Superheroic Yet Sensible Strategies for Teaching the New Literacies Despite the Status Quo

Edited by:
Sandra Vavra, North Carolina Central University
Sharon L. Spencer, North Carolina Central University

Published 2011

This book offers ideas that secondary teachers, university content faculty, and teacher educators can use to challenge traditional literacy practices and demonstrate creative, innovative ways of incorporating new literacies into the classroom, all within a strong theoretical framework. Teachers are trying to catch up to the new challenges of the twenty-first century. It is a superheroic feat that must be achieved if education is to stay relevant and viable. There is a lot of zip, bam, whap, and wow in the fast-paced, social networking, technological world, but not so much in the often laboriously slow-paced educational world. Where is the balance? How do teachers and students learn together, since one group has seasoned wisdom with limited technological know-how and the other uses all the cool new tools, but not in the service of learning? These are some important issues to consider in finding the balance in an unstable, fast-moving, ever-changing world.

This book is practical and useful to literacy teachers, teacher educators, and university faculty by bringing together the expertise of composition/rhetoric researchers and writers, literacy specialists, technology specialists, and teachers who are on the cutting edge of new literacies.

Foreword. Preface. PART I: BATMAN BEGINS, SIMPLY. The Cold, Hard Cash of Truth about Literacy in the 21st Century, Sandra A. Vavra and Sharon L. Spencer. “And Now... A Word From Our Students”: Creating Better Writers and Thinkers by Having Students Study, Write and Film TV Commercials, Tom Scheft. Superheroic Resourcefulness: Expanding Literacy and Engagement through YouTube, Sarah Wynn. PART II: THE FORCE IS WITH RELUCTANT NEW MEDIA ADOPTERS. Popular Culture as a Sponsor of Literacy: Confronting the CLASH! BOOM! POW! in the Basic Writing Classroom, Tabetha Adkins. Making Messes and Meaning with Wikis and Blogs, Collie Fulford. “Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?”: Teaching “Writerly” Confidence, Media Literacy, and Historical, Civic, and Cultural Awareness with This I Believe, Rachelle S. Gold. PART III: BRINGING AN X-MENTALITY TO THE EVERYDAY CLASSROOM. Teaching Poetry in a Freestyle World: A Pedagogy for the Unimpressed, Lisa Carl. Capitalizing on Digital Literacy: Visual Rhetoric, the Graphic Novel and Academic Identity, Sara Littlejohn and Hephzibah Roskelly. Unraveling the Riddler: New Media, Technology, and Literacies in Exploring Heroes and Superheroes, Sarah M. Henchey and Sharon L. Spencer. Changing the World–One Zip Code At a Time, Stefanie Frigo. New Media as Instructional Supports in Inclusive Classrooms, Doris K. Tyler. PART IV: FROM INDIANA JONES TO BUZZ LIGHTYEAR: MOVING LITERACY FROM THE TEMPLE OF MEMORY TO INFINITY AND BEYOND. Taking Risks and (Re)defining Expertise: Facilitating the Move from Consumption to Production in the Use of Digital Media, Colleen Reilly. Composing Digitally and Learning Languages: Using Linguistic Models of Competency to Teach Multimedia Assignments, Mark Pepper. Remembering: The Past and the Future, George Pullman. Grappling with the Infonauts: Archival Literacy and the Fight for Memory, Tom Sura. About the Authors.