This weeks required reading Jenkins (2008) Afterword: Communities of Readers, Clusters of Practices discusses the importance of seeing technology and new literacies not just as forms of entertainment or distraction but as tools to be used in the classroom to make lessons more meaningful. It goes on to explain that these tools can be used to open classroom doors, and make learning more connected to the world around us. Another standout for me from Jenkins is the idea that “Do It Yourself rarely means Do It Alone.” (Jenkins, 2008, p.233). Instead DIY should be looked at as Do It Together, where communities are working together, and building off of each other’s strengths. As an educator this is a concept I am completely on board with, and one I try to bring into the classroom. This idea makes me think of what Freire says, “…that to teach is not to transfer knowledge but to create the possibilities for the production or construction of knowledge.”(Freire, 2000).
I think that anything that helps encourage and facilitate collaboration and discussion in the classroom is a great thing, whether it be through new literacies, or old school reading groups-there needs to be balance.
Jenkins (2008) also discusses multiple modes of learning, something I strongly believe is important for educators to embrace. This, along with my theme of educating diverse learners led me to explore the use of technology in the classroom to support all types of learners. I stumbled upon two articles that address some of my questions/interests: Equity for English-Language Learners, and an article titled Literacy Through Photography for English-Language Learners. Ironically I started reading these after making the above Freire connection, then when I began reading the articles I saw one started with another quote from him that talks about our definition of literacy. The article about using photography for literacy in the classroom really connects with our exploration of digital stories. Specifically it says, “The use of photographs allows students to reflect and organize their thoughts in a creative way that cannot be achieved simply through writing.”(Dell’Angelo, 2015). I think this is exactly what we are talking about in our course, expression through all different modes of expression. The article goes on to give specific examples of how to use photography in the classroom, which is always extremely helpful-the more ideas the better. The other article Equity for English-Language Learners is a quick discussion on the need for equitable education for students learning English. One of the points talks about alternate methods for teaching and learning, which once again relate back to the use of digital stories, new literacies, and different modes of learning.
I think all three articles made me thing about digital storytelling as a way to help students express themselves and their learning. It also made me think of digital storytelling with collaboration. My only previous experience with digital storytelling as a personal video story I had created, and most digital stories I see are about one persons journey, but these past few weeks have expanded my definition of storytelling. I now think it can be so much more-does it have to be just one person’s story/journey in the form of a video?