How can we create new literacy settings in digital and multi-media contexts? Is it possible to transform the role of information recipients and turn them into digital creators? In this study, boys and girls create their own stories to share them on the Internet by using different technologies and means of expression. This implies assuming their role of authors and learning to build multi-modal texts in which, by combining different languages, an idea can be conveyed.
Data for this project was collected at an extracurricular experience (2003/2004 school year) where boys and girls, in small groups, built “digital stories”. In these multimedia narrations they presented their everyday life through the use of a computer and multiple technologies (video cameras, photo cameras, sound recorders, etc.). In this way, they created stories regarding their neighbourhood that they later uploaded onto the Internet and, thus, shared with other people worldwide. The web ‘Living in Alcalá’ includes the children’s creations and analyzes, from their point of view, the places they found most significant within the city as well as the people that inhabit it.
In order to build an interactive relationship with the new digital environments it is essential for children and adults to discover the rules that organize the media structure. This allows us to adopt an active and critical role when dealing with them, in contrast to being just passive content recipients.
When we approach situations in our everyday life we need to think about them in a critical way. In this way, education arises as a mechanism for cultural integration and as a space for the development of the social identity of individuals.
New information and communication technologies enable new ways of learning and teaching that favour inclusion. They allow an active approach to knowledge, eliminate barriers that rest on the excellence of a few and provide situations in which an error becomes the starting point for new learnings.
New literacies are very useful tools that enable students to turn into knowledge the information received every day in their daily activities outside of the school. Leaning on audiovisual discourses, individuals develop original, flexible and creative thinking processes.
This work has been developed within the framework of a project subsidized by the DGCYT (BSO2002-4065-C02-01) titled ‘La presencia de la tecnología en la vida infantil: nuevas alfabetizaciones (The presence of technology in children´s life: new literacies)’.
Boys and girls in different years in Primary Education at school CEIP Henares de Alcalá de Henares
Lacasa, P. (ed.) (2006) Aprendiendo periodismo digital. Historias de pequeñas escritoras. Madrid: Visor.