don't be a multislacking bluetool

i'm not usually a fan of "adults" trying to decode "kidspeak," but this clip held some fun gems. and if you disagree, then you're just agnorant.

teen talk


past is present again

80s male rock stars 20 years later

except for the fact that kenny rogers isn't my idea of an '80s rock star' and that billy idol now looks like a gargoyle, this made for some fun reminiscing.


WoW! (more) youtube academic literacy

you might notice that i added a sidebar feature that includes a rotating pool of literacy-related videos posted on youtube and videogoogle. i was doing some additional searching for such clips and found the following video.

literacy & world of warcraft (13:10)
(a project assigned by mark warschauer, whose work is well worth checking out, if you haven't done so already)

i suppose we can expect more of this - literacies "homework" online - to come as profs and students explore and blur the lines of what counts as knowledge, work, research, effort... this is of particular interest to me as i venture into these acts of blurring, myself, both in the requirements i design for my classes, as well as in the kinds of academic publishing i'm engaging in (dangling preposition, notwithstanding!).

so i return to this video about world of warcraft (WoW): i learned a lot about the game, rules, and sensibilities of one particular player. much of the 'learning' came from direct dialogue from either the interviewer/video-maker, or the young man being interviewed for a large part of the video. the author also uses captions to add important background information to what is being said, to support the WoW neophyte's comprehension. all of this in service of a question posed at the beginning of the video:
what kinds of social interactions are present in-game? (referring to the inside playing environment of WoW)

but i'm left wondering about the author's stance on, as he claims at the beginning of the video, what "literacies [are necessary] for social interaction to be truly effective?" how is he defining or understanding literacies as existing beyond print - at one point in the video he comments on the literacy opportunities available when typing in-world. the data is there, in his video, but i'm less sure about the analysis. which brings me to a larger question about the representation of analysis in video, audio, and other multimodal and non-print formats...

i find the possibilities are exciting, but they can also be frustrating when the inevitable questions of evaluation and assessment are brought to the surface. we know how to scaffold someone's inclusion of primary and secondary sources when writing literature reviews and other academic papers. but how prepared are we to support our students' as well as our own forays into new academic playgrounds of the fourth kind...?


on youth, education, race

a recent piece from "talk of the town" in the new yorker that discusses the issues of race and education surrounding what has come to be known as the case of the "jena 6":

and a couple of editorials by bob herbert of the new york times that resonate with above piece:
the school to prison pipeline
our schools must do better


blog updates and other thoughts

due to all the other writing that's consumed my time, my blog writing has suffered. however, i've been playing around with some of the new add-on features that blogger provides and am especially jazzed about the video searches. i also added a section for announcements related to upcoming conferences and calls for papers that i find out about that look interesting. if you know of others, please pass along.

a note about the previous post - it's a call for proposals for the 2008 nctear conference that will be held in bloomington, indiana. it's one of my favorite conferences - small, generative of good talk and new ideas, and manageable in size and scope. this year's theme is particularly exciting because the combination of strands within the context of the theme - literacy research in communities - offers a chance to bring together the past three years' themes which were, respectively:
2005 - literacies across time, space and place: new directions in literacy research for political action
2006 - literacy as a civil right: reclaiming social justice in literacy research and teaching
2007 - what counts as literacy: living literacies of the body and image

im hoping for papers and presentations that consider literacies representation across new media as/for social justice; and the pedagogical implications of literacies research with adolescents across home/school/community boundaries; and an exploration of how new forms of communication across virtual and physical geographies shapes and informs individuals' sense of community/ies...

that is, for so long, the conversations about new literacies and social justice and critical pedagogy have remained tri-chotomized (if you will allow me the imagery), despite the overlap of these areas of focus in many scholars' work. why can't innovation also address equity and social inclusion? how might a critical perspective on literacy engage social networking spaces and digital communicative modalities? the reality is that these intersections are also readily present in the work and intentions of many young people. they understand that the theory/practice split is a farce. so should we all...



Literacy Research in Communities

The Assembly for Research of the National Council of Teachers of English announces a conference on Literacy Research in Communities, to be held February 15-17, 2008 at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. In this call, we would like researchers and educators to consider what it means to do literacy research in and with communities, both communities that are familiar to the researcher and those that are not. We define communities broadly (i.e., classrooms, virtual communities, schools, neighborhoods, community centers etc.). One goal is to begin a conversation about the various ways that researchers represent and capture the voices of those we study and the challenges and tensions associated with doing so. Questions that guide the conference can be broken down into three related strands: 1) Representation and Relationships; 2) Methodological, Theoretical, and Epistemological Issues; 3) Ethical Dilemmas and Issues.

We invite proposals that address the following issues, topics and questions that will frame our Midwinter Conference for 2008.

Representation and Relationships
  • How do researchers and educators engage in doing literacy research in communities, especially those which consist of marginalized or historically underrepresented groups?
  • What are the various relationships between researchers /educators and the community members with whom they study and work? What role do these relationships play in the research process?
  • How do community members participate in creating scholarship with researchers?
  • What role do community members play in the dissemination of this research and scholarship as it is made public to various audiences?
Methodological, Theoretical, and Epistemological Issues
  • What methodological and theoretical tools do researchers use to problematize their own assumptions and to ensure that they justly represent the communities in which they study?
  • What have researchers/educators learned about the knowledge and experiences of various communities as a result of their literacy research and how has that knowledge impacted their scholarship, the communities in which they study, policy, and the field.
  • How do educational researchers/educators define and understand their work with diaspora communities, communities in transition, transnational communities, virtual communities, and undocumented communities?
  • How do educational researchers/educators conceptualize “the literacies of communities”?
Ethical Dilemmas and Issues
  • How do researchers/ educators value and incorporate the voices and represent the knowledge and experiences of the people in the communities that we work and study?
  • To what extent does the scholarship that researchers/educators create help the communities in which we study? Who is the work done for? And for what purposes?
  • What are some of the challenges of doing research in communities? What ethical dilemmas do researchers and educators face as they engage in studying the literacy of communities, particularly communities of historically underrepresented groups?
  • What ethical responsibilities do researchers and educators have in representing communities and the literacies within them in their scholarship and programming?
We welcome proposals grounded in diverse perspectives, including, among others: critical race, postcolonial, postmodern, multicultural, feminist and queer theories; critical discourse analysis; critical and anti-racist pedagogies; and ethnic, cultural, cross-cultural, historical and comparative studies. We invite proposals that focus on empirical research including teacher/action research, as well as conceptual/theoretical work.

Proposals (no more than 2 single-spaced pages) should address the following:
The research question(s), methodology, findings/issues/questions for discussion, and how the research will contribute to the conference conversation. If your paper is a conceptual/theoretical one, please describe your theoretical framework and argument and tell how it will contribute to the conference conversation. Please indicate in the opening lines of the proposal whether you intend to focus on empirical or conceptual/theoretical questions.

Cover Page - Include the following information for all presenters:
- Name(s)
- Affiliation(s)
- Mailing address(es)
- Telephone number(s)
- E-mail address(es)
- Title of presentation
- Indicate whether this is a round table or poster session.
- Audio-visual requests (overheads, TV/VCRs supplied without charge and upon request)

Review Process: Review criteria will include the quality of the proposal and the degree to which it addresses the conference theme.

Submit proposals via email to: LELLC@indiana.edu
Please include “NCTEAR Proposal” as the subject line. Proposals must be received by November 2, 2007.

Address any questions to Conference Co-chairs Stephanie Carter or Gerald Campano to: LELLC@indiana.edu