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Bridging divides through technology use: transnationalism and digital literacy socialization

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In this study, I investigate the digital literacy practices of adult immigrants, and their relationship with transnational processes and practices. Specifically, I focus on their conditions of access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) in their life trajectories, their

In this study, I investigate the digital literacy practices of adult immigrants, and their relationship with transnational processes and practices. Specifically, I focus on their conditions of access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) in their life trajectories, their conditions of learning in a community center, and their appropriation of digital literacy practices for transnational purposes. By studying the culturally situated nature of digital literacies of adult learners with transnational affiliations, I build on recent empirical work in the fields of New Literacy Studies, sociocultural approaches to learning, and transnational studies. In this qualitative study, I utilized ethnographic techniques for data collection, including participant observation, interviewing, and collection of material and electronic artifacts. I drew from case study approaches to analyze and present the experiences of five adult first-generation immigrant participants. I also negotiated multiple positionalities during the two phases of the study: as a participant observer and instructor's aide during the Basic Computer Skills course participants attended, and as a researcher-practitioner in the Web Design course that followed. From these multiple vantage points, my analysis demonstrates that participants' access to ICTs is shaped by structural factors, family dynamics, and individuals' constructions of the value of digital literacies. These factors influence participants' conditions of access to material resources, such as computer equipment, and access to mentoring opportunities with members of their social networks. In addition, my analysis of the instructional practices in the classroom shows that instructors used multiple modalities, multiple languages and specialized discourses to scaffold participants' understandings of digital spaces and interfaces. Lastly, in my analysis of participants' repertoires of digital literacy practices, I found that their engagement in technology use for purposes of communication, learning, political participation and online publishing supported their maintenance of transnational affiliations. Conversely, participants' transnational ties and resources supported their appropriation of digital literacies in everyday practice. This study concludes with a discussion on the relationship among learning, digital literacies and transnationalism, and the contributions of critical and ethnographic perspectives to the study of programs that can bridge digital inequality for minority groups.

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Date Created
2011

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Digital storytelling in primary-grade classrooms

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As digital media practices become readily available in today's classrooms, literacy and literacy instruction are changing in profound ways (Alvermann, 2010). Professional organizations emphasize the importance of integrating new literacies (New London Group, 1996) practices into language-arts instruction (IRA, 2009;

As digital media practices become readily available in today's classrooms, literacy and literacy instruction are changing in profound ways (Alvermann, 2010). Professional organizations emphasize the importance of integrating new literacies (New London Group, 1996) practices into language-arts instruction (IRA, 2009; NCTE, 2005). As a result, teachers search for effective ways to incorporate the new literacies in an effort to engage students. Therefore, this study was designed to investigate the potential of digital storytelling as participatory media for writing instruction. This case study was conducted during the fall semester of 2012 in one first-grade classroom and one second-grade classroom in the Southwestern United States. The study addressed ten interrelated research questions relating to how primary-grade students performed in relation to the Common Core writing standards, how they were motivated, how they formed a meta- language to talk about their writing, how they developed identities as writers, and how they were influenced by their teachers' philosophies and instructional approaches. Twenty-two first-grade students and 24 second-grade students used the MovieMaker software to create digital stories of personal narratives. Data included field notes, interviews with teachers and students, teacher journals, my own journal, artifacts of teachers' lesson plans, photographs, students' writing samples, and their digital stories. Qualitative data were analyzed by thematic analysis (Patton, 1990) and discourse analysis (Gee, 2011). Writing samples were scored by rubrics based on the Common Core State Standards. The study demonstrated how digital storytelling can be used to; (a) guide teachers in implementing new literacies in primary grades; (b) illustrate digital storytelling as writing; (c) develop students' meta-language to talk about writing; (d) impact students' perceptions as writers; (e) meet Common Core State Standards for writing; (f) improve students' skills as writers; (g) build students' identities as writers; (h) impact academic writing; (i) engage students in the writing process; and (j) illustrate the differences in writing competencies between first- and second-grade students. The study provides suggestions for teachers interested in incorporating digital storytelling in primary-grade classrooms.

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Date Created
2013

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Spontaneous wanderers in the digital metropolis: a case study of the new literacy practices of youth artists learning on a social media platform

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This qualitative case study of 12, eighteen to twenty-four-year-olds from seven countries provided insight into the learning practices on an art-centered, social media platform. The study addressed two guiding questions; (a) what art related skills, knowledge, and dispositions do community

This qualitative case study of 12, eighteen to twenty-four-year-olds from seven countries provided insight into the learning practices on an art-centered, social media platform. The study addressed two guiding questions; (a) what art related skills, knowledge, and dispositions do community members acquire using a social media platform? (b), What new literacy practices, e.g., the use of new technologies and an ethos of participation, collective intelligence, collaboration, dispersion of abundant resources, and sharing (Knobel & Lankshear, 2007), do members use in acquiring of art-related skills, concepts, knowledge, and dispositions? Data included interviews, online documents, artwork, screen capture of online content, threaded online discussions, and a questionnaire. Drawing on theory and research from both new literacies and art education, the study identified five practices related to learning in the visual arts: (a) practicing as professional artists; (b) engaging in discovery based search strategies for viewing and collecting member produced content; (c) learning by observational strategies; (d) giving constructive criticism and feedback; (e) making learning resources. The study presents suggestions for teachers interested in empowering instruction with new social media technologies.

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Date Created
2012