RE: [Spam:***** ] Re: [xmca] Call for Proposals and Reviewers

From: Monica Hansen <monica.hansen who-is-at>
Date: Sat Jul 19 2008 - 11:04:08 PDT


I had to respond back to this because there are many parallels:
1) My name is Monica, so it caught my eye.
2) I just worked with a group of teachers at a Reggio inspired preschool to
create an exhibit of digital photography created and selected by the
students. All the photographs are accompanied by the teacher's
documentation, or "learning stories", that includes observations of the
process, transcripts, meaningful exchanges and interpretations, etc. The
public exhibition "Image of the Child" was shown at various places in the
local community and is going on the road soon. I am still working on
collaborating with the teachers in analyzing the generated materials. Have
you heard of the schools in Reggio Emilia (Italy), Malaguzzi, Gandini which
are Vygotsky and Bruner, among others, influenced and emphasize the multiple
symbolic languages/literacies of young children and infants/toddlers?
Because of this approach, and the children's interest and response to music,
I was inspired to do some experiments with music and imaginative play in my
classroom of toddlers in a similar way to deepen my understanding of this
connection between the imaginative and the cognitive. I am interested in the
creative process and multimodal tools for both students and teachers working

I am new to all of this research, just having started grad school (I am
Emily Duvall's grad assistant at the University of Idaho), and still trying
to find connections and familiarize myself with the topography of the
phenomenon and the way different theories conceptualize it. I am really
looking forward to seeing your work at ISCAR. I am presenting a poster about
my work with preschool teachers and using Vygotsky to disperse conceptions
of teacher's roles in literacy development in the classroom.

Monica R. Hansen

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Monica E. Nilsson
Sent: Friday, July 18, 2008 1:29 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [Spam:***** ] Re: [xmca] Call for Proposals and Reviewers

Thanks -- yes it is very exiting particularly as I can see how the
use of multimodal tools make a difference for people. I will be
presenting a paper at ISCAR (in Ana's symposium) which (today ;-) is
titled "Development of Voice Through Creative Process and Multimodal
Tools in Digital Storytelling Activity." It is a case study (digital
stories by a 9 year old boy and a narrative by his teacher about him
and his production process) where I hope to show how, particularly,
image and music mediate the boy's creative activity and how he
develops "voice" not "heard" in the classroom before. I consider, in
this case, image and music simultaneously as aesthetic/artistic and
semiotic means and because of this dual nature it facilitates both
creativity (and thus learning) and communication. I find it very
exiting to put multimodality and Vygotsky's theory of imagination and
creativity into a dialogue. I also lean on Bruner's work on narrative
(storytelling in digital storytelling).

I am currently working with teachers in a project turning a, what is
called, Equality plan into digital stories. In Sweden every school
has to make a plan for how to work against abuse, sexual harassment,
bullying, etc. The plan, which is a written text, is composed by
teachers and regulated by national requirements. The students are
supposed to read it and embrace the message. However, the document is
often considered a “dead text”, that is, it contains words, carrying
little meaning to the students. In this project the Equality plan
will be transformed into digital stories within a framework of a
collective production process. I ask for example:

# What do the children tell in their digital stories and how is their
understanding of what is said in the Equality Plan represented?
# How do the children use different kinds of representation and
aesthetical forms of expression, among them, image and narration?
# How, verbally, is the interplay between imagination and reality
expressed in the creation of their digital stories?
# How do the students reflect on the activity involving the Equality
Plan and the creation of their digital stories?
# Based on the work of transforming the Equality Plan to digital
stories, what can be said, about the possibilities for meaning
making, communication, and learning – focusing on creativity and
imagination – that digital storytelling offers?

In my work I have also started to think about Vygotsky's
classification of creativity at different ages. He claims (as I read
it) that literary or verbal creativity characterizes the school
child’s activity. The literary activity follows stages where play and
drawing has dominated but comes before stages where theater and
dramatic creation is central.
But is this categorization valid today when we live in an era
characterized by a range of different forms of representations and
aesthetical forms of expressions and where the possibility of
integrating different kinds of representations due to information
technology is obvious? Digital storytelling constitutes one example
since literary forms of expression, in terms of narration, is
combined with visual, oral, musical, etc forms of expression. From
this perspective I perceive an exiting challenge in Vygotsky’s
discussion about different kinds of creative expressions at different
developmental stages. What is the implication in terms of creative
activity when a variety of tools with differing qualities are
available, which also can be combined?

If combining a socio cultural/activity theory approach and
multimodality can be considered a multidisciplinary project this is a
multidisciplinary project I hope to tell about at AERA..

Thanks for being interested,


18 jul 2008 kl. 02.38 skrev Cathrene Connery:

>> Hello from Colorado,
> Sounds like a wonderful project! Monica, I really like your
> description
> of multimodality. Given the fact that we humans mediate in multiple
> means, it only seems correct to collect and analyze data from a
> multiplicity of sources in our quest to understand the mind.
> Best wishes,
> Cathrene
> I am presently doing research on Digital Storytelling applying Kress
>> (Literacy in the new media age, 2003) and Kress & van Leeuwen
>> (multimodal discource, 2001) in combination with Vygotsky's
>> "Imagination & Creativity". Thinking of presenting a paper at AERA...
>> Multimodality is about making meaning with a diversity of
>> communicative modes: language, image, music, sound, texture and
>> gesture -- how they differ and how they can be combined. Kress says:
>> "the world told is a different world than the world shown"...
>> MOnica
>> 16 jul 2008 kl. 01.41 skrev
>>> In addition to whatever Michael will send, I attended a quite
>>> wonderful conference on MultiModality and Learning in June,
>>> sponsored by the Institute of Education, University of London.
>>> See
>>> Best,
>>> Judith
>>> Quoting Martin Packer <
>>>> Michael,
>>>> I'm always interested in qualitative research, and I'm a
>>>> developmental
>>>> psychologist. Does 'multi-modal' in this context mean mixed
>>>> methods? Is
>>>> there a more specific form emerging for this second topic?
>>>> best
>>>> Martin
>>>> __
>>>> Martin Packer, Ph.D.
>>>> Associate Professor
>>>> Psychology Department
>>>> Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA 15282
>>>> (412) 396-4852
>>>> On 7/15/08 4:29 PM, "Michael A. Evans" <> wrote:
>>>>> Dear All,
>>>>> Wanted to submit one more inquiry regarding interest in the
>>>>> following two
>>>>> themes for possible AERA symposia:
>>>>>> Second life, WoW, and Other Virtual Environments for education
>>>>>> The role(s) of qualitative (multi-modal) research in the
>>>>>> conduct of research
>>>>> on learning and development
>>>>> Therešs room for 1-2 more abstracts on either topic if youšre
>>>>> interested in
>>>>> joining otherwise, Išll close this call and get working with
>>>>> those whošve
>>>>> already expressed an interest...
>>>>> Cheers,
>>>>> Michael~
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> xmca mailing list
>>> Judith Gregory, Ph.D.
>>> Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology
>>> 350 North LaSalle Street
>>> Chicago, IL 60610 USA
>>> tel: +1 312 315 3371 (cell/sms)
>>> fax: +1 312 595 4901
>>> email:
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> xmca mailing list
>> _______________________________________________
>> xmca mailing list
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list

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