while we're on the subject

here's a few more links to blogs and youths' online worlds:

there is another question at play in my head: are there private spaces online? or, perhaps worded differently: what are the parameters of private and public online? how are they changing? these are not just questions relevant for participating in online discourse (that's never really just "online"), but also for the wide, wide world of research and the politics of intrusion and researcher responsibility...

also related: if we're interested in understanding (for a variety of purposes) how youth are engaging in literacy performances across contexts and modalities, what do we need to know/learn/understand/explore about/with youth in order to perform research that is both responsive and responsible?

(mollie blackburn's work on literacy performances offers a lovely frame for considering the living, breathing nature of literacy in youths' lives; see above link as well this one for ongoing theorizing about literacy and agency )

adolescents online

once again, thanks to angela thomas and her fabulous e-selves site, i can pass on a wonderful resource: Adolescents and Teens Online (bibliography).

also check out lois's (the author's) blog (winner of all sorts of blog research awards).



i always feel a rush after a conversation so full of questions and possibilities. we troubled the notion of the in/out of school dichotomy and wondered, like moje, about where the youth are in literacy research. but what i was struck by the most is the these questions are still persisting... perhaps another way of stating that is to muse what the site of action is once we understand/recognize, e.g. literacies as social practices; e.g. youth as literate across contexts; e.g. the value of literacy practices beyond the school walls (literally and figuratively) for literacy theory, practice, research...

we also raised the question of representation today (much to my delight!). i made my standard comment about jim gee and his video games book: which is to say that the book is about video games and learning and literacy... and not an image to be found (?!?!?) i, like many others, enjoyed the book, but wished that some of the oomph! that is present when gee talks about "this stuff" was more readily present in the text. this brings us back to representation and the question of how might we go about researching and representing the literacy practices that youth engage in across contexts? what media do we access to do this representational work? and for whose purpose are the various forms of representation produced?

i have made another point clear to the class - this is my first time blogging. just saying the word still makes me chuckle. the point (and there is one...) being that for as much as i am invested in learning about and exploring youths' literacies, i have been remiss in delving more fully into the online literate worlds of youth - work that is being done wonderfully by many wonderful people:

...just to name a few... (i know there are others - let me know!)
but what i realized was this: for many of the youth with whom i was working, the online world had not become "home" as it has for many of the young people involved in the studies of the folks above. it's not that the youth with whom i worked did not play video games - they did! but their platforms of choice were more often the free standing game systems; on the whole, they accessed the internet for encapsulated tasks or practices associated with particular kinds of (in our case) storytelling in which we sought out images (or produced images and texts) in the ongoing production of other texts... the questions here have to do with equity and access to technologies, to be sure; but, i think that there was more going on there than just the usual talk of the "digital divide"...

i'll keep coming back to this idea - about who is and isn't involved in the discussion about the increasingly digital landscapes of youths' literacy practices; and i hope to keep asking the questions of why? and what questions are not being asked, particularly about "old" media and how we might engage in the construction of new literate spaces...


fellow blogger

see Sarah's class blog

thanks, sarah! i was encouraged to start this after seeing yours :) and heck, if i'm asking all of you to take some risks, it's only fair that i do, too.


responses and responsibility

when asked about how to compose text responses by someone in class last week, i initially indicated "somewhere in between" formal and personal, and offered to post an example of what i meant. i couldn't get that response out of my head all weekend and, as i stood transfixed by the snow from time to time on saturday, i couldn't help but wonder what my responsibility is in this situation. as a graduate student i relished the opportunity to truly experiment with responses to text, in both content and form. (and for many of those opportunities, i thank susan lytle)
so, in this situation (where i am in the position of instructor) i continually wonder about my responsibility to create similar opportunities for students in this class. it was the risk of boundless expectations that my inquiry thrived on... the risk of how to engage with the text while exploring the very nature of representation.

therefore, after much reflection i've come to what i hope will be the best conclusion for all of involved in this course journey: the format of the text responses are open. but here's what i would like to see with respect to content: for the first one - engaging a series of articles and/or shorter pieces in the response. and for the second response - engaging a single and more complete text, such as a book, documentary, or full edited volume.

i'm look forward to seeing where these text-plorations take us!



first class

i've never kept a blog before but this seems like a good a time as any to begin. so, i'll post as i'm moved to do so. for now, i'll say that i'm excited to be teaching this course (same as the blog title) and to have a great group with whom to get into this semester-long exploration of youth, literacies, and the increasingly vast world of multimodality, media, technologies...til next time...