Digital convergence is the merging of various digital technology elements from a range of electronic systems into one simplified digital system, enabling users to experience and learn in new ways. (Asonye, 2003.)
It is the view of Serrano-Santoyo, A. & Cabrera-Flores, M.R. (2014, p. 29-30) that the emergence and adoption of digital convergence in the education system, expands the range and availability of tools for accessing the Internet in a dynamic and interactive way. This increases the opportunity for interaction, collaboration and cooperation between people, across multiple literacies.
Alper, M & Herr-Stephenson, R. (2013) explain the use of transmedia, a form of digital convergence, as the collaboration of various multimedia and traditional platforms such as games, books, events, social media, cinema and television to produce content on a given narrative or story. This enables the reader to explore and experience the story from many perspectives. Transmedia promotes discovery, engagement and interaction of content rich media accessed at any access point, allowing the reader to navigate and discover more, along a personal journey.
Video uploaded to YouTube by Gordon, U. (2010).
HerrStephenson, R. and Alper M. (2013), report on the development of critical media literacy in children, who are engaging in transmedia play, through five key characteristics which include:
- Resourcefulness – creative thinking to solve challenges
- Sociability – the communications exchanged amongst social media tools
- Mobility – use of mobile devices
- Accessibility – access from various entry points
- Replayability – to actively revisit a space already explored and find further content
Transmedia storytelling has become a critical foundation for innovative, media rich pedagogies and learning in the 21st century. “This new model of learning goes beyond the confines of a classroom, and instead creates a transmedia learning world that allows content to flow fluidly across the curriculum and from one media to the next . . .” Fleming, L. (2013 p 370)
I conclude that the benefits associated with media literacy gained from transmedia play offer key ingredients for successful learning. “Media literacy can empower youth to be positive contributors to society, to challenge cynicism and apathy, and to serve as agents for social change.” Considine, D. (2002).