Wow, what an incredible first week we’ve had! In the introduction of the arc/DH@SDSU electronic literature program students explored digital literature and discussed what excited them about it. Their responses excited us all! Across all schools, students expressed interests in coding, 3-D animation, animated storytelling, and of course, having the opportunity to experience and play with virtual reality. Students showed us their creative writing skills, using an opportunity to free-write to find their voices and express themselves.
When asked what made good writing, one student, rather than describe writing that he enjoyed, gave a short history of writing and how it was used to record information. He realized a few minutes later that that was not what was being asked, and then described what kind of writing he liked. I do think there is an interesting connection between the original purpose of writing and what we are doing in Digital Studio. For these students, there is no inherent need, per se, to write or create digital literature, whereas there was a need for physical writing so long ago. However, we are meeting the expressed needs by familiarizing students with technology, and we are meeting the assumed need for digital literacy among all people in today’s society.
The students seem like they’re curious about multimedia storytelling experiences, and I’m excited moving forward to introduce various uses of sound, video, image and word animation. One of my students is interested in developing a storyboard for a comic book, with a focus on eventually animating. The story is a modern re-imagining of Egyptian mythology, and I’m excited to see him grow the concept through the lens of electronic literature.