Here is a terrific example of how even the youngest learners can demonstrate transliteracy! Henry Dewey created his own illustrations to interpret “The Three Little Pigs” and then with the assistance of his father, created an iPhone app for people to read his version of the story, which includes Henry’s narration of the tale.
Henry Dewey is a typical 8-year-old. He loves to build with Legos and annoy his little sister, hoping to someday own a reptile to terrorize her with.
The first-grader at Trinity Episcopal School in Rollingwood is also doing some nontraditional things: Henry just released his first iPhone application, an e-book version of the folk tale “The Three Little Pigs.”
Using pen and ink, Henry spent the entire fall semester creating the illustrations for his book during an after-school art program at Trinity.
“I like being creative, making bobbleheads on paper,” Henry said.
Early in the process, he decided he wanted to transform his project into an iPhone application to provide more options on the gadget for children.
He told his father, Mark Dewey — himself an iPhone application developer — about his idea. When Henry finished the illustrations, the drawings were converted into a digital format. Then his dad helped turn the project into the application, rewriting the story and having Henry narrate it.
“At a young age to know you can be a creator, in the mainstream of American culture, that can be powerful,” said Mark Dewey, whose digital media company, Geoki, published the app. “We hope that carries on through his growing and his life.”
This story reinforces the call from the Knight Foundation for libraries of all kinds and schools to step up to the plate in positing transliteracy as a primary literacy to close the digital divide and participatory gap.