New Literacies

To show my progressive development in learning theory, research, and application, I will showcase three key excerpts from my New Literacies responses.


Chapter 2 Review: Just the Right Amount of Meaning

From a Digital Storytelling course perspective, in week 2, we were learning about discourses and how one begins to identity within new discourses. Certainly one of my new discourses was as a “griever”, but I also found sanity and purpose in the physical exertion of my discourse as a triathlete. Here is one of my New Literacies responses in relation to this new discourse as a “triathlete”:

My triathlon team will call me if I miss a practice, which I interpret as, “I belong”. Belonging ties into the literacy of the group. I have had to become literate in equipment, paces, locations, and team language. The runners of the team will ask, “What is your pace?” At this point another runner will respond, “I have a 10 minute mile,” for example. Swimmers on the team will say, “Meet at our spot at Chatfield Reservoir.” In both these instances I have had to learn exactly what my responses need to be or figure out who can help clarify my questions so I can participate in the greater conversation.”

— Susannah Simmons, New Literacies Chapter 4 Review

Chapter 7 Review: 80% “Pull” & 20% “Push”

Participating in Digital Storytelling through the “pull” educational model felt like Remi dumped the entire class into a swimming pool. We all had various swimming capabilities, but ultimately we began life each other up and ask for help. We learned how helpful our peers could be and it actually became a pleasant experience to use Twitter for reaching out. Getting constant updates on everyone’s tweets as well as blogs, through Feedly made me feel like my dual monitor setup always oriented me. Requiring a focal theme was genius in that it truly pulled me through the course. Having a topic I’m passionate about really became more about learning than producing homework.

Even though learning through “pull” is incredibly effective, I also needed a little “push” from Digital Storytelling to see my capabilities. I am reading a book I normally would not read and engaging in social platforms that are not my forte. Without this little “push” I might not have ever learned that I like to blog or tweet. These collaborative platforms helped me find people who were dealing with similar topics and engage with a community that I otherwise would have remained unaware of. I am inspired by the work my classmates produce and, over the course of Digital Storytelling, have come to enjoy the process of cultivating my blog.

The “push” and “pull” of Digital Storytelling has elicited true learning for me.

— Susannah Simmons, New Literacies Chapter 7 Review

Peer Review:

Emily shares that she needs both the “push” and “pull” for motivation like I mentioned in my review. She uses the second part of her review to share kinds words about the loss of my mother.

Chapter 8 Review: Quest to Collaborate on Complex World Challenges

Seeing how Quest to Learn (Q2L) models a collaborative classroom that relies on various literacies, games and out-of-the-box thinking has inspired me. Moving forward in my career as an instructional designer, I hope to implement “pull” whenever possible in my teaching methods. It seems like a bit of a no-brainer to take full advantage of the pedagogy I experienced in my Digital Storytelling class, with all the technology and new literacies available today. The trick is, however, to effectively execute “pull” through adequate planning, vision, and enthusiasm for learning.

Such quality curriculum and educational experiences are exactly what the youth of 2015 needs. I look forward to a day when Q2L is no longer a prototype but is embraced by our larger school system. As an older generation, I know that I have contributed to the challenges of today’s world and I am not sure exactly where and how to help. The world our youth shall inherit will certainly not be their doing, but at least we can give them the tools and awareness to navigate colossal challenges.

— Susannah Simmons, New Literacies Chapter 8 Review