Category Archives: Educational Policy

So Many Literacies, So Little Time

The title of this post is borrowed from one of the pre-service teachers I’m working with in a Literacies and Technologies Across Disciplines course at my new institution. It’s the beginning of a new semester, and in this course that means, it’s Literacies Log time. In this assignment, I ask students to 201log their literacy activity for just an hour’s worth of time. The results are always interesting, if not mind-blowing as we consider how much of our time is spent engaging with a wide range of texts of various genres and formats mediated by a variety of technologies. As one student remarked, “It’s like we are constantly being literate. Even if you are just thinking, you are making sense of a text of some sort or another.”

literacy-logs

Above is just a smattering of the literacy practices we logged in an hour. And it got me thinking about a few things recent conversations I’ve had about literacies. For instance, we’re all (yes, I am speaking for all of ‘us’) tired of the ‘_________ literacies’ phenomenon. From visual literacies to digital literacies and fitness literacies to friendship literacies, from time to time hyphenating ‘literacies’ happens. (Heck, my work with Amy Stornaiuolo and Nathan C. Phillips is all about transliteracies.) Adding a term can help us to focus in on some aspect of literacy activity that we want to consider that may not—for one reason or another—have been foregrounded.

But it is always my hope whenever I see a ‘________ literacies’ that someday, because of the attention we give it with that prefix, that we’ll be able to talk about literacies, just literacies, and the focal aspect will be an obvious aspect to consider. And from the literacies logs turned in this year, I am even more hopeful that we’ll be able to drop some of those prefixes—like digital, visual, even trans—sooner than later. The everyday literacy practices logged were predominantly digital, involved visual modes, and a few of the students even noticed (without prompting from me) how their varied literacy practices allowed (or kept) them to be mobile across spaces and time.

So many literacies, but maybe someday…


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The Project for the Advancement of our Common Humanity

photo-11I am pleased to announce that in my final doctoral year, I have been invited to be a part of NYU’s Project for the Advancement of our Common Humanity led by the great thinkers and scholars Niobe Way, Carol Gilligan and Pedro Noguera. This year I will be writing posts after each of the monthly public lectures and think tank meetings in order to continue the conversation online with interested others from around the world.

The Project for the Advancement of our Common Humanity (PACH) is an emerging think tank, funded by the NoVo foundation and based at New York University, that is designed to engage researchers, policymakers, practitioners, activists, educators, artists, and journalists in a series of conversations focused on what we have learned from science and practice regarding what lies at the root of our crisis of connection and what we can do to create a more just and humane world. Presently, PACH entails a public lecture series and monthly conversations with 50 senior level professionals.

Tweets from just our first meeting promise this will be an engaging and important project to follow! Here is a list of a few members of PACH who use Twitter. Continue reading The Project for the Advancement of our Common Humanity

Learning Pathways on ConnectedLearning.tv

What do learning pathways look like as young people move across learning contexts in pursuit of their interests in school, at home, in libraries, community centers and online?

Tomorrow, July 16th, at 1:00 PM Eastern/10:00 AM Pacific, I will have the opportunity to join Elyse Eidman-Aadahl of the National Writing Project, Kris Gutierrez at University of Colorado at Boulder, and Paul Allison of YouthVoices to discuss how youth leverage the opportunities, resources, tools, and connections available to them, and in this process, how learning and literacy practices are shaped. We’ll ask: How do individuals create and transform themselves as learners? How can we design learning environments to be responsive to these pathways? Continue reading Learning Pathways on ConnectedLearning.tv

Define Urban, Please

Recently, Emily Pendergrass tweeted a request:

‘Urban’ has been on my mind for a while—most recently on my trip to Peru where I took this picture. And sure, I have opinions based on my work and research in large cities and small—even areas that actually look quite a bit like this Peruvian Zona Urbana—but I want to keep my mind open and engaged in this issue. I don’t like to take things for granted. I‘d love to hear your definitions. I promise to comment with my working definitions, but you first. And yes, I promise to pass them on to @Dr_Pendergrass.

  • What is ‘urban’ in the educational context?

  • How do you see ‘urban’ playing out in the lives of learners?

  • What are the boundaries of ‘zona urbana’?

The Digital Divide Goes to School

As of late, I have been enamored with infographics—the epitome of “a picture is worth a thousand words.” So, beginning this week and running indefinitely, I will be posting infographics that have caught my eye and made me think.

The inaugural infographic comes from an information brief from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development with the original link for the pdf here. Take a look and then let’s chat:

Recently, @digitalmaverick posted this question on Twitter, and I think it makes a pretty important point:

In era in which innovation and constant change are the norm with digital technologies, the access to and experience with digital devices, broadband Internet and composing softwares is paramount. In this infographic, ASCD not only proposes the digital divide in terms of individuals, but schools in comparison to, I assume, industry and business.

Continue reading The Digital Divide Goes to School