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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 9: ‘Experts on the Field’: Redefining Literacy Boundaries


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Redefining Literacy Boundaries

Amanda Gutierrez and Catherine Beavis

As literacy researchers continue to explore the rapidly changing and proliferating world of online texts and literacies, the challenges for classroom teachers and curriculum assessment and design are twofold; first, how to learn more about these forms and young people’s participation and engagement with them, even as they are changing, and second, what to do about them, and in response to them, in the classroom. Increasingly, literacy and English curriculum guidelines in many parts of the world call on teachers to incorporate attention to multimodal and electronic texts into their classrooms and curriculum. Curriculum guidelines addressing the ‘new literacies’ are structured around an expanded view of literacy that recognises the changing and dynamic nature of text and textual forms (Luke, Freebody, & Land, 2000; Kress, 2006; Bearne, 2006) and call on research into the textual, communicative and cultural practices of young people as they engage with online popular culture and the digital world. Such studies have provided powerful glimpses into multimodal and emergent literacy and textual forms, and into the power and significance of such sites and literacies in many young people’s lives (Alvermann, 2002; Gee, 2003; Leu et al., 2008; Willet, Robinson, & Marsh, 2009). Conceptualising literacy as socially situated cultural practice, they provide insights into new and emergent forms of literacy and literate practices ← 165 | 166 → (‘e-literacies’; ‘multiliteracies’ and literacy conceptualised as ‘design’). They...

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