Reading together

Perusall logoWe’ll use Perusall to annotate and read together. Link here to Perusall.

Instructions for joining on the Week 1: Getting Situated page.


Link to calendar here

Time photoOur course is organized around a series of routines:  gathering and analyzing data, reading, writing, and making artifacts together.

Class Plans

Class Plans

I’ll use this page to add in-class prompts, slides, resources, materials, throughout the semester.

Link to Calendar


Week 6:

Prep for Article Groups and Ethnography assignment

The videos and links below will give you a preview of some of the ideas you’ll research in your article groups. Watch these videos and look at other links on the Article Groups google doc to make an informed decision about which category you want to work with. We’ll sign up in Monday’s class (put your name on the Article Group google doc under the category you’re interested in).

Preview for Gaming and Literacy:

Preview for Digital Literacies and Data Ethics:

Preview for Make/Hack/Play literacies (this video is specifically about Hip Hop & Literacy): 

Preview for Social Justice and Media/Web Literacies:

“Fear shouldn’t eat into your ambition”: Fellows Friday with Esra’a Al Shafei

Preview for Literacies as Multilingual:

Week 5:

photo of robotsWhat did you learn from tracing quantified self/literacies? Share out in small groups, then whole class.

TurnitIn et al: what new literacies might we need to navigate EdTech?

  1. Who owns the tool? What is the name of the company, the CEO? What does the tool say it does? What does it actually do?
  2. What data are we required to provide in order to use the tool (login, email, birthdate, etc.)? What flexibility do we have to be anonymous, or to protect our data? Where is data housed; who owns the data? What are the implications for in-class use? Will others be able to use/copy/own our work there?

Further reading & links if you’re interested in the quantified self and data literacies: 

And, if you’ve seen or wondered about The Social Dilemma documentary on Netflix, there are much better resources for exploring the ideas mentioned in the film. If you are interested in the ideas briefly touched on in the strange documentary, there is fabulous research, particularly from women of color who were researching long before the “prodigal techbros” claimed to see the light. A short list below to get started…

The film conflates and confuses a lot of issues (social media and google are not the same thing; capitalism will not be solved by “reducing your child’s screen time”; as with most problems, this is structural, not an individual problem; there are models of web design that don’t rely on an advertising model; we can design the world we want to live in on the open web (see Esra’a Al Shefei’s work below)…). I cringe every time someone claims internet addiction (please stop using that term lightly; you’re not addicted. You also binge TV series…) or every time we criticize youth literacies (please stop; literacies are connected to identities).

–Maria Ferrell’s “The Prodigal Techbro

–Ruha Benjamin’s Race After Technology and Captivating Technology

–S. Craig Watkins The Digital Edge: How Black and Latino Youth Navigate Digital Inequality

–danah boyd’s SXSW talk “What Hath We Wrought”

–Esra’a Al Shafei’s interview Do We Still Believe That Networked Youth Can Change the World? (the answer is yes; see her work in Bahrain with LBGTQ+ youth)

–If you liked Jaron Lanier’s points in the netflix film, this is an incredible interview with him on The Ezra Klein Show. He offers alternative models to the advertising model that undergirds most social media.


–Safiya Umoja Noble’s Algorithms of Oppression

Week 4:

Share some highlights from your literacy interview:

  • Take turns: Who did you interview? What were some of your favorite ideas in their responses? Anything surprising?
  • Can you find evidence of sponsors in interviews? Do they talk about people, institutions, books, etc? Categories of sponsors? Helpful or hinderance?
  • Any ideas that are common across interviews? 
  • Is there evidence of Brandt’s claims in your own interview data? (access, appropriation, rise in standards, etc?)
  • What claims could we make about literacies from your interviews?

We’ll share out.

Prep for paper/artifact due Wednesday. Look at examples.

Week 3:

–Our teams for a few weeks

  • Josie, Lourdes, Alayna, Alicia
  • Reed, Amanda, TK, Marisa
  • Andre S, Harry, Danny, Dasha
  • Fatimah, Payton, Meg, Zoe
  • Emily, Diana, Stephanie, Lorena
  • Andrew, Cameron, Kenji, Andres I, Alejandro

Developing group norms

Writing Prompt:

Reflect on a time you were a member of a group. Did the group work well together? What allowed that to happen? Did the group work poorly…what got in the way? Focus specifically on the conditions that supported or prevented full participation. Doesn’t have to be a school group.

 In Your Groups:

  1. Share ideas from the above prompt with your group.
  1. Then: As a group, create group norms that you can all agree to and live with for the semester. These norms should cover both interpersonal norms (ex. No side talk, confidentiality, monitor airtime, constructive controversy, etc) and procedural norms (checking course website, doing the reading, getting materials to each other, etc.)

Ideas to think about: What are your expectations about coming to class prepared? What about cameras or other ways to participate in small groups? 

  1. Someone agree to create a shared Google Doc for your group (you can use this to take notes as a group throughout the semester). On the doc 1) make a list of names and preferred email addresses and 2) list norms you’ve agreed to.

–Share literacy tracing paper or artifacts. We’ll talk about ways to share artifacts with Dr. Jaxon too.

Prep for literacy interviews (try out a question together)

–Prep for Reading Brandt

All read pages 165-169 & 183-184. Then read more carefully your section below and skim the other sections. Comment in Perusall as usual.

  • Sponsorship and Access (Raymond & Dora: 169-173) Josie, Lourdes, Alayna, Alicia
  • Sponsorship and Access (Raymond & Dora: 169-173) Emily, Diana, Stephanie, Lorena
  • Sponsorship and the Rise in Literacy Standards (Dwayne: 173-178) Andrew, Cameron, Kenji, Andres I, Alex
  • Sponsorship and the Rise in Literacy Standards (Dwayne: 173-178) Reed, Amanda, TK, Marisa
  • Sponsorship and Appropriation In Literacy Learning (Carol & Sarah: 178-183) Andre S, Harry, Danny, Dasha
  • Sponsorship and Appropriation In Literacy Learning (Carol & Sarah: 178-183) Fatimah, Payton, Meg, Zoe

Slides for Feb 9

Week 2:

Work with data

How did you decide what to keep track of? What questions emerged as you tried to decide what to record? What did you learn about your reading and writing habits from tracing those two days? What was left out? Do you think what you decided to trace is a representation of you as a reader/writer? Reflect on what you learned from tracing your literacies.

Barton and Hamilton (2000) describe literacy practices as “the general cultural ways of utilizing written language which people draw upon in their lives. In the simplest sense literacy practices are what people do with literacy” (8). Literacy practices involve values, attitudes, feelings, and social relationships. They have to do with how people in a particular culture construct literacy, how they talk about literacy and make sense of it. These processes are at the same time individual and social. They are abstract values and rules about literacy that are shaped by and help shape the ways that people within cultures use literacy.


  • What literate activities take up the most time? How does the data compare with across each other?
  • What counts as literacy? How did y’all decide what to “count” as a literacy?
  • What literacy categories emerge? (what is reading and writing used for? What categories might you create?)
  • If this was a sample data set, what claims could we make about how literacy is used in our cultures?
    • Try out making a claim: according to our data, this is what we know about literacies…


Literacy is most often made acceptable—even standardized—when serving dominant group interests and unacceptable—stigmatized—when encouraging the perspectives of the socially marginal.–Kirkland

In class together: Kirkland’s text: what are some key claims? Which ideas do you find interesting or puzzling? Grab a quote you like from the text OR grab a quote that is confusing. What does the quote say, what does that mean, why does that matter?

Week 1: Link here to Week One: Getting Situated

Wednesday, Jan 26: Working with Szwed

In groups: what are reading and writing for? Let’s start with your lives. What would you say is “functional” literacy? 

What does Szwed mean by the social meaning of literacy (422-423)? How does he say others define literacy? Why is this narrow definition a problem according to Szwed?

Point us to a passage to consider as a class: What does it say, what does it mean, why does this matter? Place quote/passage on shared google slides: Link Here