<span class='p-name'>Transmedia Storytelling</span>

Transmedia Storytelling

Transmedia storytelling occurs when integral elements of a particular narrative are dispersed across multiple delivery channels using multiple media for the purpose of creating an integrated and coordinated storytelling experience. This is also sometimes referred to as transmedia narrative or storytelling across multiple platforms.

This post is a supplement to our column on transmedia storytelling and literacy instruction in the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy.

Convergence of new & old media

As evidenced by Henry Jenkins in Convergence Culture, we’re at the intersection of new and old media, and this collision has implications for convergence culture in education. This includes a relationship between media convergence, participatory culture, and collective intelligence.

Henry talks a bit more about participatory culture in the TedxNYED talk (17:46) below.

Utilizing new and digital tools, everyone has the ability to create and share media. The grassroots organization can create and share content along with the corporate media conglomerate.

If Convergence Culture details the future, transmedia storytelling identifies ways to make this happen now. In Transmedia Storytelling 101 and Transmedia Storytelling 202, Jenkins provides a more detailed overview of the elements involved in this process and product.

Please review the video (5:56) below to learn more about the power at stake, and opportunities as we empower students to recreate and remix content.

Transmedia storytelling and engagement

From Jenkins’ perspective, there are “five logics” that contribute to the emergence of transmedia in society and culture and increased fan participation:

  • Logic of entertainment – Evidenced by the presence of TV series and reality shows on television schedules in the United States.
  • Logic of social connection – Highlighted by votes, “likes”, and discussions carried on across social networks.
  • Logic of experts – Symbolized by the collective intelligence created by fans for the purposes of creation, production, and discussion.
  • Logic of immersion – Encouraging participation as fans immerse themselves in the ceremony and community.
  • Logic of identification – Enables fans to establish an identity depending on what they watch and connect with.

Transmedia Storytelling in the classroom

In this process, educators have the opportunity to reconceptualize what literacy and learning could and should look like in and out of school. It provides opportunities for students to create their own stories that expand the lore and mythology of the overarching narrative and challenges them to resolve a variety of open, non-linear problems.

These narratives also contain sociocultural elements and therefore have the opportunity to connect to readers on different levels. In this column, we examine the affordances and possibilities of embedding transmedia narrative and elements of gaming into literacy instruction.

The integration of transmedia storytelling in the classroom provides opportunities to embed multiple iterations of literacy examination and instruction into the curriculum. Specifically, transmedia storytelling provides opportunities to examine multimodal literacy, critical literacy, digital literacy, media literacy, visual literacy, information literacy, and gaming literacy.


flickr photo by quinn.anya https://flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/6799193106 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

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