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Adolescents’ New Literacies with and through Mobile Phones

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Julie Warner

This book provides a deeper understanding of the phone-based composing practices of youth and their implications for literacy learning. In the United States, smartphone use among teens is nearly universal, yet many youth who are avid digital composers still struggle with formal schooled literacy. The widespread and rapid embrace of smartphones by youth from all income levels has had a substantial impact on the way that young people approach the act of composing, yet to date, little to no work has explored digital photography and text curation through popular apps like Twitter and Instagram and their impact on literacy, including formal schooled literacy. As more schools are moving to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) models and lifting classroom bans on cellphones, classroom teachers need information about the affordances of phones for formal literacy learning, which this book provides.

This book will also be of interest to those in courses in the fields of education, new literacies, cultural studies/youth culture, literacy studies, communication arts, and anthropology of education/social sciences. This book could be used in a course on online/Internet ethnography. It could also be used in a more general research methods course to illustrate the combination of online and offline data collection. Outside of research methods courses, it could be used in courses on literacies, digital literacies, youth culture, popular culture and media, or mobile learning.

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Chapter 10. Proposing an Expanded Understanding of Composing

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Proposing an Expanded Understanding of Composing

Abstract

This chapter brings together the major ideas raised in the previous chapters and discusses their implications for literacy learning. Given this major shift toward social, collaborative, and dialogic composing amid a dominant paradigm of literacy that divorces composers and texts from their networked contexts, this chapter explores how those concerned with youth literacy fruitfully build on the strengths and repertories that youth bring into spaces for schooled literacy including the consideration of feedback, multimodality, and mobility. While schooled literacy has recognized that composing involves the integration of discourses (for example, persuasive writing as it is often framed by official curriculum, is highly addressive, and research writing is explicitly multivocal) composing is still framed as an individual accomplishment. This chapter argues that capitalizing on the tendency of youth to make meaning intertextually and dialogically would benefit youth in the pursuit of school-sanctioned literacy learning and presents directions for future research.

Keywords: Dialogism, composing, feedback, multimodality, mobility, youth repertories, mobile phone, literacy

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