Technology as Text: the Application of Literary Theory to the Use of Interactive Multimedia in Secondary Schools

Document Type

Conference Proceeding




Community Services, Education and Social Sciences


Communications and Multimedia




This article was originally published as: McMahon, M. T., & Fetherston, T (2001). Technology as text: the application of literary theory to the use of interactive multimedia in secondary schools. Proceedings of 2001 Ed-Media on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications. (pp. 1306-1308). Cheseapeake, VA: AACE. Original article available here


Definitions of literature are evolving to embody a wider range of cultural practices which can include interactive multimedia (IMM). Also the study of literature is undergoing a philosophical change, where traditional notions of literature as canonical and embodying universal human qualities is giving way to a more relativist epistemology. The act of reading, is not seen now as a passive process, but readers are constructing meanings which are also informed by their own values and cultural milieu. This paper argues that as IMM becomes more integral to the teaching of a wide variety of subjects, students need to be equipped with the skills to analyse IMM as a cultural artefact. As an illustration, a 'reading' will be conducted of the multimedia CD-ROM From Alice to Ocean.