Emerging technologies are continuously changing the way we communicate, learn, teach and live. Today’s college students are not just surrounded by media and electronic technologies; many are completely immersed in it. As such, educators need to find ways to engage students with course content using mediums with which they are familiar.
On May 7, students in Dr. Mia Zamora’s undergraduate and graduate Introduction to Electronic Literature courses (ENG 4081/ENG 5081) demonstrated their unique and interactive final projects representing the diverse catalog of electronic literature.
“Throughout the semester, we explored a variety of established and emerging forms of electronic literature including hypertext fiction, network fiction, interactive works and digital poetry,” said Zamora, noting that the classes also kept an online blog. “Students were assigned to create electronic works that question and extend the definition of electronic literature presented in the textbook and that utilize a creative selection of readily available software.”
The end-of-semester Showcase of Electronic Literature was, as Zamora explained, “a celebration of the inspired work being done at Kean.” Using Google, Prezi, PowerPoint and other software, the student’s final projects ranged from an interactive, allegorical exploration of mythical creatures, to an intimate look into one young woman’s experiences of mind and body, as well as idea-prompting schemes and stories with multiple endings behind each door. Each one a reflection of the student's personal interests, skills and newfound undestanding of e-lit.
“Each assignment in this class built on the one before it,” said Andria Rogers, a theatre major who developed a task-driven treasure hunt using QR codes. “Technology can and is being incorporated not only in literatre, but also in theatre and many other areas of our lives."
In Zamora’s classes, writing electronic literature becomes a true "connected learning" experience. “With new media and digital writing as a central focus of our work together, we have all experienced effective networked learning—such as using Twitter to crowdsource our questions and ideas to a global field of artists and scholars.”
To enter the world of e-literature as experienced and created by this year’s classes, please check out their class blog.