ED 656 Week 7

Adolescent literacy in the digital age is a very interesting topic especially amongst educators and other personnel who work directly with youth. For a very long time to be literate simply meant to be an individual that could read and write, however literacy can now be defined as the ability to read, write, think, speak, and communicate. In this age of technology literacy is taking on a new meaning. Being literate in today’s society requires much more than the ability to just read and write. As educators we are tasked with the role of preparing our students for the world that they will inevitably inherit. If we are adequately preparing students for the world then we should acknowledge the fact that digital literacy is going to be one of the many literacies that they will encounter in the working world.Knobel and Lanshear mention in their article, “Studying New Literacies”, the wonderful fact that digital media and “electronic networks vastly extends the reach and real time immediacy of new literacies beyond anything remotely possible under print” (98).As a millennial teacher I cringe at the idea of having to grade exams and quizzes by hand when I can have students take a quiz online and get immediate feedback. I can see what concepts students struggled with and what concepts students were able to grasp in real time. Instead of having to wait two weeks to grade 200 exams to provide feedback and improve upon my instruction I can have that information at my disposal in under a minute. The advantage of having technology in the classroom and other forms of digital media can truly enhance an educator’s instruction.


In addition to the real time aspect of digital media, these newer literacies allow for students to move from an individual literacy to a more collaborative form of literacy (Knobel and Lanshear, 98).Traditionally, students were the audience for a particular author, but now society is entering into a phase where students are becoming both the author/composer while simultaneously being the audience. Students are crafting their own stories and allowing others to view, edit, and build upon their thoughts. According to Knobel and Lanshear these new literacies “involves deep interactivity, openness to feedback, sharing of resources and expertise, and a will to collaborate and provide support” (98).What I appreciate most about this digital age is society’s willingness to share, and reflect on what is currently happening in the world. What is currently happening in the world will always find a way to permeate our classrooms and it is important for our students to be able to have these discussions through traditional forms of literacy as well as through technology and digital forms of media.


Personally, I am on the fence about social media use in the classroom especially at the middle school age because I have seen the harm it can do.However, I try to keep my class technologically relevant by using platforms such as Google classroom. I post a bunch of resources video, audio, and music about science topics that we are currently covering in class and I allow students to post resources that they have found useful as well. I urge them to interact with one another on Google classroom and have set up my Google classroom very similar to that of pace commons where students are placed into different groups and have to work on in class and online assignments. I do however; have a school instagram that students and parents can follow where I post reminders, projects that students have worked on, experiments that we have worked on, science news and policies, and student of the month in order to build morale in my classroom.


In his article “Where the Machine Stops: Software as Reader and the Rise of New Literatures”, Tom Liam Lynch states “technology is sometimes positioned as the book killer by techo-skeptics who claim that technology is creating the dumbest generation” (298).This idea stems from the belief that students and teachers alike are doing away with traditional texts for other forms of text either through technology or digital media. Not only is this thinking unfair, and untrue, it is obtuse and lacks the nuance to truly understand the way in which technology works. Students are still responsible for being able to synthesize, summarize, compartmentalize, evaluate, and analyze a traditional text in addition to being well verse in a society where technology is advancing at exponential rates. If used correctly technology has the capacity to enhance the learning of traditional texts.

    • Gerald Ardito
      Gerald Ardito


      As always, I enjoyed reading your response to this week's readings.

      For some reason, this jumped out at me:

      The advantage of having technology in the classroom and other forms of digital media can truly enhance an educator’s instruction.

      Do you think it's the presence of the technology that makes the difference or is it something else. Also, is it a matter of enhancing instruction or enhancing learning, or both?

    Week 7

    Sub-Group of Group D

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        Rachel Richards on Week 7 (): Yes, that you for this addition, that I will. 
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          Gerald Ardito on Week 7 (): Rachel, Your response to this week's readings was very thorough and...
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            Gerald Ardito on Week 7 (): Rachel, I really enjoyed reading your response to this week's readings....
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              Gerald Ardito on ED 656 Week 7 (): Milani, As always, I enjoyed reading your response to this week's...