Multiliteracies Meet Methods - CMU


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This presentation was delivered as a part of my job talk at Central Michigan University on January 12, 2007.

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Multiliteracies Meet Methods - CMU

  1. 1. Multiliteracies Meet Methods The Case for Digital Writing in English Education Troy Hicks January 12, 2007 Central Michigan University
  2. 2. The State of English Education <ul><li>Implications of CEE Summit - May 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Today, new technologies are changing the types of texts we and our students create and interpret even as they are influencing the social, political, and cultural contexts in which our texts are composed and shared. Since these technologies are influencing the development of individuals, institutions, and communities (and since individuals, institutions, and communities are shaping these technologies and their uses), it is essential for English educators to turn a critical eye toward the benefits and affordances; the limitations and liabilities of integrating these newer technologies into our teaching. </li></ul><ul><li>- Swenson et al. (2005) </li></ul>
  3. 3. The State of English Education <ul><li>Networks are classrooms. Digital writing is socially situated in a collaborative, recursive and responsive space in which teachers must participate with their students. </li></ul><ul><li>- Grabill and Hicks (2005) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Overview of Today’s Talk <ul><li>Who I am </li></ul><ul><li>What I research </li></ul><ul><li>How I teach </li></ul><ul><li>How this connects to English teacher education at Central Michigan University </li></ul>
  5. 5. A Little Bit About hickstro <ul><li>Teacher of English </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Formally and informally, with students all ages from elementary to graduate school </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Teacher Researcher and Educator </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Outreach coordinator and technology liaison for the Red Cedar Writing Project at MSU </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Member of the English Education Community </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsibilities within local, state, national, and international professional organizations </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. The Pedagogy of Multiliteracies <ul><li>The New London Group (2000) argues for a model of literacy teaching and learning in which participants engage in four recursive processes: </li></ul><ul><li>Situated Practice </li></ul><ul><li>Overt Instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Critical Framing </li></ul><ul><li>Transformed Practice </li></ul><ul><li>What does this look like in a methods course? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Research Interests <ul><li>Teacher professional development </li></ul><ul><li>Social networking through blogs, images, videos, podcasts, and other forms of digital composition </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative writing with wikis and online word processors </li></ul><ul><li>Free and open source applications </li></ul>
  8. 8. Dissertation Research <ul><li>Digital and visual rhetoric as topics worthy of study in K-12 ELA settings </li></ul><ul><li>Technical and ethical aspects of representing teacher research online through a digital portfolio </li></ul><ul><li>Collegial support and individual mentoring related to technology learning for in-service teachers </li></ul>
  9. 9. Digital and Visual Rhetoric
  10. 10. Digital Portfolios <ul><li>Creating a portfolio could be more than just the sum of its parts </li></ul><ul><li>Current research shows that teachers often sense a lack of purpose and cohesion as they develop portfolios throughout their coursework. </li></ul><ul><li>Moreover, creating a digital portfolio often occurs as learning a set of decontextualized technical skills instead of as an act of composing hypertext and/or multimedia. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Audience Future Employers Administration Community Colleagues Students Parents Self Situation Online, 24/7 Accessible Updatable Digital Public Purpose Personal Interest College Course Certification Project
  12. 12. Collegial Technology Learning <ul><li>Research and experience shows that: </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers need time and support, both technical and collegial, in order to make substantive changes in their practice as it relates to integrating technology. </li></ul><ul><li>The technology/literacy relationship continually changes and our teaching should, ideally, adapt to those changes. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><ul><li>In other words, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>literacy learning is not about the technology, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>it is about relationships. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Teaching Interests at CMU <ul><li>Writing Methods Courses </li></ul><ul><li>Reading/Writing Across the Curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Technology and Literacy </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Development </li></ul><ul><li>National Writing Project </li></ul>
  15. 15. My Vision for an Elementary Writing Methods Course <ul><li>Connecting the new to the known while examining our local, state, and (inter)national contexts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Genre study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple writing purposes and audiences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategic teaching of author’s craft </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student choice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Peer response and collaboration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology as transparent </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. What Might This Be Like? <ul><li>Along with traditional models and genres of writing, we might also explore: </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs or Other Social Networks </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis and Collaborative Writing </li></ul><ul><li>Podcasts and Digital Storytelling </li></ul><ul><li>Online Research and Social Bookmarking </li></ul>
  17. 17. Rethinking English Education <ul><li>A common scenario today is a classroom filled with digitally literate students being led by linear-thinking, technologically stymied instructors. Although funds may be plentiful to purchase new equipment, wire classrooms, and order current software, few educational organizations have developed comprehensive technology plans that specify technical learning objectives or ensure successful integration of technology to enhance students’ digital and visual literacy. We have found a common void in professional development for faculty—training needed to gain the requisite computer skills to integrate technology into the curriculum effectively. </li></ul><ul><li>- Jones-Kavalier and Flannigan (2006) </li></ul>
  18. 18. Links <ul><li>Room 115’s Starbooks Café: </li></ul><ul><li>Youth Voices: </li></ul><ul><li>Terry the Tennis Ball: </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative Writing: </li></ul><ul><li>Podcasts Produced by Pre-service Teachers: </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Storytelling: </li></ul><ul><li>Online Research Tool: </li></ul><ul><li>Social Bookmarking: </li></ul>
  19. 19. Photo Credits <ul><li>In the Middle from </li></ul><ul><li>Warriner’s from </li></ul><ul><li>Logos from Wikipedia, Blogger,, YouTube, and MySpace are screenshots from the respective sites and copyrighted by those sites. </li></ul><ul><li>All other images: Troy Hicks or Red Cedar Writing Project, Michigan State University </li></ul>
  20. 20. References <ul><li>Cope, B., Kalantzis, M., & New London Group. (2000). Multiliteracies: literacy learning and the design of social futures . London; New York: Routledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Grabill, J., & Hicks, T. (2005). Multiliteracies Meet Methods: The Case for Digital Writing in English Education. English Education, 37 (4), 301-311. </li></ul><ul><li>Jones-Kavalier, B. R., & Flannigan, S. L. (2006). Connecting the Digital Dots: Literacy of the 21st Century. Retrieved September 24, 2006, from </li></ul><ul><li>Swenson, J., Rozema, R., Young, C. A., McGrail, E., & Whitin, P. (2005). Beliefs about technology and the preparation of English teachers: Beginning the conversation. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education [Online serial] Available:, 5 (3/4). </li></ul>