Tinker Tales: Take 2 – Using Multimodal Composition in the Classroom

Albert Einstein once said, “Play is the highest form of research.” Play is definitely the #MSUrbanSTEM way! The fellows dove a little deeper and just published their second Tinker Tale. These tinker tales are video stories of play…deep-play. Deep-play is defined as, “an engagement with rich problems of pedagogy, technology and content and their inter-relationships. Deep-play is creative, seeking to construct new ways of seeing the world, and new approaches to using technology, in order to develop creative pedagogical solutions.”  Taken from Deep-play: Developing TPACK for 21st Century Teachers. 

In the Tinker Tales, multimodal composition was a huge focal point. A mode is defined as a unit of expression. So how can a multimodal approach to instruction impact student learning? Gretchen Brinza believes her students can apply their knowledge through diverse roles such as film designer, video game maker, fashion designer, song writer or poet. Brinza wants to offer her students a variety of ways to express themselves through choice and personal strengths. She hopes a much more meaningful outcome will develop naturally as students explore, create, and share through multimodal composition.

In Darnella Wesley’s Tinker Tale, not only does she set goals for her students, but herself. She aims to integrate much more technology into the delivery of her daily science curriculum. In her tinker tale, she explored some new technology of her own. She delved into Prezi and Animoto. She really liked how Prezi allowed her to insert a YouTube video into the presentation.

Lidia Ortiz defines multimodal composition as the “reinterpretation of text”, giving students another way to express themselves. She is particularly interested in using multimodal composition to increase student engagement. She believes this approach leads to rich, meaningful learning because they are truly engaged in the material with which they are interacting. Contrastingly, Ortiz touches on the possible downfalls with using the multimodal composition approach. In her video, she warns that students can be easily overloaded with too much content and miss the actual pedagogical goal. She suggests that teachers should use a more focused approach, so that students are not overloaded with an abundance of material.

Libby Robertson promotes multimodal composition as a way to reach diverse learners, foster creativity and build upon students technological skills. She wants to present her students with multiple ways to showcase their learning, not just with paper and pencil.  She aims to deepen understanding with the incorporation of drama, blogs, music, and art.  This will also allow her students to display their knowledge in a fun, engaging way!

Click on the image below to take a “deeper” look at Tinker Tales: Take 2.