Connecting Cat Transmedia learning Research Project

Connecting Cat is a transmedia learning project targeted to ESL students, level B1 (CEFR). It seeks to engage teenagers through a storyworld spread across media platforms and social networks. While exploring the adventures of a teenage girl and members of the alien tribe Fluxus, students tap into topics such as linguistic diversity, multiculturalism, media and technology. Students are also invited to take part in the storyworld by interacting with the characters through social media networks and sharing digital artifacts on media platforms. Connecting Cat seeks not only to engage students in the development of communicative skills in ESL but also in transmedia literacy skills.

RECEPTION · PARTICIPATION · CONTRIBUTION --> Connecting Cat is an open storyworld spread over media platforms. A webisode, an interactive video, and a motion book sequence immerse the users in the story and topics. The characters’ social media spaces open up opportunities for development of learning activities requiring creative contributions and online participation. Users are invited to expand and shape the storyworld while creating new knowledge and developing their online presence.
HARNESSING LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES --> The exploration guides relate to different moments in the story and provide a set of ideas and activities that may be explored by participants. The guides were primarily designed for ESL students (15 - 17 years old) level B1. Nevertheless, they can be adapted for older students. The primary goal is to provide a broad range of learning opportunities that teachers might select according to the needs and preferences of students in the classroom.
FOSTERING MEDIA LITERACY --> In the 21st Century mediascape, students should be able to understand the grammar and language of media to become critically engaged users and active digital citizens. Language practice shouldn’t be dissociated from the students’ needs, language use, goals, and reflections. Based on this principle, events in the story and related activities were intentionally designed to target the development of media literacy skills such as critical thinking, inquiry, and self-expression. By exploring and interacting in a transmedia storyworld, students have the opportunity to understand meaning across multiple visual and aural literacies and take part in collaborative and networked learning experiences.
GATHERING THE LEARNING TRIBE --> Transmedia narratives foster and sustain the active collaboration of users. At its core, the storyworld is a participatory learning space. Connecting Cat seeks to engage both students and teachers in collaborative practices through joint activities, content curation and discussion of topics of interest. The primary goal is to build a learning community beyond the walls of schools by providing online spaces, resources, and tools to foster interaction between users of the storyworld.

To produce descriptive data to get an overview of ESL teachers' educational practices and perceptions concerning media use, give your feedback by answering section 2 of this survey.

You can help improve the project's prototype by analysing the platforms and resources and answering the survey.

Take part in this research by using the storyworld and resources with your students and giving feedback of your experience. Feel free to contact me - ccatproj@gmail.com.

Share your suggestions, ideas or comments to improve the storyworld. You can use the feedback form on the project's site or just tweet about it - @ccat_world

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