In this curated exhibit, we have not yet mentioned the mediation of digital literacy narratives in video or audio formats. Within the DALN, many of the narratives that people contribute are recorded using digital video cameras or audio recorders. In this sense, the DALN borrows from similar cultural projects undertaken by the NPR's StoryCorps project, which collects audio narratives, and the Center for Digital Storytelling, which collects video narratives. Unlike the StoryCorps project or the Center for Digital Storytelling projects, however, the DALN accepts audio, video, and alphabetic formats and focuses specifically on narratives about literacy practices and values.

The effects of such mediations are significant, we believe. Meaning written in words is different from meaning depicted through image or sound. As Glynda Hull and Mark Nelson (2005) observe, “although different semiotic modes may seem to encode the same content, they are nonetheless conveyors of qualitatively different kinds of messages (p. 229).

The importance of mediation is also linked, we believe, to the nature of the DALN as a vernacular site for literacy narratives, one that takes advantage of the ways in which individuals now think about online production in social-media sites such as YouTube, Flickr, or Facebook.  As Jean Burgess (2006) observes about the digital storytelling movement, narratives are meaningful in such online contexts, in part, because they “communicate a sense of presence. The digital story is a means of ‘becoming real’ to others, on the basis of shared experience and affective resonances; many of the stories are, quite literally, touching” (p. 2).

Further, Burgess (2006) observes, the effort of composing narratives using video and audio recorders reflects a cultural movement toward the digital literacies and online contexts as spaces of vernacular expression.

The world ‘narrated’ is a different world to ‘the world depicted and displayed.’

(Kress, 2003, p. 2)