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Dissertation Abstract

Teen Ski Trip Video

Teen Ski Trip Video

In February 2011 my (then) 14 year old daughter went on a school skiing holiday and within several hours of her return she had made a 7 minute short film of the trip and posted it on YouTube, viewable here. (The quality of the original video clip was much better but YouTube deleted it because of copyright issues on her backing track…. We ended up having to film the computer screen to post it back up because her original source material was lost…)

Her efforts were intense and calculated: from pre-holiday digital prep, through to the capturing of footage and photos and editing the final cut with a soundtrack. From a cultural studies perspective this is indicative of how some more digitally engaged young people are informally synthesizing an array of skills, indulging creative and social impulses and exploiting cultural repertoires to share and glory in a speedy text, of value not only to the producer and her peers but also to the wider community.

Questions must continue to be asked of how traditional school settings with creaking curricula should be responding to some young people’s everyday capacity to manipulate rich media content. Furthermore and democratically speaking, diverse social groups should be benefiting from the affordances of digital processes and not just those with relatively easy access to creative forms of expression and communication. During a historical moment in which the turn to the audiovisual is being normalized in western societies, this dissertation aims to examine the edges of digital creative practice to assess the extent to which the processes of media production can enhance learning, stimulate higher order thinking and increase social participation; this, in an environment of competing socioeconomic tensions.

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