Thursday, September 23, 2010

Topic: Multimodal Composition

10-second review: The need to move students beyond print in composition to include technology.

Title: “Shrek Meets Vygotsky: Rethinking Adolescents’ Multimodal Literacy Practices in Schools.” KA Mills. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (September 2010), 35-45.

Quote: “Multimodality is now central to the literacy practices of youth and adults in the globalized communication environment…. Teachers are being urged to include new literacies using digital media to make connections between the learning spaces of home and school.” P. 35.

Quote: “This is an age of multimedia authoring where competency with written words is still vital, but is no longer all that is needed.” P. 36.

Quote: Schooling came into existence to expose youth to knowledge beyond their realm of lived experience.” P. 40.

Quote: “This means that schools have a greater responsibility to introduce the new literacies than has been recognized. Creating space for students to make connections with popular and multimodal texts in the English classroom is necessary, but not sufficient, to prepare adolescents for social and civic participation. Students need guidance by experts that moves them beyond the known to the new. It is time for Shrek to meet Vygotsky in the multimodal literacy practices of adolescents at school.” P. 44.

Comment: Vygotsky’s theory was that social interaction plays a fundamental role in the development of cognition. I’m not quite sure what this theory has to do with the use of multimodal composition. It has been my experience that teaching students how to write is almost a full-time job in itself and I am not all that sure about the uses of pictures, films, etc. as primary modes of composition. I think the primary mode of expression is with text followed by supporting media. I’m not denying the fundamental nature of film, Internet, etc., as texts in themselves, but they all begin with printed text. RayS.

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