Serendipitous Urban Encounters andStrategic Risk Taking in Informal Learning with             Digital Media Literacy      ...
A university-school partnership program designed to strengthenchildren’s ability to think for themselves, communicate effe...
By taking photographs, maps, making drawings and audio-recordings, children learn how to create media messages thatexpress...
 Requires a well-structured activity with a clear audience and  purpose Requires some creative & independent thinking fr...
Both teachers and school leaders have concerns about mayhemand loss of control that may interfere with digital media proje...
Why?
Why?A pedagogy of listening activates thesearch for meaning andunderstanding in the various socialand physical environment...
Research              CompositionFeedback & Revision   Distribution
Empowerment and Protection      are Embedded in Strategic Risk-TakingChildren learned that homelessness     Children did n...
Implications for Teaching and Learning Digital Media Literacy Create an experiential learning environment Provide an app...
Engagement Promotes Civic ActionThe pedagogy of listening enables children to discover therush of delight that occurs when...
Serendipitous Urban Encounters andStrategic Risk Taking in Informal Learning with             Digital Media Literacy      ...
Serendipitous and Strategic Encounters
Serendipitous and Strategic Encounters
Serendipitous and Strategic Encounters
Serendipitous and Strategic Encounters
Serendipitous and Strategic Encounters
Serendipitous and Strategic Encounters
Serendipitous and Strategic Encounters
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Serendipitous and Strategic Encounters

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This paper presents a curious case study of a teacher in an informal media literacy learning environment who worked with a group of 9-year olds in Philadelphia. Using a mix of direct observation, interviews with the teacher and students, videotapes of classroom activity, examination of documents created by the students, as well as lesson plans and reflective writing produced by the teacher, this paper documents the experience of a novice teacher who, flummoxed by an accidental encounter between her students and a homeless person, transformed an uncomfortable the experience into a teachable moment. Children’s questions about homelessness became the organizing frame for the learning experience, as the instructor helped children make sense of information on the Internet, analyze popular culture films and news media, and conduct interviews with community leaders and advocates for the homeless. The inquiry process resulted in a collaboratively-produced multimedia project, created by children. The project included a 14-page nonfiction comic book, created with a digital camera and simple multimedia production software, that was shared with their families, civic leaders, and the school community.

This paper demonstrates how teacher openness to unpredictability plus a high level of strategic risk-taking enable the construction of powerful learning experiences in work with city children. The case study has implications for pre-teacher education for digital and media literacy, including the function of support systems including in-school mentoring, reflective writing and peer-teacher support groups as they may promote the development of openness to unpredictability and strategic risk taking, which are conceptualized as a set of socio-emotional and experiential competencies that teachers need when using digital media in an urban community as a tool for learning.

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  • This possibility is magnified when it occurs within a group context that allows for the experience of others to be shared and debated.
  • This possibility is magnified when it occurs within a group context that allows for the experience of others to be shared and debated.
  • Serendipitous and Strategic Encounters

    1. 1. Serendipitous Urban Encounters andStrategic Risk Taking in Informal Learning with Digital Media Literacy Renee Hobbs Harrington School of Communication and Media University of Rhode Island International Communication Association, May 28, 2011
    2. 2. A university-school partnership program designed to strengthenchildren’s ability to think for themselves, communicate effectively,and use their powerful voices to contribute to the quality of life intheir families, their schools, their communities, and the world.
    3. 3. By taking photographs, maps, making drawings and audio-recordings, children learn how to create media messages thatexpress their views and experiences, examining cultural life bystudying the complex and multivalenced relationships that arepart of urban life.
    4. 4.  Requires a well-structured activity with a clear audience and purpose Requires some creative & independent thinking from learners Requires careful monitoring of small groups Requires the use of media & technology
    5. 5. Both teachers and school leaders have concerns about mayhemand loss of control that may interfere with digital media projects(Hofer & Swan, 2006).  Not clearly linked to standards  Not easy to assess student learning outcomes  Not text-based  Children are not sitting down at desks “unpredictable” and “exhausting”
    6. 6. Why?
    7. 7. Why?A pedagogy of listening activates thesearch for meaning andunderstanding in the various socialand physical environments ofeveryday life.Listening to children’s theoriesenables educators to discover howchildren think, how they develop arelationship with reality, and howthey begin to question it.--Carla Rinaldi, Reggio Emilia earlychildhood education expert
    8. 8. Research CompositionFeedback & Revision Distribution
    9. 9. Empowerment and Protection are Embedded in Strategic Risk-TakingChildren learned that homelessness Children did not use the Internetoccurs when people lack jobs, to gather informationhousing, and health care, when they independently. Instead, theare victims of domestic violence, or instructor selected child-have problems with alcoholism, appropriate content aboutsubstance abuse, or mental illness. homelessness for children to read, view and discuss.
    10. 10. Implications for Teaching and Learning Digital Media Literacy Create an experiential learning environment Provide an appropriate balance of structure and freedom in learning activities Be alert to unexpected and ambiguous moments Promote an atmosphere of trust and respect where learners feel comfortable asking all kinds of questions Structure an inquiry on a topic unfamiliar to the instructor and model research practices with learners Balance empowerment and protection with sensitivity to the developmental needs of learners
    11. 11. Engagement Promotes Civic ActionThe pedagogy of listening enables children to discover therush of delight that occurs when they experience the world,using the city and community as inspiration for authenticlearning, civic engagement and communicative action.
    12. 12. Serendipitous Urban Encounters andStrategic Risk Taking in Informal Learning with Digital Media Literacy Renee Hobbs Harrington School of Communication and Media University of Rhode Island Email: hobbs@uri.edu Twitter: reneehobbs
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