Thursday, January 30, 2014

New book in our series: "New Creativity Paradigms"

Congratulations to Kylie Peppler on her latest book in our series (for her previous book, click here): New Creativity Paradigms: Arts Learning in the Digital Age (Peter Lang, New York, 2014; commissioned by the Wallace Foundation).

From the back cover:
Commissioned by the Wallace Foundation, this book explores research indicating that youth are learning new ways to engage in the arts on their own time and according to their own interests. Digital technologies, such as production tools and social media, allow youth to create and share their art. Kylie Peppler urges educators and policy makers to take advantage of «arts learning opportunities» and imagine a school setting where young people are driven by their own interests, using tablets, computers, and other devices to produce visual arts, music composition, dance, and design. This book gives educators an understanding of what is happening with current digital technologies and the opportunities that exist to connect to youth practice, and raises questions about why we don’t use these opportunities more frequently.
The book itself is a rich mix of theory, research and practical suggestions for classroom pedagogy. the appendices alone make this book a worthwhile buy: they list communities that support interest-driven community learning (including indicators as to whether the community or service is free or not); and apps and online platforms that support interest-driven learning. 

Contents include:

1. The Resounding Voice of Youth in a Digital Age
2. The Importance of Arts Learning
3. How Are Youths Creatively Using Digital Technology?
4. The New Digital Arts: Forms, Tools, and Practices 
5. New Media Arts, the Do-It-Yourself Movement, and the Importance of Making
6. Communities That Can Support Interest-Driven Arts Learning
7. Inviting and Sustaining Participation in the Arts
8. Challenges and Recommendations.

This is a book that's destined to find wide appeal in all sorts of education communication and media courses, not to mention proving to be useful to educators working in classrooms, after school programs, and non-profit organizations! 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

New book in our series: Junqueira and Buzaro's "New Literacies, New Agencies"

Loads of congratulations to Eduardo Junquiera and Marcelo Buzato for their new book in our New Literacies series titled: New Literacies, New Agencies? A Brazilan Perspective on Mindsets, Digital Practices and Tools for Social Action in and out of School (New York, Peter Lang).

From the back cover:
From students as teachers’ pets to teachers as Second Life avatars, or from being ridiculed for not knowing your syntax to ridiculing others through multimodal remixing, something has changed in the way people are acting and being acted upon through literacies. From parallel text processing «under a cloud» to text-as-process enhanced by cloud computing, or from one laptop per child to several laptops left behind by children in creative spoken interaction, learners and educators’ actions through and around texts and technologies provide quite a telling example of such changes. From writing as technology to blogging as a tool for fostering critical mindsets within complexity, or from automatized knowledge acquisition routines to new forms of relating to knowledge and new perspectives on autonomy, social ordering and Self constitutional processes defy binaries such as agent/structure, global/local, social/technical, virtual/real, or even human/non-human. In this volume a team of scholars from some of the most prestigious Brazilian universities address these issues, and illustrate them with findings from research on the interplay between new literacies, digital technologies and social action in and out-of-school. The chapters introduce, or revisit, an array of theoretical constructs from education, sociology, linguistics and media studies, while presenting a new inside perspective about how research on new literacies is being carried out in Brazil. Altogether, they provide a very useful set of ideas, tools and analytical frameworks for researchers, teachers, and students of Education, Language and Arts and Communication worldwide, especially those concerned with technology-enhanced education and social inclusion.

 Contents include:

  1. Eduardo S. Junqueira/Marcelo El Khouri Buzato: New Literacies in the Context of Brazilian Historical Social-economic Inequality: Past, Present, and Future Trends 
  2. Marcelo El Khouri Buzato: Mapping Flows of Agency in New Literacies: Self and Social Structure in a Post-social World
  3. Eduardo S. Junqueira: Peer-based Work and Agency in the School Computer Lab: Learning New Literacies as a Collective Practice
  4. Vilson J. Leffa: Distributed Agency in Avatar-based Learning
  5. Luiz Fernando Gomes: If You Can’t Play, Don’t Come Down to the Playground! Agency in Brazilian Humor: Parody and Verb-visual Remix
  6. Ana Elisa Ribeiro/Carla Viana Coscarelli: Agency, Collaborative Writing, and NTICs: A Brief Analysis of Three Cases of Textual Production Using Google Docs
  7. Walkyria Monte Mór: The Development of Agency in a New Literacies Proposal for Teacher Education in Brazil
  8. Edméa Oliveira dos Santos/Tatiana Stofella Sodré Rossini: Interactivity, Agency, and Mediation in 3D Virtual Worlds
  9. Marcelo El Khouri Buzato/Eduardo S. Junqueira: Afterword: Brazil Meets Brasil: Being, Communicating, and Learning in Times of Change.

This is a wonderful summary of a range of initiatives in Brazil associated with digitising classroom learning and an excellent introduction to English-language speakers to the important work currently underway in Brazil in relation to new literacies and digital technologies. Congratulations all 'round to Eduardo and Marcelo!

El Profe 2.0!

Kudy Kalman, Irán Guerrero and Óscar Hernández, from the Laboratorio de Educación, Tecnología y Sociedad (LETS), have a new book out together titled, El Profe 2.0: La Construcciónde Actividades de Aprendizaje con Tecnologíasde la Información,la Comunicación y el Diseño (trans.: Teacher 2.0: Constructing learning activities with information, communication and design technologies). The book, written in Spanish and published in Mexico, is aimed at teachers and contains an abundance of suggestions for incorporating all kinds of digital literacies into a range of classrooms. The book is chock full of really grounded, pragmatic examples of teachers actually engaging in suggested processes and activities, and how these play out in real-world classroom contexts. These actual cases are drawn from a four-year professional development project working directly with a group of teachers in Mexican middle and high schools that has been headed up by Judy Kalman, and on which both Irán and Óscar were key investigators.

The book is written from an explicitly sociocultural orientation, and as such, grounds suggestions in a deep understanding of the everyday life of teachers and students. It doesn’t idealise classrooms and focuses very much on using freely available digital tools and services to leverage curriculum demands into something satisfying and valuable for teachers and students alike. Within this book, it’s apparent that a “Profe 2.0” is:
a teacher who understands and is in touch with how everyday people are using digital technologies to access meaningful content and ideas; finding, storing and sharing digital resources (e.g., images, videos, texts, sounds); and how affordable software and devices mean more and more that people are creating their own media and ways of conveying ideas and information. A Profe 2.0 recognises the value to be had in working collaboratively, in making room for peer feedback and accessing multiple sources of distributed intelligence and expertise, and blurring the teacher-student distinction in order to recognize everyone in the classroom as a learner and a someone with valuable contributions to make to any learning activity. All of the recommended pedagogical strategies and classroom activities described in this book tap directly into these principles and make the most of sociocultural understandings of what it means to learn, “be” and “do” online in current times.” (from the foreword).

This is a marvellous book for educators working with teachers to develop their digital literacy take-up in classrooms, and who and need a resource in Spanish. Oh, and I (Michele), wrote the Foreword, so I know first hand just how good this book is!

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