Reconceptualizing the Literacies in Adolescents' Lives: Bridging the Everyday/Academic Divide

By Donna E. Alvermann; Kathleen A. Hinchman | Go to book overview

8
TEACHER RESPONSE
Bridging Everyday Literacies with
Academic Literacy

McKenzie Weaver

Everyday literacies have found their place in the academic classroom. After looking at the chapters by O’Brien, Guzzetti and Mardis, and Haddix, five main concepts were brought to the forefront: identity, literacy, motivation, engagement, and bridging the gap between school and life beyond its walls. Each of these concepts was explored in various settings, with different populations of adolescent students, and for its own reasons. Through a program for “at risk” high school students, O’Brien examined multi-mediating practices in relation to students who had struggled in the past with traditional print-centric media assignments. Guzzetti and Mardis took an in-depth look at the incorporation of popular media into the study of forensic science with students from a suburban setting. Additionally, Haddix opened our eyes to the effects of negative stereotyping on the identities, motivation, and writing practices of Black adolescent males in an urban school. All authors focused on the convergence of everyday literacies with traditional school content.

As a school media specialist, I see my role as helping bridge the gap between the traditional literacies used in an academic environment and the “new” digital media often used by students and faculty outside of school. My particular graduate degree is in Learning, Design, and Technology. With this background, I have been specially trained to design instruction based on the learning needs of audiences while incorporating various technologies as applicable. My students have taught me a great deal more about blogging, gaming, and creative commons materials. Additionally, I enjoy collaborating with classroom teachers to adapt their lessons to include various digital media literacies. As an educator in an everchanging digital environment, it would be a disservice to not provide our students with the literacy skills necessary for them to succeed. Therefore, I look to

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