Digital Literacies

Publication: Capturing the sociomateriality of digital literacy events (Bhatt & de Roock 2013)

I am pleased to have a new paper published in a special issue of the Research in Learning Technology journal. I reflected on my process for collaboratively writing this paper in an earlier post, and how my co-writer and I worked on it using cloud-based technologies over a number of months despite of our geographical distance.

The paper (Capturing the sociomateriality of digital literacy events: Bhatt & de Roock 2013) discusses a complex and multimodal method of collecting data during classroom-based digital literacy research. It covers methodological issues we have encountered in the collection, transcription, and presentation of such data for our studies, and subsequently presents an analytic methodology which will – I believe – be useful for researchers paying greater attention to the ‘sociomaterial assemblages’ in which activity, including digital literacy, occurs. This methodology can also be used to explore other forms of work in digital environments, thereby complementing and extending studies in the fields of learning technologies, digital literacies, ethnomethodological studies of socio-technical interaction, and video ethnographies.

In the paper, we also discuss the implications of the researcher and his/her use of – and entanglement with – recording technologies as part of the very ‘assemblages’ being researched. It is not just the subjects of research who are entangled in ‘networks’ and who must negotiate agency with other agentic elements, but researchers themselves are not to be exempt from this epistemological/ontological commitment.

Here is the link to the paper: (html) (pdf)

DOI: [note: this paper is sometimes cited as ‘2014’ but it actually belongs to the 2013 volume]

Other articles included in this interesting special issue are:

Textual practices in the new media digital landscape: messing with digital literacies (Lesley Gourlay, Mary Hamilton and Mary Lea).
This position paper explores how the NLS-informed ethnographic stances of literacy can inform and complement research on learning with digital media more generally. The authors point to actor-network theory (ANT) and sociomaterial analysis as a way to illuminate the complex character of literacy in digital environments.

The five resources of critical digital literacy: a framework for curriculum integration (Juliet Hinrichsen and Antony Coombs)
This paper problematises ‘digital literacy’ as a general competence, with reference to academic criticality. Defining ‘digital literacy’ then becomes less about a choice of wording and more about an ideological position, especially as we recognise a person or community as ‘digitally literate’.

Scholarly, digital, open: an impossible triangle? (Robin Goodfellow)
This paper is about the conflation of ‘openness’ and ‘digitality’ in the world of academia, and the effects this has on scholarly and disciplinary practice.

Multimodal profusion in the literacies of the Massive Open Online Course (Jeremy Knox and Siân Bayne)
The authors of this article draw from a sociomaterial perspective in exploring the practices of digital literacy in the ‘E-Learning and Digital Cultures’ Coursera MOOC. ‘Digital arefacts’ produced via the MOOC provide a fascinating base for an exploration of the ‘socio-material multimodality’ of digital literacy practices.

The habitus of digital scholars (Cristina Costa)
This paper, drawing from the Bourdiesian framework of habitus, explores how social capital is shaped through – and by – the Participatory Web culture in academic scholarly practice.

The contributions explore many of the current intersections between literacy, technologies, society and education, and are highly recommended if you want to know what the current themes and challenges are in this fascinating arena of research.

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