Multiliteracies in ELA Classrooms


October 15th, 2012 · 1 Comment

Well I’m finding this weeks reading rather difficult to respond to via the blog… mainly because the topic feels more generally academic and without the flair of creativity that the other weeks have provided. That being said I’ve been able to sit on it and think I have some decent comments…

I suppose the main point that Alexander is trying to make is 1. That we are living in a society that has evolved enough since the dawn of the Internet to allow for a 2.0 of online technologies… and 2. We have the incredible opportunity to learn from another world (so to speak) through the extension of our minds and hands (our computers).

As someone who lived through the moments before Facebook exploded and changed our lives I remembered the online posting site “Livejournal”: Livejournal was used amongst my high school as a way of connecting people to groups of their interests (especially photography) and each other. I used it for silly postings of terrible fonts and coulours saying things like, “Got a new job at American Eagle and so excited about it!” and “School sucks.” At my school we had a group where if you were in the Drama program you could be a part of a certain group specifically for us… the main point was to share photos of an annual trip to a camp in early September.

I think the Facebook epidemic took over our school somewhere around 2006 when the switch slowly took everyone over and Livejournal died out. Personally I never subscribed to the world of MySpace… so no comment there. I do however ALSO have a Flickr. I think I signed myself up for that around University once I was taking more quality photos (pre Instagram of course). Out of all of these social media sites of connectivity the only one I still use regularly is Facebook, (no surprise). Why is this? At least once a week I say to myself, and then out loud to the people also in the room, “I want to delete my Facebook!” the answer usually comes from myself as well, “Well I just can’t because I need it for too many social things.” The online world has taken on the responsibility as our online little black book, cell phone, and calendar. I suppose that Alexander is right in the sense that we have come to an age where the Internet itself lives as a 2.0.

I think it’s a difficult thing to try and appreciate sources such as Wikipedia while we are teaching our students to be researchers. Wikipedia and online bookmarking has been a hot topic of debate around my schools over the last few years. At the same time, while I think that learning citations and plagiarism is a difficult thing to teach it may also be best taught through resources like the ones mentioned in the article. The point I’m trying to make is that the online world has changed so vastly for all of us in this class in different ways. I see my little cousins already invested in the online world on sites such as Webkinz, and Penguin Hotel… it reminds me of the days of Neopets! It is inevitable that this is a widely appreciated and growing resource… let’s just embrace it, and figure out ways of adapting it for good.

With great power comes great responsibility.

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1 response so far ↓

  • TMD // Oct 17th 2012 at 2:02 pm

    I wonder why this topic feels academic? Is it because the readings don’t speak directly to classroom activities or because social media doesn’t seem to have a place in the classroom? Even if a teacher is not able to assign an activity using social media, how might the premise of social media influence one’s understanding of knowledge mobilization?

    I think you make some excellent points — what is clear is that students’ engagement with social media does influence how they interpret the materials they encounter in formal education settings.


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