Week 1 – Reading Response

This week I read the following two articles:

  1. “Sampling ‘the New’ in New Literacies” – Lankshear & Knobel (2007)
  2. 7 Things You Should Know About Digital Storytelling” from the Journal titled “Educause Learning Initiative”


Sampling the “New” in New Literacies

This chapter from Lankshear and Knobel’s book was a great introductory read for this class and this semester.  It brings to light the many ways in which learners are able to interact with text and information allowing them to learn individually as well as share their thoughts and knowledge with others.  Such “collaborative learning” is exactly what this course is doing for me and the others enrolled, and will no doubt benefit me next year in my first year of teaching.

I was glad to read about the Sociocultural approach to understanding literacy.  During my undergrad at Boulder, during which I got a degree in Communication, I studied the Sociocultural approach to human communication and found it to be very interesting.  More recently, while working on my Master’s in education, I have studied the Sociocultural approach to education.  Being able to apply this approach to a new area is great.

I will be honest, I did find some of this article to be slightly difficult to understand.  For example the two different mindsets.  The table on page 11 was helpful in illustrating the differences between the two sides, but I am not confident that I have a clear understanding.  I also wonder how many people/learners/collaborators fall into either one of the mindsets.  It seems that most people would fall somewhere in between.  Although it is entirely possible that I am misunderstanding…

The examples of new literacies and new ways of building knowledge between people that this chapter lists are great!  However, the idea that these new literacies are working towards a “commitment to inclusion, collaboration, and participation” really makes me think.  Are these new strategies really reaching and benefitting all people and all learners? Specifically, I am referring to the internet and technology based literacies.  Are older generations without computers or without the skill set necessary able to share their stories or their ideas; are they able to inquire about the knowledge and opinions of others?  What about other groups of people without easy access to computers and technology: those in lower economic classes, from different cultures and backgrounds.  Perhaps these are the groups that need to share and be understood the most but are not able to.


7 Things You Should Know Digital Storytelling

This article breaks down the essentials of Digital Storytelling.  Like many others, maybe even some in this class, I had only a basic understanding of digital stories prior to taking this class and subsequently reading this article.  I have only ever created one digital story, for my very first Graduate class and at the time I thought it was super cool.  Now, after reading about a student named David and the story he told digitally, I realize I really need to step up my game.

Similar to the critique I had about the previous article, I believe the “Who’s doing it” section of this article is not complete.  They list colleges and universities that are known to have programs around the topic of digital storytelling.  What is not mentioned, however, is “Who’s not doing it.”  I believe my background in socially equitable education is becoming quite clear through this week’s response, but I cannot stop my brain from thinking about the audiences that are not being met, helped, learned from, etc. through digital storytelling.

As a soon to be teacher, I am excited after reading this article.  As mentioned above, I am definitely a novice digital storyteller, but I greatly hope to develop my abilities and share information and narratives with my students.



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