Youth and Creativity
This is how some of us feel...
When it comes to some technology (and how fast everything is happening), I can't help but feel overwhelmed sometimes. Here's some graffiti I created:
This week's readings...
In addition to reading "An Introduction to Everyday Youth Literacies: Critical Perspectives in New Times" (Chapter 1), I chose to start my adventure by reading "Creativity as Capital in the Literacy Classroom: Youth as Multimodal Designers" by Christopher S. Walsh.
Walsh explains his journey from teaching using print-based materials to teaching using the latest technology. He speaks of his experiences with Chinese students (of immigrant families) who brought their 'out-of-school' digital literacy practices into his classroom. He as an educator was forced to change his ways to accommodate the shift that was taking place in the world around him. Moving beyond print-based materials allowed for much more CREATIVITY. His students shared their knowledge of new technology with him and he then changed his curriculum accordingly. While many of his students would have struggled with essay-writing because of English being their second language, the many other means of expressing themselves (with technology) was highly beneficial.
Walsh's experience (and the study of it) undoubtedly highlights the importance of making students' school experiences as authentic and as 'real' as possible. Literacy education, as Walsh reveals, "has to extend beyond the school".
...and the second article I chose to read this week was...
These authors begin their article by stating that the days of using merely print-based materials are long gone and we need to bring forth the new forms of diverse communication that exist in today's world. Doing so will allow for more creativity.
Choudhury's experience working with ESL students was similar to that of Walsh and his Chinese students. Choudhury turned his classroom into a rich, digital learning environment. He blended the "New Literacies" with a critical perspective.
Choudhury's students found his lessons at first to be boring and his students were asking why what they are doing in class matters. The result of this was a change in his teaching style. He encouraged his students to speak out about the issues that were facing them and he tried hard to ensure that their learning was more related to 'real life' situations.
The students became involved in learning outside of their classroom and in the community around them. They were involved in creating multimedia presentations and this incorporated technology (New Literacies) into their learning.
Experiential learning is definitely a way to engage students more fully!
- more attention needs to be given to the ways in with youth work with New Literacy, including the images, media, Internet web pages, and other technologies
- youth literacies are hybrid, diverse, fluid, and multiple
(from K. Sanford et al.)
Dell's advertisement (below) speaks of how the digital era is fluid...
New Literacies - Understood well by youth, but not necessarily by others...
From our initial reading entitled "An Introduction to Everyday Youth Literacies: Critical Perspectives in New Times", the authors (Sanford, Rogers, and Kendrick) point out that "literacy has taken on a new face" in the last decade. They outline that today's youth are using these "New Literacies" and are taking them in in such a way that was not even imaginable even a few decades ago. These "New Literacies", they say, are not well-understood by parents, educators and other stakeholders today. Further study by teachers, administrators, and parents is needed. Courses like this course (New Literacies) are most definitely a step in the right direction!
Connections to my youth...
After I finished writing this section and logged off, something else came to mind here. The whole idea of students' 'out-of-school' experiences was on my mind (as Walsh spoke of). I thought about all of the trips that I took as a child. One trip in particular came to mind. My dad and I drove to Florida. After reading EVERY road sign (while I was awake, of course) and stopping at every Welcome Centre in every state along the way (at which I am pretty sure I picked up hundreds of brochures), we made it to Florida. Upon my return, I had taken in so many sights, smells, and sounds - and I had been exposed to so much literacy as well. Travelling is definitely an 'out-of-school' experience that is truly beneficial and I am fortunate to have had many experiences as a child.
Choudhoury, M. and Share, J. (2012). Critical media literacy: a pedagogy for new literacies and urban youth. Voices from the Middle 19(4), 39-44.
Sanford, K., Rogers, T., and Kendrick, M. (Eds.) An introduction to everyday youth literacies: critical perspectives in new times. In Everyday Youth Literacies. Singapore: Springer Science+Business Media, 2014.
Walsh, C. (2007). Creativity as capital in the literacy classroom: youth as multimodal designers. Literacy 41(2), 79-85.