Promoting L1 and Interdisciplinary Connections through Locative Narrative Approaches

Submitted by: Angela Wiseman
Abstract: Technology is changing the world we live in and has greatly impacted education. In classrooms, the concept of “text” and “literacy” are expanding to include various modes of representation, including print, visual images, and design (Kulju et. al., 2018). Technology provides considerable options for learning and communication which foster global understandings; however, there are many perspectives that could contribute to how and why we support expansive knowledge of culture and language diversity. One important advancement is the use of digital tools to make sense of spaces and locations that are significant to learners; an example of these tools is locative narratives. Locative narratives are defined as platforms for site-specific storytelling and have the potential to build empathy and capture the voices of people’s place-based stories (Levine, 2014). As Farman (2014) states, “...the place will always impact the meaning and experience of the story, and the story will always impact the experience of the place” (p. 533).
The purpose of this roundtable session is to conceptualize and understand the ways that locative narratives could be used in educational spaces through collaborative conversations with participants. Using qualitative interviews with 30 educators, we explored the pedagogical potential of locative narratives. Data analysis using thematic coding revealed the following themes related to how locative narratives could and should support classroom learning:
Providing support for writing processes and writing across the curricula
Connections to local communities
Support of problem-based learning using community resources
Contextualizing abstract classroom concepts geographically/spatially
Reading support using multiple contextual clues
Layered textual interactivity and impacts on literacy/motivation

Findings and additional feedback from this roundtable will inform software design to bring locative narrative approaches to educational contexts. While we support the idea that technological advances should influence shifts in classroom learning, we also believe that classroom learning and students’ needs can drive the development of technological design. This roundtable session, which will engage participants in providing feedback about research, pedagogy and conceptualization of locative narratives, is a starting point for understanding the educational potential and also considering design elements for app development.


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Farman, J. (2014). Storytelling with mobile media: Exploring the intersection of site-specificity, content, and materiality. The Routledge companion to mobile media, 528-537.
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