Magic or Mayhem? New Texts and New Literacies in Technological Times
Joint Meeting of the Australian Association for Research in Education/New Zealand Association for Research in Education,
Questions about the implications of the new technologies for literacy, literacy teaching, and literacy practices provoke diverse and contradictory responses in the media, in policy documents, in state and national assessment surveys, and among teachers themselves. On one hand, the need for literacy to be reconceptualized and redefined in the face of rapid change seems overwhelming. On the other, definitions of literacy, particularly as they are enacted in curriculum and assessment policies and in schools, for the most part remain largely print based. A pilot study with four teachers in two secondary schools in Australia explored the implications of the new technologies for literacy and the English curriculum. The focus was on what it might mean to extend the range of texts studied in English to incorporate games, on the nature of computer games as narratives and text, and on changing constructions of literacy as they were reflected in this instance in the planning, teaching, and evaluation of the unit on computer games as texts of the new technologies. Joint planning sessions were held with the teachers. Findings suggest computer games in the classroom do bring "mayhem," not least in the technological, copyright, and classifications (ratings) involved. Yet at the same time, there is also "magic" in the texts themselves in the engagement of many students more commonly bored or marginal with traditional texts and subject matter. (Contains 23 references.) (NKA)
Beavis, C. (1999). Magic or Mayhem? New Texts and New Literacies in Technological Times. Presented at Joint Meeting of the Australian Association for Research in Education/New Zealand Association for Research in Education 1999.