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Adolescents’ Online Literacies

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


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 8: Digital Media Literacy: Connecting Young People’s Identities, Creative Production, and Learning about Video Games


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Connecting Young People’s Identities, Creative Production, and Learning about Video Games

Michael Dezuanni

The first week was overall exciting and boring. It was exciting when we started to design our game, coming up with ideas and playing, oh, I mean, ‘researching’ our games. But it was boring because there was too much theory involved.


This chapter outlines examples of classroom activities that aim to make connections between young people’s everyday experiences with video games and the formal high school curriculum. These classroom activities were developed within the emerging field of digital media literacy. Digital media literacy combines elements of ‘traditional’ approaches to media education with elements of technology and information education (Buckingham, 2007; Warschauer, 2006). It is an educational field that has gained significant attention in recent years. For example, digital media literacy has become a significant objective for media policy makers in response to the increased social and cultural roles of new media technologies and controversies associated with young people’s largely unregulated online participation. Media regulators, educational institutions and independent organisations1 in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia have developed digital media literacy initiatives that aim to provide advice to parents, teachers and young people. ← 145 | 146 →

Advocacy for digital media literacy is also motivated by the seductive notion of the ‘digital generation’ that, it is claimed, has a natural affinity for...

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