Multiliteracies in ELA Classrooms

My (very late) thoughts about our presentation & connections to the course

July 20th, 2014 · No Comments

During the beginning of our presentation on folksonomies and collective knowledge, a comment was made about how a classmate does not like to participate in online information sharing for fear of being harassed by trolls.  I, too, share these sentiments as I am an avid reader of blogs and articles but rarely, if ever, have I consciously participated by sharing my own thoughts and feelings.  The idea of being bombarded by strangers for being wrong or being misinformed is something I do not want to experience.

After our presentation, I started to think about why this bothers me so much.  One idea that I struggle with is not being an expert.  What I mean by expert is that when I post online I want to be as knowledgeable as possible and make sure that I am posting something that is truthful.

Over this term, I have had to write blog posts and comment on my classmate’s work a number of times.  While I see the merit in this type of exercise as it creates a place for discussion, I was also very hesitant to post my own thoughts and feelings.  I have had the experience of posting both anonymously for one class and with my name for another class.  I thought this would make a difference but I do not believe it affected me as much as I had previously assumed.  What I did find that made a difference in my contributions was my level of comfort and expertise with the subject matter.  In 1 class (where my name was made visible to my classmates), I made significantly more comments and posts as opposed to a class where I felt less comfortable with the material.

Lankshear and Knobel’s article “Blogging as Participation: The Active Sociality of a New Literacy” look at the idea of “collective intelligence” and the Internet “as open, continuous and fluid”.  What I struggle with is the collective part of this “collective intelligence”.  While I want to be a creator / producer in this space, I am still hesitant about whose space this is.  What authority do I have in this space of knowledge creation?  I know this example of a class blog seems like a silly example but I think it speaks to the fact that other students may feel the same way about navigating the online blogging atmosphere.

I want to end with a question I have as an educator still trying to figure out where I stand and fit in with this creation of a “collective intelligence”: how can I as an educator (and participant) make my students feel more comfortable sharing and posting ideas about topics that they are not experts about?


Works Cited

Lankshear, C. and Knobel, M.(2006). Blogging as Participation: The Active Sociality of a New Literacy. American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, US.


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