Ian O’Byrne Online Content Creation: An Annotated Bibliography

This annotated bibliography outlines the beginning stages of a construct known as online content creation (OCC). The skills and strategies outlined by OCC have been previously seen under many different names, from many different fields (e.g., multiliteracies, new media, multimediating, digital storytelling, digital literacy, etc. OCC is structured around the idea of content creation as defined by Sonia Livingstone in her theoretical definition of media literacy (2004). In order to “identify, in textual terms, how the Internet mediates the representation of knowledge, the framing of entertainment, and the conduct of communication” (Livingstone, 2004) the construct must be broad enough to allow for change in the future. Given the deictic nature of literacy as ICTs (Leu & Kinzer, 2000) act upon it, many of the disparate modes of online content bleed into one another. For example, aspects of blogging sites can now be found in social networks, webdesign and photo or video sharing sites. As these technologies converge, the tools will also converge (Rainie & Anderson, 2008). But the skills needed by individuals to manipulate and successfully create content will be more understood if we begin to unpack the underlying skills now (Jewitt, 2008). This bibliography strives to begin the discussion to identify the multitude of tools, affordances of these tools, and ultimately student skills and dispositions necessary to use these tools. In order to compile the literature for this bibliography, two phases of a search were completed using Google Scholar and library databases. The first phase included searching using the keywords: content creation, digital literacy, ICT, writing, multimodality, multiliteracies, and composition. The second phase included reviewing the literature obtained and surveying the works cited within to find any sources that may have been overlooked. These sources were then obtained, and new keywords were added to search with (gaming, social media, digital storytelling, hybrid texts, new media). This bibliography includes theoretical pieces, literature reviews, and research studies. After the two phases of the search process had been completed 110 pieces of literature remained. A screening process was used to remove any pieces that did not address the goal of helping to define the skills and dispositions used by students in online content creation. This screening process resulted in the final list of 62 sources that have been included in the study. References Jewitt, C. (2008). Multimodality and Literacy in School Classrooms. Review of Research in Education, 32 (1), 241-267. Leu, Jr., D.J., & Kinzer, C.K. (2000). The convergence of literacy instruction with networked technologies for information and communication. Reading Research Quarterly, 35(1), 108–127. Livingstone, S. (2004). Media literacy and the challenge of new information and communication technologies. The Communication Review, 7 (1), 3-14.

Rainie, L. & Anderson, J. (2008). The future of the Internet III: How the experts see it. Pew Internet and American Life Project. Retrieved on December 23, 2008 from http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2008/The-Future-of-the-Internet-III.aspx

An Annotated Bibliography of Online Content Creation Beach, R., & O'Brien, D. (2005). Playing texts against each other in the multimodal English classroom. English in Education, 39(2), 44-59. This article explores the way adolescents and adults are experimenting with the multimodal affordances of contemporary intertextual practices. Based up on a review of recent research on how individuals engage with the digital environment, the authors outline past, present and future opportunities for multimodal composition in the English classroom. The authors highlight ways in which students and educators may move beyond basic intertextuality, into more critical analysis of the texts and involving creating identity. Britsch, S. (2005). But what did they learn? Clearing third spaces in virtual dialogues with children. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 5(2), 99. The article reports on the findings from a university project that had children and adults emailing each other about curricular and personal topics. For a two year period, 6 adult writer-researchers and 30 child writers commuicated via email to determine effect on not only educational goals, but to build the students’ love for writing. Because the 30 children were in a classroom with one computer, the children wrote their emails on paper and a parent volunteer typed them in at night. Results of analysis show that although curriculum and writing were intended to be the focus of the emails, the students surreptitiously involved a general sense of the social. In terms of written fluency, the students used the “third space” to not only practice the rules of written language; but more advanced writers could build voice and agency. Bruce, D. (2008). Visualizing literacy: Building bridges with media. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 24(3), 264-282. This article explores the results of a qualitative teacher-researcher study that investigated the skills and strategies employed by four low achieving writers while creating and interpreting music video compositions. The researchers examined to what extent students use complex or sophisticated composition strategies when composing a video. The results show that most students demonstrated a number of complex composition strategies through the reading and composing necessary to build the videos. Burbules, N. (2006). Rethinking Dialogue in Networked Spaces. Cultural Studies <=>Critical Methodologies, 6(1), 107-122.

A mostly theoretical piece looking at dialogue and evolution of dialogue studies and critique. Thorough definition and explication of dialogue and “third space” phenomena. Author decribes four types of dialogue: inquiry, instruction, conversation, and debate (Barbules, 1993). Author suggests another dimension of dialogue: hybrids, creoles, pidgins, or Bhabha’s (1994) “third space”. Author describes third space as a “creative misunderstanding”, a disruption of the agreed upon meanings of dialogue, where we have an opportunity to change the framing of a topic. Burnett, C. (2009). Research into literacy and technology in primary classrooms: an exploration of understandings generated by recent studies. Journal of Research in Reading, 32(1), 22-37. This article reports the results from a literature review of the work being done on incorporating new literacies work into primary classrooms. Results indicate a need for ethnographic and phenomenological studies of literacy projects to examine the contexts mediated by digital texts. Not much is known, due to the paucity of research and understanding of the intersection between new literacies and classroom practice, whether engagement with digital texts are “challenging or reinforcing classroom culture.” Burnett, C., & Myers, J. (2006). Observing children writing on screen: Exploring the process of multi-modal composition. Language and Literacy, 8(2), 1. The article reports on small-scale studies that investigated the processes engaged in by children as they composed texts on screen using e-mail, PowerPoint and Word. Within each context, the children’s decisions to revise their writing were unprompted by teacher intervention or feedback. The initial study examined 12 8-10 year old students and the practices they employed while composing e-mails and PowerPoint. The subsequent study observed and interviewed six 10-11 year old children who used Word and PowerPoint as a part of their regular classes. Results show the students enthusiastically beginning each project, but usually without an initial plan to work with. The construction of each document in all contexts seemed to follow an iterative process, but students were well aware and spent considerable time working on multimedia components. Burnett, C., & Wilkinson, J. (2005). Holy Lemons! Learning from children's uses of the Internet in out-of-school contexts. Literacy, 39(3), 158-165. This article reports on the findings from a qualitative study of six Grade six students from a semi-rural area in England to understand their use and relationship with the Internet. Results show the students saw the Internet as having three affordances: a source of free stuff, an opportunity for them to enter into communities of interest, and communication with “heroes” from around the world. Conclusions show that students: use the Internet purposefully; recognize that texts change and continue to do so; draw from both visual and verbal elements in meaning making. Burnett, C., Dickinson, P., Myers, J., & Merchant, G. (2006). Digital connections: transforming literacy in the primary school. Cambridge Journal of Education, 36(1), 11-29. This article reports on a case study that analyzed the digital texts of elementary school children, alongside interviews and observational data. The research questions asked centered on peer-to-peer digital communications: what characterized it, how students used it, and what affordances did it provide. The digital communications were organized

between two different elementary schools as preparation for producing a joint PowerPoint on the children’s views and interests. Three basic findings emerged. (1) The way we write: the very basic transition of writing from pen and paper to keyboard and screen cannot be trivialized; some students had major difficulty. (2) New kinds of text: abbreviations and language features usually attributed to text messaging and IM were prevalent in the work analyzed. (3) Perceptions of digital texts: children seemed to almost intuitively be sensitive to the communicative nature of colors, images and font. Chang, S., Eleftheriadis, A., & McClintock, R. (1998). Next-generation content representation, creation, and searching for new-media applications in education. Proceedings-IEEE, 86, 884904. This article reports on the difficulty and advancements made in providing opportunities for individuals to create, edit and search for content online. In a very technical paper, the authors describe the advances made in different mediums (e.g. advances from MPEG-1 to MPEG-4). Four suggestions are given in order that we may overcome future barriers to user difficulty in creating, editing and searching for online content. Educators and researchers should: pose powerful generative questions in cooperative settings; end limitations on intellectual resources of students in and out of school; enable communication beyond the classroom, whenever; and provide tools for analysis, synthesis and simulation. Courtland, M., Paddington, D., & Schools, L. (2008). Digital literacy in a grade 8 classroom: An e-zine webquest. Language and Literacy, 10(1), 1. The article reports on the findings of a qualitative study that examined the digital literacy skills of 18 eighth graders. Data was compiled of observations, interviews, and analysis of documents (blogs, journal entries and the “e-zine” created by the students. During a 14 day period, in a computer lab, for 75 minutes a day; the students consulted with each other, created content and uploaded sections to the website. Strengths included willingness to collaborate and share expertise. Weaknesses include basic file management skills (saving files & appropriate sizes for multimedia & graphics); software packages (web design & graphic editing and construction). Faux, F. (2005). Multimodality: how students with special educational needs create multimedia stories. Education, Communication & Information, 5(2), 167-181. This article reports on how students with special needs used ICTs and multimedia environments to create stories. The researchers paid special attention to the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)of students in respect to literacy learning. Students were encouraged to produce prolific amounts of high-quality presentations. Autonomy of students was increased through the scaffolding of lessons, and the attention to ZPD. Of most importance was the human agency provided by guidance of the teacher, and a reliance on verbalism by both the teacher and students. All members of the class were expected to acquire and use the “technological discourse”, and use this discourse when dealing with problems. Gee, J. (2003). What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy. Macmillan. New York.

This book argues the significance and place of video games within the literacy and learning practices of individuals. In terms of OCC: good learning practices such as “on demand” or “just in time” strategies are used in context. People (students) are poor at understanding or remembering information for a long time without using it, or out of context. ZPD is once again important in gaming; motivation scale for individuals important as they find and extend their competence. “Games allow players to be producers and not just consumers”; games often allow players to construct their own worlds. Hargittai, E., Walejko, G. (2008). The Participation Divide: Content Creation and Sharing in the Digital Age. Information Communication and Society, 11(2), 239. This paper looks at the habits of individuals who share content online and how this has been affected by the fact that technology has advanced to the point that it is very easy to do so. The researchers surveyed 1,060 freshman students at the University of Illinois, Chicago to examine their content creation and online sharing habits. Results show that not much has changed from previous results; online creative activity is related to a person’s socioeconomic status. Also, when controlling for content creation, gender and user skill seem to be the main motivating factors in determining which individuals share online content. As creating and sharing online content becomes easier, it is the recommendation of the researchers that the existence of these gaps, and lack of knowledge will cause social inequalities later. Harushimana, I. (2008). Literacy through gaming: The influence of videogames on the writings of high school freshman males. Journal of Literacy and Technology, 9(2), 1-22. The article presents the findings of an analysis of narratives written by urban adolescent males to demonstrate the influence of videogames on their thinking processes. Results showed significant links between videogames and the student narratives, suggesting ways in which “pre-digital” educators can best teach literacy to “digital natives”. Possible areas of future research: effect of multiplayer gaming on co-construction of knowledge; videogame practice and attitude toward learning instructions. Herring, S., Scheidt, L., Bonus, S., & Wright, E. (2004). Bridging the gap: A genre analysis of weblogs. Proceedings of the 37th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 11. This article reports on the findings from a content analysis of 203 randonly selected weblogs (blogs). Results show that the majority of blog authors: are male; created by a single individual; are revealing, sometimes very revealing about their real-life identities. Purpose of blogs: personal journal (70.4%); filter [filter out info from other sites and react] (12.6%); mixed (9.5%). Frequency of updates ranged from 2.2 – 5 days for the sample. Time commitment for age of blogs ranged from 163 days to 990 days. Typical blog features included: archives (73.5%); organizational badges (69.0%); images (58.6%); comments allowed (43.0%). Blogs have situated themselves at midway point between static webpages and “asynchronous CMC” messaging. Huffaker, D. (2005). The educated blogger: Using weblogs to promote literacy in the classroom. AACE Journal, 13(2), 91-98.

The article explores the role of weblogs in promoting literacy engagement and acquisiton in a classroom setting. Weblogs resemble personal journals or diaries and provide opportunities where self-expression and creativity is encouraged. Construction of identity, and involvement in an online community allow learners to use storytelling and literacy skills as tools. The author shares several examples of storytelling and blogging in practice. Hull, G., & Katz, M. (2006). Crafting an agentive self: Case studies of digital storytelling. Research in the Teaching of English, 41(1), 43. The paper shares the findings from a part of a larger study on uses of technology and literacy. Digital storytelling was used by students to articulate significant moments in their lives and reflect on life choices. The authors reflect on the use of digital storytelling as a medium for creating “spaces” where students can examine agency, motivate others, and give themselves a “second chance”. Illera, J. (2004). Multimedia learning in the digital world. Digital Technology, Communities and Education, 46. This chapter reports on the theoretical underpinnings of learning through the use of multimedia and digital tools. Some of the difficulty in finding, or agreeing upon a unified descriptive language rely on the fact that multimedia is still in the “primitive representation mode” that was seen in cinema from the past. The added problem is that multimedia is interactive, so you also are dealing with not just what the sender wanted the message to be, but what the receiver interprets. Jewitt, C. (2008). Multimodality and Literacy in School Classrooms. Review of Research in Education, 32(1), 241-267. This article reviews the research surrounding multimodality and school literacy, and what these changes mean for literacy in the 21st century. Two arguments: not possible to think about literacy solely as a linguistic accomplishment; and time for thinking that language, print literacy, and learning exist in their own distinct places is over. “Multimodality offers new ways to think about learning via a focus on meaning making as a process of design. It approaches commuication as a process in which students make meanings by selecting resources available to them in the classroom.” (p. 263) Jewitt, C., Kress, G., Ogborn, J., & Tsatsarelis, C. (2001). Exploring learning through visual, actional and linguistic communication: the multimodal environment of a science classroom. Educational Review, 53(1), 5-18. The paper reports on results from work conducted with 7th grade students in a science classroom. The researchers suggest that learning via a multimodal approach is realized through the interaction between visual, actional and linguistic communication. Therefore, the transaction between modes, across communication systems (from speech to image) is involved in the learning process of acquiring the content. Educators must attend to all modes of communication…and should expect this of students? Kanuka, H., & Anderson, T. (1998). Online social interchange, discord, and knowledge construction. Canadian Journal of Distance Education, 13(1), 57-74.

This article reports on the findings of a study investigating the ways in which individuals create knowledge in online environments, specifically online forums. Results from the survey used show most of knowledge creation emerged from sharing of experiences across forum. Individuals construct knowledge through a logical progression from social interchange to discord discussion. Learning opportunities occur when: educators capitalize on inconsistencies and contradictions between participants; and allowing participants to be explicit in demonstrating their knowledge, especially in comparison to other participants. Kervin, L. (2009). 'GetReel': engaging year 6 students in planning, scripting, actualising and evaluating media text. Literacy, 43(1), 29-35. The paper reports on the results of a case study involving students charged with developing and creating a 30 second television commercial on a social justice issue. Within 10 weeks, the students planned, wrote, filmed and edited the commercial. Results show that as ICTs change text, and text construction practices; boundaries between text mediums and genres blur as multimodal texts become an integral contributor to literate activities. Kiili, K. (2005). Content creation challenges and flow experience in educational games: The ITEmperor case. The Internet and Higher Education, 8(3), 183-198. This article reports on results from a study of 18 university students playing an educational game built to replicate authentic learning in an online course. Flow is described as total absorbtion of an individual in a task or activity such as when playing a video game. In terms of ZPD, if challenge is higher than skill level, individual may feel anxious; if lower than skill level, may feel bored. Goal is bring ZPD to perfect level, and maximize flow. In terms of OCC, students felt creation of content in game was an effective, engaging way of learning. Kim, J., Lee, E., Thomas, T., & Dombrowski, C. (2009). Storytelling in new media: The case of alternate reality games, 2001–2009. First Monday, 14(6). Retrieved June 20, 2009 from http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2484/2199 This paper reports on findings of five case studies reviewed to find commonalities in adding membership and collaborative problem solving. Alternate Reality Games (ARG) provide opportunities to use ICT, new media and mobile phones for users to design and collaborate online, third spaces, or offline. Findings from study of ARG cases show that collective problem solving can be elicited on a volunteer basis through effective usage of new media and storytelling. Kimber, K., Pillay, H., & Richards, C. (2007). Technoliteracy and learning: An analysis of the quality of knowledge in electronic representations of understanding. Computers & Education, 48(1), 59-79. This article reports on the findings from a study investigating the complexities of learning in a student designed and created electronic text. The study centers around students using electronic graphic organizers and web files to deepen understanding in an English class. A criteria template (Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes/SOLO) was used as an evaluative tool to examine work done by students on organizers and web files. The

“technoliteracy” model is used: “convergence of technology and literacy practices through applying practical processes to curriculum content”. Results suggest incremental and possibly time-related increases in learning gains made using electronic texts. Labbo, L.D., Eakle, A.J., & Montero, M.K. (2002, May). Digital language experience approach: Using digital photographs and software as a language experience approach innovation. Reading Online, 5(8). Retrieved June 1, 2009 from http://www.readingonline.org/electronic/elecindex.asp?HREF=/electronic/labbo_2/index.html This paper reports on the findings from a study of literacy development in a kindergarten classroom using digital photography, and ICTs. The case study examined what are the opportunities for development using a Language Experience Approach (LEA) model. Four aspects of Digital LEA (D-LEA) are: 1. Setting up the experience; 2. Photographing the experience; 3. Composing a multimedia story; 4. Engaging in follow-up activities. Results show adults play important roles in D-LEA (provide effective/authentic activities, model use of technology tools, elicit descriptive language, responsive to each child’s lead, target child’s literacy strengths/weaknesses in a meaningful context, and support the child’s primary discourses and interests). Leander, K. (2003). Writing travelers' tales on new literacyscapes. Reading Research Quarterly, 392-397. This article provides a review of the research and literature revolving around literacy, identity construction practices and the changes wrought by ICTs. The author gives a comprehensive display of the literacy practices and inherent identity construction evident in these practices and calls for future research to comprehensively paint a complete picture of the activities taking place. Livingstone, S. (2004). Media literacy and the challenge of new information and communication technologies. The Communication Review, 7(1), 3-14. The article provides a definiiton and the theoretical underpinnings of media literacy. Media literacy is defined in a four pronged approach: the ability to access, analyse, evaluate and create messages across a variety of contexts. This theoretical framework for working with media literacy is then examined in the context of ICTs. Section on “content creation” is theoretical underpninings for OCC. Further research on OCC is called for to establish relationships between receivers and producers; and show benefits to learning, cultural expression and civic participation. Livingstone, S. (2008). Taking risky opportunities in youthful content creation: teenagers' use of social networking sites for intimacy, privacy and self-expression. New Media & Society, 10(3), 393. This article reports on interactions of adolescents on social networking spaces, and the dynamics of self-expression and risk. Interviews conducted with subjects in the study show that age may have a great deal to do with adolescents and what they consider to be safe, or risky self-expression. The concept of “friends”, and graded classifications of friends is also addressed. Results suggest a somewhat bumpy relationship between “selfactualization” and regard to risk. Younger subjects showed willingness to use of the

affordances of ICTs, while older subjects used the tools to create/add to their online identity through links to others or a collective. Mallan, K. & Giardina, N. (2009) Wikidentities: Young people collaborating on virtual identities in social network sites. First Monday, 14(6). Retrieved June 15, 2009 from http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2445/2213 This article shares results of research involving the usage of wikis and social networking sites for adolescents to construct and share identity and content. The authors share the notion of “wikiidentities” to describe the identity construction occuring using social networking sites. Results suggest that content creation is mediated by ICTs and technology tools. Adolescents may not simply be adapting their work to fit the affordances of the tools; but rather may be skillfully using all that “web 2.0” tools may offer, and manipulating the tools to fit their needs. Functional collaboration: when adolescents work together to create content; conceptual collaboration: when adolescents view identities within social network as a construction by all members of the network. Marsh, J. (2006). Emergent media literacy: Digital animation in early childhood. Language and Education, 20(6), 493-506. This paper reports on the results of a study examining 3 and 4 year old children using animation to create short multimedia presentations. Results of qualitative analysis of multimodal texts, field notes and video show a need for educators and researchers to recognize new “authorial” practices if to provide appropriate scaffolding to learners. Matthewman, S., & Triggs, P. (2004). ‘Obsessive compulsive font disorder’: the challenge of supporting pupils writing with the computer. Computers & Education, 43(1-2), 125-135. The article reports on the findings from four case studies examining the affordances of ICTs as writing tools and the decisions students make in using these. Six students studied in paper spend considerable time choosing font, and other stylistic abilities of digital tools. Often times these decisions made by students interrupt, or disrupt writing and completion of writing. Results show that despite semiotic affordances of digital tools, if changes to literacy as a result of ICT are to take effect, educators need to address design and affordances of tools from beginning of creation process. The writing process needs to be changed when scaffolding writers using new tools. Matthewman, S., Blight, A., & Davies, C. (2004). What does multimodality mean for English? Creative tensions in teaching new texts and new literacies. Education, Communication & Information, 4(1), 153-176. The article shares results from a case study to examine multimodal texts in an English classroom. Dynamics surrounding opportunities for students, as well as tensions felt by teachers addressed. Results show a need to develop a common parlance for teachers and students to agree upon and use in relation to working with multimodal texts. This would address some of the concerns with students not effectively using tools, and teachers fears in working with multimodal texts.

McGinnis, T. (2007, April). Khmer rap boys, X-Men, asia's fruits, and Dragonball Z: Creating multilingual and multimodal classroom contexts. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 50(7), 570–579. This article reports on research done in the usage of inquiry projects by students using ICTs. Intersection of multimodal texts, multilingual students, and OCC addressed. “What these students are doing, moving across linguistic, visual, and physical modes and creating texts that incorporate linguistic, visual and physical modes, is becoming a highly valuable and important asset in our fast-changing culture (Kress, 2000; Ormerod & Ivanic, 2002). Mavers, D. (2007). Semiotic resourcefulness: A young child's email exchange as design. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 7(2), 155. This article reports on the “semiotic work” that a six year old undertakes while making meaning. Communication was contained within email messages where the child constructed meaning through the use of various grammatical and syntactic choices. “Can writing be conceptualized as design?” Results position young communicators not only as viewing ICT use as necessary for adult lives; but relevance to their own lives, and own objectives. Merchant, G. (2001). Teenagers in cyberspace: an investigation of language use and language change in internet chatrooms. Journal of Research in Reading, 24(3), 293-306. This paper reports on results from a study investigating the use of Internet chatrooms by adolescents. Adolescents are shown to not only skillfully navigate the affordances offered by a chatroom for communication, but also innovative uses of the technology. The author suggests that adolescents are the “vanguard” of these newer technologies and exploit the possibilities of the communication technologies. In possessing and reinventing these technologies and their uses, teenagers also possess the power to determine whether the new communication tools & discourse are legitimate, or not useful. Merchant, G. (2005a). Digikids: cool dudes and the new writing. E-Learning, 2(1), 50-60. This article shares research on Interactive Written Discourse (IWD), new, hybridized language of digital texts (synchronous online communication, email, IM). Despite paucity in research on “new literacies, multiliteracies, technoliteracies”, author shows 9 & 10 year old children using sophisticated techniques using ICTs. Results suggest importance of investigating and building links between communications technology, literacy and interaction. Children shown to be quick to adapt to new technologies for communication. Merchant, G. (2005b). Electric involvement: Identity performance in children's informal digital writing. Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education, 26(3), 301-314. This paper shares a theoretical basis and implications from the lives of adolescents to illustrate digital writing and identity construction. The author shares identity construction habits young children in messaging and communication spaces. Tranistioning, or transient identities is also examined as situations in which children innovate and find skillful uses for digital writing.

Merchant, G., Dickinson, P., Burnett, C., & Myers, J. (2006). Do you like dogs or writing? Identity performance in childen's digital message exchange. English in Education, 40(3), 21-38. This article shares the results of research from two linked primary school classes using ICT tools to communicate. The authors examine ways in which the tools can be used to contribute to the children’s writing development, but also offer situations in which they can share their personal voice. Results show that the communication tools afforded the children with sufficient opportunities to share about themselves. Even with the abilities to share, and work on writing, the results are difficult to share because traditional literacy curriculums do not provide opportunities for measuring this sort of work. Merchant, G. (2007a). Digital writing in the early years. In J. Coiro, M. Knobel, C. Lankshear & D. Leu (Eds.), New literacies research handbook. (pp. 751–774). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. This chapter shares views on what currently constitutes writing, “from design of multimodal texts to…computer mediated symbolic communication.” Review of research highlights a need for curriculum that embeds new technology in authentic meaningmaking practices. “Literacy will be seen as informatic, involving a range of meaningmaking strategic abilities required to navigate through and assemble knowledge from various informational sources in cyberspace” (Labbo, 2000). Currently, most students are receiving this instruction out of school. Merchant, G. (2007b). Writing the future in the digital age. Literacy, 41(3), 118-128. This paper surveys the landscape of literacy and shares what constitutes digital literacy, both in formal and informal contexts. In determining this definition of literacy, the author hesitates at metaphorical bases for literacy talk. Instead focusing on: “literacy is the term to use when we make messages using letters as the means of recording that message” (Kress, 2003). Of course this statement is viewed as limited by the author due to the variants of text, letters, message, materiality and textual forms. Meskill, C. (2007). Producerly Texts: Implications for Language in Education. Language and Education, 21(2), 95-106. The article shares theoretical definitions and implications of students entering school with skills and experiences already obtained from television and communication access. The author argues that learners come into school pre-wired for a broader range of electronic and televisual literacy skills. The expertise these students show in decoding and digesting televisual and electronic texts intimates what the author labels “producerly texts”. Akin to Barthes’ writerly texts, producerly texts, suggest the multimodal way in which readers now digest and experience electronic texts. Mott, M., & Klomes, J. (2001). The synthesis of writing workshop and hypermedia-authoring: Grades 1–4. Early Childhood Research and Practice, 3(2). Retrieved June 29,2009 from http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v3n2/mott.html The paper shares the results of a process writing and hypermedia literacy workshop taught by early childhood teachers during a summer camp. The goal of the project was to have the 6 to 9 year old students create a hypermedia story. The stages of the process

were described as: brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing and publishing. Results show some form of difference in output based on age; younger authors favored linear stories while older students did not. Younger children also preferred drafting stories on paper using crayon, while older users want to draft using the technological tools. Myers, J., & Beach, R. (2004). Constructing critical literacy practices through technology tools and inquiry. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 4(3), 257-268. This article shares the theoretical basis for the use of technological tools by students in critical literacy activities. Through the use of several examples, the authors highlight situations where students “define intertextual connections, pose questions, integrate multiple perspectives, and adopt a collaborative inquiry stance.” The tools involved include video editing, hyperlinked knowledge databases, and asynchronous virtual communication. Nelson, M., Hull, G., & Roche-Smith, J. (2008). Challenges of multimedia self-presentation: taking, and mistaking, the show on the road. Written Communication, 25(4), 415-440. This article shares the results from a study investigating the forces of “fixity” and “fluidity” within the working process of a student building a digital story. The authors argue that even though digital tools make it easier to build content, it is still very difficult to “vividly realize and publicize and authorial intention”. Thorough multimodal text analysis was used to examine the digital story created by the subject. Fixity refers to elements or details used in the text that build together and “fix, reify-add flesh to” a specific time in the subject’s life. Fluidity refers to the storytelling power of the multimedia tool; to have the effect to stick to the audience’s mind and have them remember it more so than they would a newspaper article or essay. Nixon, A. S. (2009). Mediating social thought through digital storytelling. Pedagogies: An International Journal, 4(1), 63-76. This paper describes adolescent students' uses of new communication media to create digital stories documenting their understandings of social issues they face in their own lives and within the larger society. I show how in a learning environment organized around multiple forms of mediation, these communication practices help promote agency, literacy and identity development in youth from historically marginalized backgrounds, whose life stories and views of their social worlds might otherwise not be communicated. The students transformed their understandings of social issues and gained a collective, critical consciousness about the steps needed to redefine and reconstitute social problems for social action and change. O’Brien, D., Beach, R., & Scharber, C. (2007). “Struggling” middle schoolers: Engagement and literate competence in a reading writing intervention class. Reading Psychology, 28(1), 51-73. This article shares the results from a two-year study examining the effects of multimedia sources on struggling readers and writers. The study examined seventh and eighth grade students to look at two areas: “how do students’ perceptions of value and purpose of media-rich projects” affect their engagement; and how do the media-rich projects affect sense of community, agency, self-efficacy, etc. Results suggest participants found working with multimodal texts to be more engaging than normal classroom practice.

However, because the students were in a remedial class, because they felt that they were deficient, this had a significant impact on their success; and their view of success. O’Brien, D. (2001, June). “At-risk” adolescents: Redefining competence through the multiliteracies of intermediality, visual arts, and representation. Reading Online, 4(11). Retrieved June 5, 2009, from http://www.readingonline.org/newliteracies/obrien/ This article examines the label of “at-riskness” of adolescent students and the changes that occur as a result of multimedia, new literacies and multiliteracies. The author suggests that new media, and multiliteracies call for a redefining of these labels and to view adolescents as willing and able critiquers of current media. The author suggests that educators need to bring these labeled students into the community of peers and explore the experiences that they have with media. Pea, R., & Kurland, D. (1987). Cognitive technologies for writing. Review of Research in Education, 14, 227-326. This review surveys the literature surrounding the technological advances and shifting pedagogical trends in the field of writing. Starting from the vantage point of the invention of the typewriter, the review examines the shifts that have happened to writing as individuals adjust to the new tools used for “externalizing their thinking”. Ranker, J. (2008). Composing across multiple media: A case study of digital video production in a fifth grade classroom. Written Communication, 25(2), 196-234. This article shares the results of a study investigating the use of digital video production in an urban, public classroom. The study examined the cognitive process of two adolescents as they constructed a documentary about the Dominican Republic. The students used software to weave several modes together (internet sources, digital video, books, writing). Making decisions as they worked across the different media, the students created a much more interactive context for meaning making than just afforded by the original components themselves. Riley, N., & Ahlberg, M. (2004). Investigating the use of ICT-based concept mapping techniques on creativity in literacy tasks. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 20(4), 244-256. The article reports of the effects obtained from a study that investigated the use ICT assisted concept mapping on writing and creativity. The study examined a 10 to 11 year old group of students and results suggest a significant improvement obtained on standardized tests scores. Results suggest that writing achievement and creativity are correlated; and writing achievement and concept mapping are correlated, but cannot say that concept mapping and creativity are linked. Authors suggest that ICT-based concept mapping provides a worthwhile framework for use in writing activities. Skinner, E., & Hagood, M. (2008). Developing literate identities with English langauge learners through digital storytelling. The Reading Matrix. 8(2). Retrieved June 1, 2009, from http://www.readingmatrix.com/archives/archives_vol8_no2.html This article reports on the results of research investigating the use of digital storytelling for the creation of multimodal narratives of children’s lives. The Language Experience Approach (LEA) is used again as a framework for the students to build their narratives.

The authors suggest the use of digital storytelling to scaffold young students as they build self-expression, and literacy skills. The authors also suggest the ability of digital storytelling to be a coachable experience, and the software enabling students with the ability to examine not only literacy skills, but also cultural intersections. Soep, E. (2006). Beyond literacy and voice in youth media production. McGill Journal of Education, 41(3), 197-213. The article reports on the subject of youth voice in multimodal, or digital compositions. The author suggests that instead of singularly looking at a student produced digital text as being an exhibition of “youth voice”, there may be a different way of observing the interactions. “Reported speech” would be classified as whenever a student overtly quotes, or speaks within a media project. “Crowded talk” is when the student negotiates authority among colleagues or other individuals. The “crowded talk” highlights an interactive process that is important during work in multiliteracies. Thomas, M., & Hofmeister, D. (2002). Assessing the effectiveness of technology integration: message boards for strengthening literacy. Computers & Education, 38(1-3), 233-240. This article reports on the results of a study that examined the effects of student use of message boards or “virtual literature circles” on complexity of student writing. The results suggest that complexity did not improve with continued use of literature circles. However, different types of prompts in literature circles did elicit different levels of complexity. The authors suggest a need for a better means of assessing student writing on message boards, and ways to maximize student work while on these spaces. Turbill, J. (2003, March). Exploring the potential of the digital language experience approach in Australian classrooms. Reading Online, 6(7). Retrieved June 15, 2009, from http://www.readingonline.org/international/turbill7/ The article chares the results of a study introducing the D-LEA approach to kindergarten and first grade classrooms working with digital texts. Unlike the previous study by Labbo, these students would be using Microsoft PowerPoint, digital cameras, and writing/typing their own texts. The results no only successfully supported the D-LEA framework and digital literacy lessons; but also suggest possible uses in assisting ELL students due to multimodal nature of pictures. Vasudevan, L. (2006). Making known differently: Engaging visual modalities as spaces to author new selves. E-Learning, 3(2), 207-216. This article shared results of research examining the making and remaking of identities using digital texts in online and offline spaces. Counterstorytelling and multimodality work together to allow the subject to express himself through the tools and create a visual text. The visual texts allowed the subject to create and explore identities resistant to the dominant images of what society determined his identity to be. Vincent, J. (2006). Children writing: Multimodality and assessment in the writing classroom. Literacy, 40(1), 51-57. This article reports on the results of research examining the use of ICT and multimodal work on student writing. The study, involving ten-year-old children, showed significant

improvement in student outcomes through the use of multimodal expression over verbal. The results suggest a need for multimodal scaffolding for some students to assist them in communicating more complex ideas. Vincent, J. (2001) The Role of visually rich technology in facilitating children’s writing. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 17, 242-250. This article reports on research examining the effect of ICT and visual editing software on writing ability. The subjects in the study were expected to play, experiment and problem solve using computers and the software. Results suggest that writing volume and complexity rose when students used the visual and animation features afforded by the software. The authors argue that these results are consistent with neuro-psychological theories that view the right hemisphere of the brain as responsible for language development and comprehension. Ware, P., & Warschauer, M. (2005). Hybrid literacy texts and practices in technology-intensive environments. International Journal of Educational Research, 43(7-8), 432-445. The article reports on the disconnect between the use of new media in and out of school. The authors suggest that this disconnect may be combated through the use of hybrid texts that allow students to use multiple modes of representation. The authors support these claims using results from an after-school university-community collaborative, and a oneto-one laptop program in an urban school district. Watts, M., & Lloyd, C. (2004). The use of innovative ICT in the active pursuit of literacy. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 20(1), 50-58. This article reports on the results of a study examining the effects of ICT use on student gains. Results suggest the use of ICT and multimodal creation software allow for high levels of motivation, good keyboard/software competencies, good layout and linguistic abilities. The authors express concern over decrease in teacher control and authority over increase in student autonomy. Teachers had difficulty in monitoring off-task students. Students even found the ICT tools, or software to be a more reliable source of info than the teacher. Zawilinski, L. (2009, May). HOT Blogging: A framework for blogging to promote higher order thinking. The Reading Teacher, 62(8), 650–661. The article reports on the theoretical basis for blogging, along with sharing the rationale for supporting higher order thinking (HOT) through blogging. The author shares an instructional framework that uses a blog to develop HOT skills in the reading and writing habits of students. The HOT approach consists of four recursive steps: (1) bolster background; (2) prime the pump; (3) continue the conversation; (4) make multiplicity explicit.

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