Transmedia refers to a set of choices made about the best approach to tell a particular story to a particularaudience in a particular context depending on the particular resources available to particular producers.” -Henry Jenkins
Henry Jenkins’ fairly open explanation of transmedia outlines what educators do in the classroom on a daily basis. We have to make a set of choices about the best approach to disseminate a particular unit to a particular audience in a particular context using available resources.
Yet when I mention “transmedia” to my fellow educators, I often receive blank stares or the very common response, “I don’t understand transmedia.” There doesn’t seem to be an inherent educational connection to the form.
So instead of focusing on defining transmedia, I look to connect the theories behind transmedia with the needs of educators (myself included). In my classroom and beyond, one such need is: how do I engage learners to be full participants and designers in the learning experience? It’s a goal that is both macro and micro.
This is where transmedia can step in. The unification of theories/practices like participatory culture, immersion, democratization, worldbuilding (with an eye towards history and prior knowledge), extensions, co-creation, user-generated content, and collective intelligence can provide rich, student-centered learning experiences.