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Storytelling and Education in the Digital Age

Experiences and Criticisms

Edited By Matteo Stocchetti

While the importance of the role of storytelling can hardly be overestimated, the impact of digitalization on this role is more ambivalent. In this second book-length publication of the programme Media and Education in the Digital Age – MEDA, the authors take a critical stance towards the alleged emancipative affordances of digital storytelling in education. The collection is inspired by the effort of making professional educators aware of the risks of the digital turn in educational storytelling but also of the opportunities and the conditions for critical engagements. Based on their research and field experience, fifteen scholars discuss in nine chapters these risks and opportunities, providing ideas, evidence, references and inspiration to educators and researchers.

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Preface

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Preface

This volume is the second book-length publication of the research programme Media and Education in the Digital Age – MEDA.

MEDA is an interdisciplinary programme whose main goal is to support the circulation of critical knowledge about the educational role of digital technology. It should be clear that MEDA does not promote the use or the rejection of digital technology. Rather, it promotes a critical attitude towards the values, goals and, ultimately, pedagogical projects that inspire its usages in education. In this endeavour, MEDA shares many of the assumptions, interests, intellectual goals and conceptual tools of the critical traditions that pay attention to the changes affecting education as part of a larger reflection on the nature and direction of social change.

The notion of ‘critical’ that inspires the work and ambitions of MEDA includes at least three features: First, an explicit attention to the relations of power implied, reproduced, challenged or otherwise associated with the uses of digital technologies in education. Second, sensitivity towards the idea that the study of social phenomena is not detached from but very much part of and actually influential upon the phenomena investigated. Finally, the normative commitment to the idea that improvement in education should be defined in relation to a notion of the ‘individual’ as a value in herself and independently from other configurations instrumentally associated with this notion in the economic, political or religious domains.

In this volume the focus is on the impact of the digitalisation of education (the ‘digital turn’) on the educational role of storytelling. While the importance of this role can hardly be overestimated, the impact of digitalisation is more ambivalent. The contributors take a critical stance towards the alleged emancipative affordances of digital storytelling in education. The collection is inspired by the effort of making professional educators aware of the risks of the digital turn in educational storytelling but also of the opportunities and the conditions for critical engagements. Based on research and field experience, fifteen scholars discuss in nine chapters these risks and opportunities, providing ideas, evidence, references and inspiration to educators and researchers.

Also this project has been supported by the following friends and colleagues towards whom I gladly acknowledge a debt of gratitude: Belinha De Abreu (UNESCO Communication & Information Section), Ana Bermejillo Ibanez, (Universidad CEU San Pablo), Emiliano Blasco Doñamayor (Universidad CEU San Pablo), Claudio Franco (University of Bedfordshire), Kjetil Sandvik (University of Copenhagen), Sultana A. Shabazz (University of Tennessee), Karen Ferreira-Meyer (University of ← 5 | 6 → Swaziland), Raine Koskimaa (University of Jyväskylä), Paul Mihailidis (Emerson College and Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change), Rebecca Renatus (Technische Universität Dresden). Thanks also to Sami Rouhento for his precious help. Last but not least, the publication of this volume has been made possible also thanks to funding provided by the Fonden för Teknisk Undervisning & Forskning.