Identity

Young Black Males, Learning, and Video Games

Friday, December 02, 2011 Comment 3 young boys taking apart and rebuilding a PC computer in classroom

Betsy DiSalvo is a Human Centered Computing PhD candidate at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Interactive Computing looking at the ways in which culture impacts technology, and how we can leverage cultural practices into designing constructive learning interventions. Her focus is on urban African-American males’ use of video games and why they are not turning their passion for video game play into a larger interest in computer science. In response to this, DiSalvo has created a research project, Glitch Game Testers, a jobs program where African-American teens work for an hourly wage as game


‘Connected Learning’ in Edge Communities

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 Comment 3 youth filmmakers working together on video camera

For more than nine weeks now I have been working with a high school in the Central Texas area, getting to know students, teachers, and administrators.  Along with a fantastic team of graduate students, we are spending time with an after school digital media club that offers students a range of opportunities to hang out, mess around and geek out.  I have also been working directly with two video game development classes on a project we think will offer some insights into creating new kinds of learning environments, learner identities, and youth civic engagement. Part of


Teaching Publishing as a 21st Century Literacy

Friday, November 11, 2011 Comment paper rolls on printing press

For years, a common method for teaching writing in elementary and secondary school was the five paragraph essay. Lately this style of essay has fallen out of favor, for a variety of reasons. However, one of the most compelling reasons to avoid teaching the five paragraph essay is that it is a form of writing that isn’t really found out in the wild. That is, you don’t often see these essays outside of the classroom in magazines or newspapers or other public writing venues. It was really the creation of the academy that had very little


In Search of the Other: Decoding Digital Natives

Monday, October 24, 2011 Comment Occupy your future sign on ground during protest rally

This is the first post of a research inquiry that questions the ways in which we have understood the Youth-Technology-Change relationship in the contemporary digital world, especially through the identity of ‘Digital Native’. Drawing from three years of research and current engagements in the field, the post begins a critique of how we need to look at the outliers, the people on the fringes in order to unravel the otherwise celebratory nature of discourse about how the digital is changing the world. In this first post, I chart the trajectories of our research at the Centre


Digital Literacies for Writing in Social Media

Thursday, October 13, 2011 Comment close up shot of leather bound notebook

The following is a shortened version of a talk I gave at the “Engaging the Public” symposium held at Washington & Jefferson College on Oct. 1. According to Cathy Davidson’s Now You See It, 65 percent of students entering school today will have careers in fields that haven’t been invented yet. While #IDontHaveFactsToBackThisUp, I’m willing to make the following prediction about writing: a full 100% of these students, at some point in their lives, will be required to use writing technologies that haven’t been invented yet. Consider this: as recently as four years ago, who would have


Privatizing Public Education and ‘Learning to Cheat’ as a Digital Literacy

Monday, October 03, 2011 Comment animated image of railroad tracks in the desert

I’m usually pretty optimistic about the possibilities available to innovative teachers and students. Lately, however, I’ve been worried about the wholesale apathy and universal shoulder-shrug that’s been the response to “What do we do about public education?” At the school I teach at in Los Angeles, in particular, things have been pretty bleak. Let’s put some pieces together regarding this topic by looking at a few news articles. Recently, these were the headlines of three articles I read in the span of a few days: “YA Authors Asked to ‘Straighten’ Gay Characters“ “Water District Taps Google


The Unintended Consequences of Cyberbullying Rhetoric

Friday, September 23, 2011 Comment portrait of young girl laying on the ground looking sad bullied

We all know that teen bullying – both online and offline – has devastating consequences.  Jamey Rodemeyer’s suicide is a tragedy.  He was tormented for being gay.  He knew he was being bullied and he regularly talked about the fact that he was being bullied.  Online, he even wrote: “I always say how bullied I am, but no one listens.  What do I have to do so people will listen to me?”  The fact that he could admit that he was being tormented coupled with the fact that he asked for help and folks didn’t help


Life Narratives in Social Media

Monday, August 15, 2011 Comment female looking over laptop only see her eyes

The stories we tell about ourselves are immensely powerful. In a digital age, how do we use social media to construct and tell these stories? How we explain who we are, where we have come from, and where we are going constitute important narratives that drive decisions we make about our futures and our ways of being in the world. These narratives are also crucially bound up with what we learn and how we learn it. According to Ivor Goodson, learning that ‘sticks’ is learning that has meaning in the context of our life narratives; it


Digital Fluency: Empowering All Students

Thursday, July 28, 2011 Comment female student working on spoken word at DYN You Media

Although “digital literacy” is often a phrase associated with programs that have utopian pedagogical visions, it also can become a term attached to rigid curricular requirements, standardized testing, and models of education that stigmatize some students as remedial when it comes to their basic programming skills or their abilities to use software productively.  Furthermore, the term “digital literacy” can generate conflicts among educators because many different disciplines may claim sole responsibility for providing any needed instruction, as I’ve argued elsewhere.  Computer scientists, media scholars, librarians, composition teachers, and digital arts instructors have all made supposedly exclusive


Multiliteracies and Designing Learning Futures

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 Comment students working together on project on computers

Multiliteracies is an area of interest for me and my classroom, and I am hoping to use this post for dialogue and collective theory-building. But first, I want to talk briefly about being a book geek. As an English teacher, I am passionate about literature. During my first two years in the classroom I overextended myself by maintaining an evening and weekend job assistant managing a popular independent bookstore in Los Angeles. Passion, Teaching, and Literacy The pay was paltry and secondary to the opportunity I had at first dibs for advanced readers’ copies of works