink to the proliferation of the latest cool iThing — affects the nature of communication itself. Books, magazines, television, movies, e-readers, and multimedia versions of any and all of the above offer new perspectives on the content they contain, as well as how we both develop and use the resulting information.

The MacArthur Foundation (of “genius grant” fame) supports several initiatives related to digital media and learning, including Studentspeak, showcasing student-created media projects and activities, and HASTAC, the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory that brings together professionals in these diverse fields to develop effective media and methods for creating and communicating knowledge.

The Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning e-letter captures related news from around the interwebs. Because “learning” takes many forms, all driven by communication, you’ll find a broad range of fascinating topics covered each week.

Digital literature is the focus of the July 27, 2011 Spotlight. The opening question? “Are digital technologies changing the way we tell stories and the way writers write?” A link to an article from the Toronto Globe and Mail asks what authors and publishers think about e-reading, writing, and digital literature. Another item explores a new form of multimedia e-book — labeled “transmedia” — such as Kate Pullinger’s “Inanimate Alice,” that uses text, sound, images, and games to tell its story.

Several sources came together in the June 28 Spotlight under the heading “The Digital Era Needs Human Guides: Why Your School Should Keep, Not Cut, the Librarian,” a topic that deserves attention from anyone, not just parents of schoolchildren, who values the power of sorting and finding that good librarians provide their patrons.

And that’s barely the beginning. Take a look and sign up at the Spotlight website. Be sure to share your thoughts with us here, too.

©2011 Jill J. Jensen/Clarity from Chaos