Week 7: Digital Story Critique

This week I came across an article titled 10 Best TED Talks of 2014 for Educators. The article itself was from Edudemic.com-a website that I had never heard of before that claims to connect technology and education-a good fit for this course.  I ended up choosing the first video on the list: Clint Smith’s The Danger of SilenceIt’s only 4 minutes-you should watch it.

The video is extremely powerful, and felt fitting considering everything that is going on in the world right now. It has a strong message that all educators can bring into their classrooms.

Based on Lankshear and Knobel’s framework I found the following:

  • What types of “involvement” – and by the author/creator(s), participant(s), and/or audience – are apparent in this story?

The author of the story Clint Smith, was involved in the story in multiple ways. He speaks his story through a lyrical narrative. He appears passionate and knowledgeable about his story, which makes it more interesting and engaging for the audience. The online audience has multiple ways of becoming involved in the story. They are able to comment on the story, share it in multiple ways, and rate the story.

  • How would you characterize the “literacy dimensions” present in this story?

Being a TED Talk with no visuals there aren’t many of the literacy dimensions that Lankshear and Knobel mention in their framework. However, the story has a strong narrative with interesting elements of poetry that help make it really amazing. It almost felt like a less is more situation-if there were other literacy dimensions I think it would have taken away from the story.

  • What are the online spaces and sites that bring this story to life? Why do these spaces and sites matter to the impact of the given story?

The story first came to life for me in the form of the Edudemic.com article. I’m sure there are other websites that have shared this story as well. I actually realized for the first time that if you hover over the number of views the talk has had (over 3 million in this case) you can see the different outlets the video has been viewed by, which is a fun feature. Obviously the sharing of this video, and the fact that it comes in the form of the popular TED Talk, helps to expand its impact.

  • Based upon your assessment of involvement and literacy dimensions, what modifications and changes to this digital story might improve aspects of narrative, production, media usage, and/or audience engagement?

TED Talks always seem to have great production value, and this video was no exception. However, it was the content of the story and its delivery that made such an impact on me. I was really inspired by the message, and plan to talk its message into the classroom with me. It is truly a story that can be shared with all students. I really can’t think of anything I would change.


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