"Tech-savviness" meets multiliteracies: Exploring adolescent girls' technology-mediated literacy practices

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Abstract

The purpose of this collaborative study between a university-based researcher and a teacher researcher was to explore early adolescent girls' use of digital technologies in their literacy practices. The rationale for the study stemmed from ; the lack of research considering (a) how adolescents employ technological tools for literate purposes in communities of practice beyond academic settings and (b) how constructions of gender might influence, as well as be influenced by, particular technology-mediated reading and writing practices. The New London Group's (1996) conception of Multiliteracies (cf., Cope & Kalantzis, 2000) and an activity theory-influenced framework (Beach, 2000; Cole, 1996; Engeström & Miettinen, 1999) were used to guide the study. Collected over an 18-month period, data included field notes from face-to-face interactions such as interviews, home visits, and school-based discussion groups as well as online documents and artifacts such as websites, listserv contributions, and e-mail messages. Data were analyzed inductively and recursively, with the two theoretical frameworks used as lenses in the later stages of that process. The technology-mediated literacy practices of two focal informants, both seventh-grade girls at the time of the study, are highlighted in this article. Two major themes emerged from data analysis: (a) the centrality of multimedia popular culture texts in the girls' technology-mediated Designing (New London Group, 1996) and (b) the importance of online relationships in mentoring the girls through the Design process. Implications for classroom teachers as well as researchers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-385
Number of pages30
JournalReading Research Quarterly
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2003

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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