Literacy as an Interactional Achievement: The Material Semiotics of Making Meaning Through Technology
Authorde Roock, Robert Santiago
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation focuses on minoritized youth digital literacy practice and participation, drawing on an 8-month video ethnography in a 6th grade language arts classroom with primarily bilingual Mexican-American students in a Southwestern public middle school. The case study utilized ethnographic and video analysis methods to examine interactions through, with, and around laptops in a one-to-one laptop classroom. Multiple simultaneous videos of student onscreen activity and webcams paired with a tripod-mounted camera captured whole class and small group interactions. Students, sometimes in different classrooms, were captured communicating online while interacting with their peers around them. Interview data with individuals and small groups focus on out of school digital media use and involvement in participatory cultures. From the large corpus of data, a few literacy events were picked out to represent broader trends among students. I argue that informal digital literacy practices of one group of girls playing a fashion themed massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) were more complex than formal, assigned practice. Like many of their more affluent peers at other schools, the girls harnessed the affordances of digital media to connect with interest-driven online/offline communities, whereas their classmates generally did not connect deeply with participatory online cultures. In doing so, the focus peer group co-constructed a classroom underlife (Goffman, 1961) that simultaneously created space for their sub rosa (Gilmore, 1986) digital literacy practices while resisting without disrupting the official curriculum or their performance as successful students. I conclude that designers of learning environments, teachers included, can foster literacy development by utilizing technology to draw flexibly on student digital funds of knowledge (González et al., 2006) while providing a basis for broader social participation.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading & Culture