Subject to Change: Social Media, Education & Contentious Literacies
Martin Waller Classroom Teacher and Educational Researcher Holy Trinity Rosehill Primary SchoolNew Literacies, Digital Media and Classroom Teaching Conference - University of Tasmania
Classroom Teacher of Orange Class (Year 2) at HolyTrinity Rosehill Primary School in the UK. Creative Learning Coordinator for Nursery through to Year 6. Postgraduate student (MA in New Literacies) at the University of Shefﬁeld.Independent educational researcher working with arange of organisations.
Waller, M. (2010). It’s very very fun and ecsiting – using Twitter in theprimary classroom. English Four to Eleven, Summer, pp. 14–16.Waller, M. (2011). ‘Everyone in the World Can See It’ - DevelopingPupil Voice through Online Social Networks. In G. Czerniawski, & W.Kidd, (Eds), The Student Voice Handbook: Bridging the Academic/Practitioner Divide. London, England: Emerald.MA in New Literacy Studies research at the University of Shefﬁeld.Ongoing classroom research and projects.
New Literacy Studies (Street, 1984, 2003; Gee, 1996) A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies (New London Group, 1996; Unsworth, 2001) Multimodality and visual design (Kress, 1997, 2003)Critical Literacy (Comber, 2001) Popular Culture and Literacy (Millard, 2003; Genishi and Dyson, 2009)
“I think it’s about learning about verbs anddifferent things and stories. Erm like punctuationand different kinds of... well English”Year 6 Child
Web-based services that allow individuals to (1)construct a public proﬁle or semi-public proﬁle within abounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users withinwhom they share a connection, and (3) view andtraverse their list of connections and those made byothers within the system. (boyd and Ellison, 2008: 221)
Much of the moral panic around new media focuses onthe idea that they distract the attention of children andyoung people from engaging with print literacy practicesand are a causal factor in falling standards in literacy inschools.(Davies and Merchant, 2009: 111)
Social networks are here to stay - so how can we usethem in schools? What value can they add to an already crowded classroom? Is it safe to use social networks in school?What’s the point?
Reading in this context means not simplydecoding, but involves the taking part in theconstruction of social networks in whichknowledge is co-constructed and distributed.(Marsh, 2010: 29)
Children must not mention their name or any o ftheirfriends by name under any circumstances. Children must not check for replies or direct messages. Children must not navigate away from our Twitter stream page or look at other people’s proﬁles.(Waller, 2010)
Social media will not disappear so education needs toadapt to the changed communicative landscape. Teaching of safe practices within any online social network is crucial. Prescribed curricular deﬁnitions of literacy should be challenged to take account of new literacy practices.
email orange class firstname.lastname@example.org www.whatwedidtoday.nettwitter orange class twitter@MultiMartin @ClassroomTweets@MisterWallerblogwww.changinghorizons.net