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Media Education Summit: Intergenerational Digital Storytelling

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I am author of 'Children, Film and Literacy' (2013) published by Palgrave Macmillan. My research focuses on the relationship between the narratives created for children, in different media, and those they themselves create. I research using creative and collaborative methods in formal and informal learning contexts, drawing on sociocultural theories of literacy, identity and learning.

At the recent and excellent Media Education Summit held in Prague I presented some research on the ways in which young children read adverts. I argued that the data I was sharing demonstrated that children were able to express some very complex ideas if given the appropriate conceptual tools and opportunities for reflection. This led me to conclude that we are currently underestimating what older children might be capable of understanding. My article Reading Ads, Reading the World will be published in Education 3-13 and I'd be happy to send a copy to anyone interested.


The Media Education Summit is run by a dynamic team of researchers based at the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice where I am currently a visiting research fellow.
The Centre for Excellence in Media Practice Home

One presentation I really enjoyed was made by Isabella Rega and colleagues. It was absolutely brilliant to hear about digital storytelling projects which had been authentically intergenerational and intercultural. Isabella's work is really inspiring (she runs an NGO and is an academic - the links are below.) I particularly enjoyed having the opportunity to discuss what children from many different cultures perceive 'good' stories to be and whether these ideas come from home, popular culture or school. I hope this is a collaboration we can develop into a broader project.

I also have to mention the Youth Media Summit run in parallel by the inimitable Marketa Zezulkova. I have seen many people try to meaningfully involve children or young people in an 'adult' conference about children and often the approach is a token gesture and children become  'performers' of adult roles. Marketa and her team fully involved the young people from Prague in creating documentary as well as short films and games. They explored the issues about media they were interested in and interviewed some of the conference delegates, putting them on the spot about social media and media representation. When they screened their work it was truly an engaging and thought-provoking end to the conference - even if they do have me on camera talking about internet dating!

Thanks to Julian McDougall and all the participants - a really collegiate conference in a brilliant location.

All this and a fabulous book sculpture! Next year the conference is in Boston!




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