Storytelling’s gone digital!

“Before [in Ghana], this was how you heard and knew the best stories: young exhausted faces yet with bright eyes like those of an eagle sat by the fireside in the night, eager to hear another story narrated by one of the elders in the village. “Once upon a time…”; then the children got even more excited.” I barely experienced this when growing up because I never lived in a village. After my dad told me this, I felt a little jealous about all the kids who got to have this experience; listening to a story by the fireside.

This traditional way of telling stories still exist but the new form of storytelling, which comes in the form of digital storytelling has taken a huge place over the years. New developments in technology allow for new media to tell stories: good, informative and/or moral stories that can be accessed anywhere at anytime (one beneficial feature of having media literacy: online databases vs. traditional databases). Digital storytelling can be revealed through statuses posted on Facebook, Twitter, etc, blogs as a resource for movies, ongoing stories shared by newscasters on TV, among others. John Branch’s “Snow Fall, the Avalanche at Tunnel Creek” begins with a narrative about the life of Elyse, who survived after being buried by the snow at Tunnel Creek when skiing. Branch gives so much information about this part of the Cascades, and also engages his readers because of the storytelling component he adds to it. I would probably not have read about Tunnel Creek but the narrative at the beginning “pulls me in” to read. Bryan Alexander reveals further that digital story is also evident even in still photos and games.

“What isn’t storytelling?” Bryan Alexander asks. Though we may identify some things by itself (like a chair, a single number like 5) that cannot be considered stories, the combination of these single elements can become a story, which can be told digitally. What do you come to know when you see a photo of a chair with five legs placed in an empty dark room or a video showing how a five-legged chair is made? This is a power of #metaliteracy; merging together good, informative and moral stories and telling them through media by not just telling but also showing.


Pros and Cons of Democratization of Media.

Like us on Facebook. Add us on Twitter. Check our website online.  With the current development of digital and virtual interaction, it is almost impossible to do without  media. One key foundation of publicity that is found among the corporate world, religious institutions, educational facilities, healthcare structures, and governmental organizations lies in recognition on some sort of media, especially social media.  Social media affects all facets of our lives, be it education, entertainment, politics, information among many. While social media is a great source for news, entertainment and friendship, it also negatively influences our understanding of situations and deters metaliteracy, if not used in the right way.

Howard Rheingold explains what he does on Twitter, “To me, successful use of Twitter comes down to tuning and feeding. And by successful, I mean that I gain value – useful information, answers to questions, new friends and colleagues – and that the people who follow me gain value in the form of entertainment, useful information, and some kind of ongoing relationship with me. To oversimplify, I think successful use of Twitter means knowing how to tune the network of people you follow, and how to feed the network of people who follow you.”Rheingold acknowledges the networking experience he has with people as well as the useful information he gets via Twitter. But when does this information become nonsensically harmful?

Before many bits of news information  hit formal platforms, Facebook and Youtube has it first. Due to the democratization of media, citizen journalism has become more rampant. Nowadays, many people do not necessarily “sit and wait” for the 7 o’clock news to show up before knowing the breaking news Thanks to media, mother hears the death of all-time great singer  A from daughter, whose friend sent her a confirmation text  via a post from his Facebook friend. This news therefore becomes no new news to mother if she hears it again on TV (since TV gives the credible information, she believes). What if the 7 o’clock news shows a live interview with this so-called deceased singer? Then it reveals the danger of false information which potential citizen journalists may share. The worst happens when the legitimate information sharers adopt false information from these citizen journalists. This is one big reason why #metaliteracy is an important element in our digital world today. The ability to identify, gather, evaluate and have a scope of the information you read is essential.

What metaliteracy means to me- A new student’s perspective.

      The century we live in is characterized with unending innovations in technology, which has both sides of the coin. With one side establishing fear of scam, duping practices and less or no privacy, some people are disappointed in the “technology age”. However, with introduction to an advanced synthetic tool in this digital age known as metaliteracy, the positive image on the other side of the coin in technology is inclined to stay in our minds more often. As a new student in metaliteracy, I am yet to explore the depth and understand metaliteracy, its elements, usage and outputs more. I see metaliteracy as a combination of traditional tools for identifying and managing information with contemporary resources in technology in order to foster understanding of viable information; and also the interconnections of information from different media over time with its learners.
      We live in a generation where virtual communication is most common. The internet is an amazing source of information. The implementation of the Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) is an approach that would benefit many of its learners because it incorporates the “normal” and fun ways of communication and learning, thus through video, audio and text to help students achieve the seven pillars of information literacy, which include gathering and presentation of information. Also, it allows for unlimited number of participants all around the world to experience the convenience of getting information. I am looking forward to using tools of metaliteracy to broaden my understanding of the world around me: in my college life, spiritual life, social life and moral life.