In this paper I will first sketch out the background to the approach I take to literacy andtechnology—an approach I would call “situated-sociocultural”. By this term I mean ablend of themes from work on situated cognition dealing with mind and learning andwork on sociocultural approaches to language, literacy, and technology. I will sketch outthis background by over viewing several interdisciplinary intellectual movements thathave arisen over the last few decades. I start with the New Literacy Studies and move onto Situated Cognition Studies, The New Literacies Studies, and the New Media LiteracyStudies.After my background sketch, I will turn to one specific application of the ideas in thissketch to the interactions between literacy and technology in and out of schools. Thisapplication starts with reading and ends with a discussion of video games.
The New Literacy Studies (NLS)
In my book
Sociolinguistics and Literacies
(1990/1996/2007) I attempted to name what Isaw as an emerging new field of study. I called this field “The New Literacy Studies”.Today it is sometimes just referred to as the “NLS” (Brandt and Clinton 2002; Gee 2000;Hull & Schultz 2001; Pahl & Rowsel 2005, 2006; Prinsloo and Mignonne 1996; Street1993, 1995, 1997, 2005). And, of course, it is no longer new.The scholars I saw as composing the emerging field of the New Literacy Studies werepeople from linguistics, history, anthropology, rhetoric and composition studies, cultural