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You are here: Home > Writing in Education > Writing at University > Writing in Practice > Current Issue > Vol. 7 > 9 - Elephant in the Zoom by Jane Moss
9 - Elephant in the Zoom by Jane Moss
Author: Jane Moss
Facilitating inclusivity in a community writing group using multimodal methods
Attachments: WiP 2021 9 JM.pdf


This article describes an innovative approach to using digital devices and apps with a community group of non-professional writers over 60 years of age. Examples from the project, based in a rural Parish in Cornwall, illustrate the playful use of smartphones, Pinterest, PowerPoint, and live role play on Zoom. The effects of enforced digital collaboration during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic provide insight into the value of inclusive methods of facilitation. The digitalisation of creative writing studies is compared with non-digital community writing practice, distinguishing the motivations of community participants from adult learners. The author asks how digital methods can be integrated into community practice, taking into account those who lack resources or inclination to participate digitally. Theories of community engagement (Ledwith 2011), cooperation (Sennett 2012), and co-design (Manzini 2015), are cited in relation to the community context: also theories and practice of multimodal writing (Barnard 2019), and mobile story making (Farman 2014, Moores 2012, Schleser and Berry 2018), to inform the practice examples offered. The author concludes that the integration of digital methods is possible within community writing practice, when values of accessibility and inclusion are applied, and participants are encouraged to engage in playful innovation.  

Keywords: community, digital deficit, facilitation, play, multimodal, inclusivity, accessibility, innovation