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Thursday, August 2 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Research Paper Panel: Star Wars, New Media Ecology and Peer Culture

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The Force Will Be With You…Always: Studying the Star Wars Transmedia Storyworld
Trent Hergenrader

Since Disney’s 2012 purchase of Lucasfilm, connected stories set in the Star Wars galaxy have exploded across media including feature films, fiction, comic books, television, and games. This paper discusses the development of a college course taught in 2017 that leveraged existing student interest in the Star Wars franchise to teach a broad range of media literacies including the critical analysis of films, TV, comics, print fiction, and games. The course focused on analyzing different aspects of “transmedia storyworlds,” or narratives that span multiple media and target different generations of audiences. The paper also discusses a second course to be taught in spring 2018 that uses the Star Wars galaxy as the setting for role-playing and fiction writing. Far from pandering to students with pop culture, these courses position them become critical consumers and active producers of media content in the 21st century.

Transmedia Literacy in the New Media Ecology. An international map of teens’ transmedia skills
Carlos Scolari

The emergence of new media, devices, narratives and practices has compelled media literacy scholars and professionals to review their theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches. Based on a new conception – ‘transmedia literacy’ – that moves from traditional media literacy (teaching critical media skills at school) to informal learning and practices of participatory cultures, the research behind the present paper aims to understand how new generations are doing things with media outside schools and how they learn to do the things they do. After a short description of the objectives and the methodology, the paper focuses on one of the outputs of this international research (2015-18) that has involved eight countries: a map of teens’ transmedia skills developed in the context of informal learning environments collaborative cultures.

Learning Projects in Glocal Networks: The Emergence of a Formal and Informal Peer Culture
Saara Nissinen, Henriikka Vartiainen, Petteri Vanninen

The digital age has provided new possibilities for the creation of glocal peer cultures that stretch beyond the boundaries of the immediate community. To better understand these opportunities in the school context, we aim to examine the co-creation of an international learning ecosystem of two classes sharing an object of inquiry. The participants were a Finnish 6th-grade class (N=17) and a American 7–8th-grade class (N=16) who communicated through blogs and Skype. Using deductive content analysis on their transcribed Skype meetings, students’ digital artifacts, and a questionnaire, we aim to describe the learning ecosystem that emerged. The preliminary results of the study indicated that during the academic learning process, an informal peer culture started to emerge through students’ mobile devices and applications such as FaceTime, and Snapchat. Conclusions are drawn about the hybrid ecosystem that connected friendship-driven, interest-driven, and expertise-oriented participation.

Speakers
avatar for Trent Hergenrader

Trent Hergenrader

Assistant Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology
My primary area of research is using games and gaming in English courses, and more specifically using role-playing games to teach fiction writing. I am an Assistant Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
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Saara Nissinen

Junior Researcher, University of Eastern Finland
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Henriikka Vartiainen

Senior lecturer, University of Eastern Finland


Thursday August 2, 2018 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Sloan/Morris and Sophie Chang Building, E52-164 Classroom, Building E52 50 Memorial Dr, Cambridge, MA 02142

Attendees (22)