Among researchers, educators, and other stakeholders in literacy education, there has been a growing emphasis on developing literacy pedagogies that are more responsive to the ways young people experience literacy in their everyday lives, which often make use of digital media and other technologies for exchanging meaning. This dissertation project sought to explore the nature of these digital-age literacies in the context of children learning through and about new technologies. Conducting a year-long, multimethod observational study of an out-of-school library-based program designed to engage students in self-directed learning around the domain of computer programming, this project was framed around an analysis of digital-age literacies in design, discourse, and practice. To address each of these areas, the project developed a methodology grounded in interpretive, naturalistic, and participant-observation methodologies in collaboration with a local library Code Club in a metropolitan area of the Southwestern U.S between September 2016 and December 2017. Participants in the project included a total of 47 students aged 8-14, 3 librarians, and 3 parents. Data sources for the project included (1) artifactual data, such as the designed interfaces of the online platforms students regularly engaged with, (2) observational data such as protocol-based field notes taken during and after each Code Club meeting, and (3) interview data, collected during qualitative interviews with students, parents, and library facilitators outside the program. These data sources were analyzed through a multi-method interpretive framework, including the multimodal analysis of digital artifacts, qualitative coding, and discourse analysis. The findings of the project illustrate the multidimensional nature of digital-age literacy experiences as they are rendered “on the screen” at the content level, “behind the screen” at the procedural level, and “beyond the screen” at the contextual level. The project contributes to the literature on literacy education by taking an multi-method, interdisciplinary approach to expand analytical perspectives on digital media and literacy in a digital age, while also providing an empirical account of this approach in a community-embedded context of implementation.
- Analyzing digital literacy demands, practices, and discourses within a library computer programming club for children
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Statement of Responsibility
by Earl Aguilera