Following youth and communities across contexts, I study how writing moves through digital technologies...
My research is connective. With a particular focus on multimodal composition, I investigate how digital and material technologies mediate contemporary language and literacy education. Grounded in issues of equity, access, and justice, I interrogate how this (re)mediation facilitates cultural change. In an effort to disrupt research that focuses on the so-called “new-ness” of these techno-literacies and phenomena, my research illuminates what the shift in relationships (e.g., with space and place, with community, with personal technologies, with one another, etc.) may teach us about literacy learning and youth culture. From nuancing the particulars of digital youth lifestreaming, to examining how elementary teachers use technology as a tool to remediate learning in practitioner-inquiry, I have explored digital media and the material technologies of school through longitudinal ethnographic research, single and multiple embedded case studies, and more design-based research methods.
Current research projects:
LIFESTREAMING QUEER CULTURE: TECHNE, TECHNOLOGY, AND THE POLITICS OF LGBT YOUTH WRITING THE DIGITAL REAL
In my book project, Lifestreaming Queer Culture… (currently under contract), I argue that considering youth digital and multiliteracies practices as social tactics reveals complex understandings into the mediational processes of contemporary youth composing. A longitudinal connective ethnographic study, I draw on data collected across contexts (both embodied and virtual) to understand how the various literacy 'sitings' LGBT youth compose are operationalized to navigate and combat inequality. By accounting for the rich opportunities and nuanced processes of writing in the era of electracy, this project highlights the ways LGBT youth queer modes to design more just social futures.
#HEARMYHOME: (RE)EDUCATING THE SENSES TO COMMUNITY LITERACIES AND CULTURAL INFORMATICS
Emerging from my interests in youth multimodal composing, my research continues to be informed by the haptic practices of youth writing in digital environments. Leveraging audio as the mode of primacy, #hearmyhome, is a collaborative qualitative research study that interrogates how K-12 youth write community through and with sound. Awarded an NCTE Conference on English Education Research Initiative grant, #hearmyhome examines teacher and youth produced soundscapes to inquire how hearing difference and listening to community re-educates the senses. Ultimately working to connect youth writers around the world, one of #hearmyhome’s larger goals is to develop curricular materials for humanities teachers interested in working with sonic composing. Developing materials that hear, recognize, and sustain community, #hearmyhome asks educators to attune to the frequencies and rhythms of culture as we architect, design, and teach towards more equitable landscapes for learning.
CIVIC MAKEY: EXPLORING EARLY LEARNING AND CIVIC ACTION THROUGH MAKERSPACE TECHNOLOGIES AND PROJECT BASED LEARNING IN THE SOCIAL STUDIES
As an invited international research partner to the University of Sheffield's MakEY Project (an EU H2020 Research and Innovation Staff Exchange [RISE] program facilitated by Dr. Jackie Marsh), Civic MakEY examines how 'makerspace' tools and constructivist pedagogies encourage participatory politics and civic action in young learners. Graciously supported by the Boston College - Academic Technology Innovation Grant and the Boston College - Research Incentive Grant, some of the questions we are exploring are: How do early learners use making as a means to 'construct' civic engagement, practice participation, and take informed action? What does taking a project-based approach to 'making,' with a specific focus on learning in the social studies, teach us about childhood civic action, participation, and deliberation? Working alongside of teachers in Michigan and Massachusetts, Civic MakEY examines the affordances of making through educational technology and project based learning.
REMIX/RETEACH: TAKING A PRACTITIONER-INQUIRY STANCE TO EXPLORE HOW STUDENTS REMEDIATE LEARNING WITH AND THROUGH EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGIES
Motivated by my own experiences as a classroom teacher and teacher educator, a secondary strand of my research is guided by practitioner-inquiry. Through taking an inquiry as stance position, I have investigated how in-service teachers and students remix/remediate content area literacy with technology, how makerspace technologies mediate new understandings of arts-integration in Elementary school, and how prospective teachers navigate issues of difference through the act of sonic cartography and 'sounding out' difference. Teacher research, for me, is guided by the meta-theoretical stance and ethical imperative of responding to the democratic project of schooling and humanizing education research.