Saturday, October 27, 2012

New book in our series! "Critical Digital Literacies as Social Practice"

Enormous congratulations to JuliAnna Avila and Jessica Zacher Pandya and their brand new collection titled, Critical Literacies as Social Practice! The contributors to this book:
examine the simultaneous implementation of critical and digital literacies and explore ramifications for the development and assessment of critical digital literacies (CDL) curricula across educational contexts. [Authors] ask: How has the increasing ubiquity of digital literacies in and out of school affected our definitions of critical literacies? And how have our ever-changing perceptions of critical literacies affected how we define, teach, and engage in digital literacies? We believe that there is crucial work to be done at these intersections, work that builds upon the extensive bodies of critical and digital literacies research. Some issues and questions that chapters address are: 
  • What is negotiated, gained, or lost in the process of combining the critical and the digital? 
  • Where is the power located and who is silenced, and how in CDL approaches? 
  • Can CDL practices disrupt classroom routines in constructive and engaging ways? 
  • How has the divide between audience and participant, and the notion of collective intelligence, been challenged and redefined by CDL? 
  • How do CDL practices impact youths identity constructions? The essays in this volume present a balance between current issues and promising future opportunities and directions. (from the back cover blurb).

And now for the Contents:


1.         Traveling, Textual Authority, and Transformation:  An Introduction to Critical Digital Literacies                                                                                    
JuliAnna Ávila & Jessica Zacher Pandya                                              

Part 1. Disruptive by Design

2.         Designing Space for Student Choice in a Digital Media Studies Classroom
Stephanie Anne Schmier                                                                            

3.         Engaging Urban Youth in Meaningful Dialogue on Identity through Digital Storytelling
Althea Scott Nixon                                                                                       

4.         Critical Literacies and Social Media: Fostering Ethical Engagement with Global Youth
Anna Smith & Glynda Hull                                                                     

Part 2. Teacher Education and Critical Digital Literacies

5.         Perforating School: Digital Literacy in an Arts and Crafts Class   
Arne Olav Nygard                                                                                          

6.         Utilizing Mobile Media and Games to Develop Critical Inner-City Agents of Social Change
Antero Garcia                                                                                                 

7.         Beyond Technology Skills: Toward a Framework for 127 Critical Digital Literacies in Pre Service Technology Education
Sarah Lohnes Watulak & Charles K. Kinzer                                      

Part 3. Resisting Dominant Narratives

8.         “They Get What They Deserve”: Interrogating Critical Digital Literacy  Experiences as Framed in a Quebec Alternative High School Context
Dana E. Salter                                                                                                

9.         Relocalization in the Market Economy: Critical Literacies  and Media Production in an Urban English Classroom
Cynthia Lewis, Candance Doerr-Stevens, Jessica Dockter Tierney,  & Cassandra Scharber                                                                               

10.       Hacker Literacies: User-Generated Resistance and Reconfiguration of Networked Publics
Rafi Santo                                                                                                      

Afterword: So Now You Know. What Are You Going To Do about It?        
Margaret C. Hagood                                                                                   

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Seeking adjuncts to teach action research online

The Department of Educational Foundations at Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ (USA) is building a pool of adjuncts to teach action research in an online format.  With the online format we are not limited by geography in our hiring (although you do need to live within the U.S. due to hiring complications), and are seeking experienced action researchers to teach in our expanding offerings of this course. We offer the course throughout the academic year (including summer) as a graduate course for multiple programs within the College of Education and Human Services. Given the demand we're currently experiencing, this could be an ongoing teaching opportunity for those interested.  The Department has developed an online version of the action research course we offer but instructors would have the freedom to refine the course based on their own teaching experience. If interested, send a current vita to Kathryn Herr, Chairperson, Department of Educational Foundations, (  In the subject line, indicate “teaching action research.” 

A little more on the course here: ELRS 504: Action Research

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Nuevos Alfabetismos: A Gray Bartlett moment

When I was living in New Zealand and following music charts an Auckland guitarist named Gray Bartlett got one of his guitar instrumentals onto the NZ hit parade (as it was known then). Better than that, his song, La Playa, went to #2 in Tokyo.

I filed that away as an example of a nice thing that could happen to someone, and have never forgotten it. For me it's up there with Jimmy Buffett's concept that it's 5 o'clock somewhere.

Michele's and my personal history will record that in this second week of October, 2012, we enjoyed a small scale Gray Bartlett moment -- or, as Jimmy might have it, it was 5 o'clock in Spain.

For three days this week, doubtless peaking today, the Spanish translation of New Literacies -- Nuevos Alfabetismos, published by Ediciones Morata -- has been in the top 100 books. It reached #67 today.

Even allowing for the fact that relatively small numbers of sales can make for impressive numbers on Amazon lists, the fact is that on those occasions when we have checked the site the book is usually around 45,000. Still way better than the 6 figures it usually languishes in on

We have always had a particular liking for the Spanish language edition -- which our Spanish native speaking friends tell us has been beautifully translated by Pablo Manzano Bernadez, and may account for its fortunes in Spanish!! -- and treasure our association with Ediciones Morales. But this is a special moment for us in the life of this book.

We recorded the moment for our records and include it here:

It was nice while it lasted!!

Monday, October 01, 2012

Kim Dotcom exposes New Zealand Mickey Mousery

On the rare occasions that I go back -- briefly -- to New Zealand to visit family and the rare friends who still live there, I am often asked "Do you think you'll ever come back to live?" After I have recovered from the inevitable choking fit the question brings on, I usually reply with something like: "On the contrary, I am certain I never will. I would have to be at the end of the line to even contemplate it".

The farce surrounding the illegal spying on Kim Dotcom has established a new depth of Mickey Mousery in New Zealand politics and civil life. Just when one thinks "surely it can't get any worse", lo and behold it does. As Matt McArten, one of the brave people who has stayed behind to continue trying to make a difference, observed in a recent Op Ed in the New Zealand Herald, things have slipped a very long way since Helen Clark escaped to the United National Development Program. The Prime Minister, John Key, is increasingly appropriately referred to as DonKey, and he has earned the right to be regarded as the arch Mickey Mouse in the whole sorry set up.

Apart, that is, from the 49% who recently polled as saying they would return the same government. We seem to be looking at an entire country rushing full tilt boogie to embrace the ethos of Dumb and Dumber. It doesn't matter how implausible Key and his mob appear, a joke or two, a one liner or two, remains the default response. And -- surprise, surprise -- it generally works.

Notwithstanding the mass response, the current fiascos inspire some excellent critical journalism. It would be near impossible to up the ante on Chris Barton's lovely Herald piece of today, "Kim pulls off greatest dotcomedy of his career"

Enjoy. As a job lot the comments are pretty good too.

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