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Adolescents’ Online Literacies

Connecting Classrooms, Digital Media, and Popular Culture – Revised edition

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Edited By Donna E. Alvermann

This revised edition of Adolescents’ Online Literacies: Connecting Classrooms, Digital Media, and Popular Culture features a variety of digital tools for humanizing pedagogy. For example, the book examines numerous artistic representations of young people’s self-selected graphic novels and fan fiction as part of an in-class multi-genre unit on fandom. This edition makes concrete connections between what the research portrays and what teachers, school librarians, and school media specialists know to be the case in their interactions with young people at the middle and high school level. The contributors of these chapters – educators, consultants, and researchers who span two continents – focus on ways to incorporate and use the digital literacies that young people bring to school.
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Chapter 7: Digital Literacies and Hip Hop Texts: The Potential for Pedagogy

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DIGITAL LITERACIES AND HIP HOP TEXTS

The Potential for Pedagogy

Jairus Joaquin

“It’s not our hip hop,” my old college roommate told me as he described how today’s adolescents participate in hip hop with their readily available digital technologies. Up to this point in our conversation we had been “talking hip hop” much like we had done 10 years ago in the living room of our apartment. Our conversations back then often centered on the dynamic world of hip hop music. In those days we had endless discussions on every conceivable detail of the hip hop music of which we were both intense fans. The topics ranged from who was the greatest lyricist of all time and why, to whether hip hop was a reflection of American and/or African American culture, to the musical ingenuity of a producer’s use of the horn, keyboard, or bass drum during the chorus of a particular song.

But on this particular day I turned our conversation to a different topic when I asked him how he thought technology had changed hip hop. My old friend, now a high school football coach, responded by telling me that adolescents today had instant access to hip hop anytime that they wanted it, and this access had, as he put it, “totally changed the game.” He told me today’s youth have so many more choices than we had and that the ways that they...

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