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Name: Jesus Espinoza

RDG 323 -New Literacies

Note: This student sheet is intended for use with the New Literacies
online unit located at

Activity 1d: Respond thoughtfully to the following questions:

1. As a future educator, what do you think is the most
Essential/Enduring Understanding to take away from all three videos?

 Allow students to explore learning in different, socially

applicable contexts that allow them to get engaged as active
o Rather than giving students information from a textbook
that they are expected to memorize and regurgitate on a
test, allow them to utilize that information through
methods that call for them to actively think about how
they can apply newly gained knowledge to a real-world
task at hand. We need to start to drift away from the
teacher-up-front and students-at-desks model that made
more sense in a time where information was limited to
certain settings, and move more towards a model that has
teachers and students engaging within different contexts
and creating an equal exchange of knowledge and ideas.
With the amount of resources available to us in this era of
education, it is time that our system undergoes an
innovative transformation that presents both teachers
and students with opportunities to move past the
textbook as the key source of information, and look
towards the real world that we expect students to enter in
a short amount of years as their source. Allow students to
be creative, express opinions, and collaborate with one
another to acquire knowledge and accomplish an
enriching task; apply purpose outside of passing tests to
what you want students to know.
o Something that I found especially worthy of mention that
Laufenberg and even Gee, somewhat, talks about is that
failure should be embraced rather than being seen with
disgust or fear. Failure should be seen as an opportunity
to revisit attempts and analyze what needs to be worked
on, a learning opportunity that permits growth.
Laufenberg is correct in saying that “[to] ask [students] to
always have the right answer doesn't allow them to
learn,” (6:28-6:32).
2. What do you think of Gee's ideas? Do you think we should honor
these games and intersect them into the classroom? or We
should never intersect these two?

 I definitely agree that video games have a great amount of

potential within the educational realm. Like Gee says, video
games are “actually engaging kids with reading and writing
more than ever,” (6:40-6:46). A lot of the vocabulary that I knew
growing up came from video games like Pokémon or Animal
Crossing. There are words I learned from those games that I still
use to this day in academic papers, and they do not sound out of
place or informal at all.
 Yes, many adults simply see video games as blood and gore that
melts a child’s brain, leaving no room for productive activity.
Gee is absolutely correct in saying that video games allow for
certain, real-world simulations that can teach students a lot
about modifying meaning of similar ideas for different contexts
(Gee 6). Video games do not provide you with a body of
information that you simply read and move on from like a
textbook does. They provide you with bits of necessary
information and present different situations (via levels, stages,
or modes) to let you see the full extent of that knowledge. To
me, a definition and written out example of a term (e.g velocity
is x, it is used in y) is less valuable to a student then a video
game that provides visuals, demonstrations of the term in
different contexts, and an interactive element to that definition
(a rollercoaster builder video game that has you use elements of
physics like velocity and inertia to create a successful
rollercoaster track).
 Sometimes, the message or intent behind using a video game
that simulates real-world contexts may not be entirely evident
to students, so teachers also have a responsibility to familiarize
themselves with the mechanisms and narratives of the game to
elaborate upon it if students cannot or are unsure of how far the
message goes. Otherwise, purpose may be lost in the use of
video games in academia.
3. What does this mean for your future teaching- how does this apply
to your content area?

 As an English teacher, looking at reading and writing, I need to

attach true, applicable purpose to whatever it is that I expect my
students to do, and I need to include a more expansive level of
interactivity. I should do what I can to make those tasks more
relatable and personal to students, something that they can
attach meaning and value (outside of the classroom) to.. If I
teach my students The Crucible, I should have them find
instances of unreasonable accusation and prosecution in the
real world that they are familiar of or have a deep interest in
and teach the entire class about that issue. I could have them
make a campaign outline or educational video on how to end
that issue rather than have them write a basic research paper on
it. I would allow them to be creative in the way they want to
bring attention to and present that real world issue to us.
 To me, writing can be one of the simplest ways to express
personality, creativity, and meaning, but at the same time,
students rarely get to take on writing that calls for those
elements within their classes. Rather than giving students a
strict format to follow in their essays, I would want to convey to
them that it is an opportunity for them to explore how they
choose to present their perspective on a topic. I would also want
to express the real-world applications that knowing how to
properly articulate your perspectives and ideas can have,
meaning that I could connect writing to public speaking by
having them write speeches on issues that affect them. Overall, I
need to emphasize how personal writing can be so that students
value their own work and they can also be aware that I value
their own personal experiences and opinions.

Activity 2d: Answer the following questions.

1. After completing Activities 1-4 of this section, how do you define

 At a basic level, I would define literacies as the ability to

interpret, communicate, assess value in the messages or
purposes of, and navigate through a variety of (technological)
resources or sources of information provided to us.
 Literacies, particularly in this current technological era of
information, are the multiple abilities that are essential to
effectively navigate throughout a wide range of sources
available to us online. On the theme of message, a key
component of literacies involves the processes that we utilize
when we do try to find meaning or value in a message. We have
to be able to do things such as recognize what sources of
information are authentic, pull key points from that source, call
on our own prior knowledge when analyzing a source, among
more that Kymes elaborates upon (494-496). Emphasizing the
three themes within literacy that Leu points out, literacies
involve recognizing that newer forms of literacies are constantly
appearing as new forms of information and communication
appear, knowing how to inform yourself of different literacies
through collaboration with others, and knowing how to adapt to
the new forms of literacies that appear (332).

2.Do you remember any of your teachers (K-12) teaching you

specifically about the new literacies? How did this affect your learning
as a college student?

 By the time I arrived at high school, within my English classes, I

was introduced to online databases and online research for
essays in general. Every single year, the English teachers that I
had would review with the class how to successfully search
through an online database, like EBSCO, to find sources that we
could utilize within our papers. They would show us what
keywords to use, how to type them into the database’s search
engine to make sure we did not get unrelated material, how to
use the filters on those databases to further retrieve only the
most meaningful sources of information. Rather than showing
us how to go into our library to search for a book that could be
of use to us in an essay, they would primarily focus on teaching
us how to be literate in our use of searching through databases
and finding articles or journals that would be of definite use to
us. Once I entered college, I felt completely prepared when it
came to gathering credible/authentic sources of information for
any papers that I would write. I have never really worried about
how well the sources that I choose to use are because
throughout high school, essential procedures and elements
needed to utilize databases and analyze the validity of a source
were engrained into our minds as we reviewed it all throughout
those four years.

3.During your Semester 5 and Semester 6 did you observe your

placement teacher instructing the new literacies or did they privilege
the literacies associated with books/paper? Please provide examples.
How will this affect their students' futures?

 At my last internship, where I was in a teacher’s 8th grade

classes, much of the time I was there was used to prepare
students for standardized tests like the AZMERIT. While the
school was low-income, my placement teacher had a great
amount of access to the laptops the school had available. In
order to review for the English portion of the tests, she would
have the students practice on an online site called IXL. With
paper packets of practice questions, students typically get the
same packet, meaning that all students are reviewing the exact
same content. Some students may not benefit from this because
the concepts they struggle with might not be properly covered
in the packet, and others may find the packet too easy and feel
unprepared for advanced material on the exam. With IXL, my
placement teacher would simply provide students with state
standards that they had to practice. They would then find one of
those standards on IXL and start answering questions based on
the standard. If students got a certain question incorrect, the
program would then explain what they did wrong and provide a
solution, and then present them with similar questions to help
them master that concept. Students who did well to answer
questions correctly would then gradually be provided with
more advanced questions on the same concept to assist them in
further mastering the concept. Each student would then be able
to look at an overview of their strengths and weaknesses within
standards, giving them a clear idea of what they are proficient in
and what they need to practice. Overall, this form of new
literacy provided them with a more personalized opportunity to
practice for the AZMERIT. This may affect their futures by
causing them to pay more attention to what learning concepts
they need to work on and which ones they have mastered, and
they may then use the Internet to seek out resources that
specifically assist them in improving within their struggle areas.
 My placement teacher would also use visual literacies, such as a
movie based on a story they were reading (Flowers for
Algernon), or videos that demonstrate different types of
intelligence that then segue into class discussion. Using visuals
provided the students with a different perspective outside of a
textbook, and it may have made a concept more comprehensible
for students who do not learn well from solely reading text. This
may push the students to seek out videos/visuals when they
want a better or different understanding of a concept.

Activity 3a. List below all resources you located when doing the
Internet Search Activity. Be sure you have added these resources to
the collaborative page for Internet Resources.

Purdue OWL
 9-10.W.8
 Purdue OWL provides students with information and resources
on researching and determining what qualifies as a credible
source. It also provides them with easy-to-follow guidelines on
how to cite sources in styles such as MLA, APA, and Chicago.

 9-10.W.6
 Weebly is an easy-to-use and free (minus premium features)
website builder that students can use to create pages where
they can post all sorts of writing. This can be done in many
formats such as a portfolio or a blog. Weebly allows direct
embedding of Word documents, making it easy for students to
have any existing work compiled and up on display on their site.
Editors can be added to a Weebly allowing for collaborative
blogging or other forms of writing.

 9-10.L.1
 Compared to something like Microsoft Word’s spelling and
grammar check, Grammarly is a spelling/grammar checker that
personalizes itself to the user’s own writing habits. Grammarly
will also explain the specifics behind grammatical, word choice,
and punctuation errors. It can be used on a web browser and in
Microsoft Office.
Google Scholar
 9-10.SL.2
 Google Scholar is a search engine that primarily focuses on
presenting academic, credible resources instead of the immense
variety of sites that regular Google does. It can show how many
people have cited a source, who and where the piece was
published, and filters can be applied to only present documents
published in a certain time range.

10/10 Excellent, excellent! I look forward to reading your insights

about the material and information presented in this class. Your
responses demonstrate to me that you have given each prompt
thorough thought and consideration. Your resources are very wise
choices (I’ve used them all, mostly for college courses, so I’m not sure
how they work with secondary kids.) I greatly appreciate your
comments for #3…about how your mentor didn’t seize the
opportunity to differentiate more through the use of technology.

Works Cited

Gee, James P. "James Paul Gee on Grading with Games." Edutopia, George Lucas

Educational Foundation, 12 Aug. 2008, Accessed 4 Sept. 2018.

Kymes, Angel. “Teaching Online Comprehension Strategies Using Think-

Alouds.” Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, vol. 48, no. 6, 2005, pp.

Laufenberg, Diana. "How to learn? From mistakes." TED, TED Conferences,

LLC, Nov. 2010, Accessed 3 Sept. 2018.

Leu, Donald J., Jr. “Internet Workshop: Making Time for Literacy. (Exploring Literacy

on the Internet).” The Reading Teacher, vol. 55, no. 5, 2002, pp. 466–472.