#TextMeetsTech: Navigating Meaning and Identity Through Transliteracy Practice

#TextMeetsTech: Navigating Meaning and Identity Through Transliteracy Practice

Katie Schrodt (Middle Tennessee State University, USA), Erin R. FitzPatrick (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA), Kim Reddig (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA), Emily Paine Smith (Southwest Christian School, USA) and Jennifer Grow (Middle Tennessee State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0000-2.ch013

Abstract

This chapter addresses the need to make time and space for transliteracy practices in the classroom. University pre-service teachers are used as the primary example as the chapter documents how these students made meaning across a range of platforms, while reading the acclaimed young adult novel The Hate U Give. The university course, titled Language and Literacy, focuses on methods of literacy instruction in the classroom. A lesson plan framework is included in the chapter that is especially user friendly for educator preparation classrooms as well as high school and middle school teachers. The chapter explores the experiences of the college students while reading The Hate U Give, while detailing how the students created meaning through a variety of traditional and modern teaching practices.
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Introduction

Literacy in the 21st century is ever changing. The nature of literacy today is continually being revised and adapted as humans make meaning across a range of platforms (Leu, Kinzer, Coiro, Castek, & Henry, 2018). This fluid nature calls for students today to be savvy in both traditional and modern literacy practices. The term “transliteracy” has been coined to define the ways that students must navigate through multiple media, moving in and out of a variety of platforms, and mapping meaning through traditional literacy practices that include orality, handwriting, reading books, and writing, as well as new literacies that include visual and social media (Thomas et al., 2007).

While research shows youth are often intensely engaged in a wide range of literacy practices outside of the school setting, schools often lack the same wide range of literacy taught in the curriculum (Bazalgette, & Buckingham, 2013; Bezemer, & Kress, 2008; Lenters, 2016). In recent years, literacy educators have increasingly recognized the importance of addressing resources other than the textbook in the classroom. The textbook is no longer the sole source of learning. Digital media has become the main resource for learning in the classroom (Rowsell, & Walsh, 2011). Multimodality is now essential to the literacy practices of youth in the globalized communications environment (Cope & Kalantzis, 2000; Faigley, Kress, & van Leeuwen, 2002). Teachers are being encouraged to include various digital media to introduce new literacies to help students make connections between learning in the home and school. Multimodality includes two or more modes of literacy such as, linguistic, visual, audio, gestural, and spatial (Mills, 2010). Although written work is still vital, more is needed to provide students with meaningful communication in all aspects of their life. Adolescents today require a collection of multimodal and digital literacies for social purposes: critical inquiry, creativity, and communication (Kress, & Selander, 2012; Walsh, & Walsh, 2010).

As information and disciplinary literacy become more popular, it is important for teachers and students to not view literacy in compartments or pockets. Transliteracy opens up the idea of working across. It effectively bridges isolated spheres of literacy practice and allows students to view and practice making literacy meaning in a variety of methods and through a number of different platforms. As one librarian blogged, “[Transliteracy] is using Wikipedia to find keywords for a search in CINAHL. It’s reading an academic journal article and then looking up the author’s personal blog for more context. It’s comparing hashtags to subject headings and Amazon reviews to abstracts. In a sense, the real force behind transliteracy is encompassed in one little word in the definition: across” (Wilkinson, 2010, p. 1). As teachers, it is critical for us to help students see those connections between daily “non-traditional” literacy practices and those more traditional ones. These practices can merge together to create deeper meaning and connections in the classroom.

This chapter will address the need to make time and space for transliteracy practices in the classroom, using as an example university pre-service teachers making meaning across a range of platforms, while reading the acclaimed young adult novel, The Hate U Give (Thomas, 2017). A lesson plan framework will be discussed in the chapter that is especially user friendly for educator preparation classrooms as well as high school teachers. The chapter will explore the experiences of the college students while reading The Hate U Give, while detailing how the students created meaning through a variety of traditional and modern teaching practices.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Flipgrid: A social media platform created for educators to use for students to share video clips.

Instagram: A social media platform used to share photographs and captions.

Socratic Seminar: Socratic seminar is a discussion strategy that allows students to ask questions and engage in discussion about a common text.

Hashtag: A hashtag is a word or phrase proceeded by the symbol # that is used on social media platforms to identify, summarize, and categorize topics.

Multimedia: Using more than one form of communication or expression such as art, text, social media, video, and audio formats.

Transliteracy: Transliteracy references the ability for students to make meaning across multiple literacy platforms, including traditional learning methods like discussion and writing, as well as new literacy methods such as social media and art.

Text Set: A collection of related texts that centralize on one theme or topic.

The Hate U Give: A best-selling, award-winning young adult novel by Angie Thomas.

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