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Toward a More Visual Literacy


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Table of Contents

Foreword Lisa Scherff Introduction: Positioning Students as Creators in the Classroom Jennifer S. Dail and Shelbie Witte Part I: Classroom Contexts: Helping Students Visualize Digitally Chapter 1- "It's about more than words:" Reading All American Boys in a Social Digital Reading Environment Sara Kajder Chapter 2- Flipping the Teaching of Young Adult Literature Amy Piotrowski Chapter 3- Learning Conversations: Ancient Practice Meets New Technology Jenny Cameron Paulsen and Matt Copeland Part II: Social Engagement: Connecting Youth Beyond School Chapter 4- Responding to Young Adult Literature through Civic Engagement Kristen Hawley Turner and Dawn Reed Chapter 5- Social Media, Gaming, and Jay Gatsby: Integrating Youth Motifs with Youth Literacies in High School English Alison Heron Hruby, Lindsay Ellis Johnson, Dakoda Trenary, and Dallas Cox Chapter 6- Infusing Young Adult Literature into the Virtual Classroom Brooke Eisenbach, Paula Greathouse, and Jennifer Farnham III: Critical Inquiry: Digging Deeper with Young Adult Literature Chapter 7- Emerging Media, Evolving Engagement: Expanding Teachers' Repertoires of Literary Study and Response Anna Smith and Robyn Seglem Chapter 8- Seeing the World Differently: Remixing Young Adult Literature through Critical Lenses Jennifer S. Dail and Anete Vasquez Chapter 9- Song of Myself: A Digital Unit of Study Remixed Fawn Canady, Kymberly Martin, and Chyllis Scott About the Editors About the Contributors

About the Author

Jennifer S. Dail, Ph.D., is an associate professor of English Education at Kennesaw State University where she works with graduate students in secondary English Education and directs the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project. Her primary focus is on digital media and technology in English language arts classrooms, and she has a deep love of young adult literature. Shelbie Witte, Ph.D., is the Chuck and Kim Watson Chair in Education and Associate Professor of Adolescent Literacy and English Education at Oklahoma State University, where she works with preservice English Language Arts teachers. She is the director of the Initiative for 21st Century Literacies Research and the Oklahoma State University Writing Project. Steven T. Bickmore is an Associate professor of English Education at UNLV and maintains a weekly academic blog on YA literature ( He is a past editor of The ALAN Review and a current editor of Study and Scrutiny: Research in Young Adult Literature.


The editors of Toward a More Visual Literacy: Shifting the Paradigm with Digital Tools and Young Adult Literature have curated a collection of essays by teachers and teacher educators that examine the possibilities of exploring young adult literature through the lens of digital literacies. The chapters are written with teachers in mind and offer aspirational models of lessons that could be adapted and, to use a term from the collection, "remixed" for learners at any grade level. -- Toby Emert, professor, Department of Education, Agnes Scott College
Though many teachers strive to "integrate" technology, there are very few who innovate with it. Framed with thoughtful attention to curricular guidelines offered by ISTE and NCTE - and rooted in the scholarship of participatory culture - Dail, Witte, and Bickmore's collection brings together over twenty voices from middle and high school classrooms. Exploring classic and contemporary texts from The Great Gatsby to Monster, from Feed to All American Boys, the authors in this collection share strategies for digital reading, flipping the classroom, rethinking the socratic seminar, and moving students into virtual worlds with tools like Minecraft and social media. Beyond typical school assignments that only aim to layer technology in as an afterthought, Toward a More Visual Literacydemonstrates practical ways for teachers to engage students in YA literature, both in their classrooms and throughout our digital world. -- Troy Hicks, professor of English & Education, Central Michigan University, author, Crafting Digital Writing (2013) & Because Digital Writing Matters (2010)
While ELA teachers are constantly being told to integrate technology into their instruction, Toward a More Visual Literacy answers the crucial questions of how and why we should do so - namely, to support young people as not only consumers, but also producers of digital texts that connect them to the world outside the classroom and help them forge transformative futures for themselves and our society. The contributors share innovative classroom literacy practices that foster digital social imagination and offer all educators inspiration for merging literary response, multimodal composing, and civic engagement. -- Nicole Mirra, assistant professor of Urban Teacher Education, Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University
While sharing a wealth of stories from and suggestions for the classroom, Dail, Witte, and Bickmore's Toward a More Visual Literacy: Shifting the Paradigm with Digital Tools and Young Adult Literature will ignite teachers' creativity for enhancing young adult literature with visual literacy practices. Chapters written by an array of impressive authors--classroom teachers and pre-service teacher educators--include new ideas for teaching based on remix, gamification, socratic circles, collaborative writing, physical construction, and other new and traditional technologies. Reluctant readers may be transformed and gifted readers will be challenged by the creative approaches described here. -- Ken Lindblom, professor of English, Stony Brook University (SUNY)
Youth deserve the right to not just read books that speak to them, but to create, produce, and perform alongside the very texts that they are reading. Toward a More Visual Literacy: Shifting the Paradigm with Digital Tools and Young Adult Literature provides teachers insight into those very literacies that youth uptake in their interest-driven spaces, while providing practical ideas for teaching texts in innovative ways alongside their students rather than at their students. This book is a must read for any teacher looking for innovative ways to inspire their English language arts classroom in the digital era. -- Dr. Hannah R. Gerber, associate professor of Literacy, Sam Houston State University, president, International Council of Educational Media
We may now be certain that the rise of the Internet did not, as feared, implode the teaching of English. But it has changed things, things that require confident and critical attention. That is precisely what this book offers. Dail, Witte, and Bickmore have assembled a digitally dextrous team of scholars whose chapters will leave readers with a newfound confidence in the creative power of young people's visual literacies. -- Tom Liam Lynch, professor, Education Technology, Pace University, creator, Gradgrind's Education Blog

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