Implementing Transmedia Storytelling

Fortunately, the last decade has yielded a variety of strategies for educators to work across disciplines and areas of expertise. But shifting from one educational paradigm to another can be quite difficult, especially if it involves bridging nascent learning science research with real-world instruction. More often than not, university research faculty are too immersed in their small specialty areas to deeply appreciate the exigencies of K-12, and in-service teachers are so focused on student achievement and curricular content that they simply cannot keep pace with the ever-evolving research landscape. This is amplified when subfields (e.g., game-based instruction, creativity, gifted learning) get caught in on-going disagreements about niche subjects and semantics, debating how their research can and should translate from theory to actuality (e.g., gamification vs. game-based instruction, “game” vs. “simulation,” engagement vs. fun; see: Slota & Young, 2014).

We can and often do offer teachers the chance to grapple with these and similar ideas through professional development experiences like workshops, conferences, and guest speaking. But expecting practitioners to play catch up does little to serve current students and perpetuates a system in which emergent research is unable to penetrate traditional teaching–after all, there are limited opportunities to make such connections, and we know that professional development seminars and workshops seldom have the longitudinal sticking power necessary to “fix” classroom instruction (Bobrowsky, Marx, & Fishman, 2001; Lawless & Pellegrino, 2007; Penuel, Fishman, Yamaguchi, & Gallagher, 2007; Slota, Young, Choi, & Lai, 2014). This begs the question: What can be done on a practical level to help educators not only understand TPACK-L but use it to create a “time for telling?”

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