Project 1: Digital Literacy Biography

an overview . . .

The primary goals for Project 1 is for you to arrange your literacy experience in relation to a larger body of work, i.e. articles about literacy and digital literacy we are reading. Your work should talk back to either your peers beyond the class or scholars in the field of literacy in some way by making an argument from a personal experience thereby improving knowledge about literacy in general. This assignment is designed as a chance for you to personalize and prove that you have understood the broad concepts of literacy and/or technology we have discussed so far in the class by drawing on your own experiences with technologies and people.

“Ultimately, when you finish this assignment, you should have a paper that addresses the question: What are your most important literacies? Where and how did you develop them? Who helped you develop them, what does it take to maintain them, and why are they important for you? You will need to use abundant evidence from your own experiences here; you also should use evidence from at least one reading for this assignment to develop your ideas and analysis.”

(Adler-Kassner 25, emphasis original)

Specifically, I would like you to address your personal literacy history in relation to the concepts we have listened to and read. Do these pieces accurately describe your experience? Is it difficult to keep up in one literacy with one while learning another? Where do you place yourself in relation to the other members of the class? How do you fit, or don’t fit, the pieces we have read about literacy?

Written Experiential research (traditional paper of 2700ish words):

Explore an issue of literacy from our readings. Write down your own experiences with digital technology and literacy. Make sure to include people. Use your own experiences and arrange them next to the issue you have chosen. You have primarily two arrangement moves to make here. First, try anecdotes. Try baiting/raising questions. These questions should be about histories of social literacy, digital literacy, writing, and people. Second, the experiential research needs moments of reflection as to why you are talking about these issues. A firm purpose. A good experiential research will flip back and forth between those. Does your experience support the people we are reading? Does it not support it? How might your experience revise/upgrade the ideas on literacy of those we have read? 

Create a well-organized and properly cited experiential research that tells your literacy story in relation to academic scholarship and in doing so, argues persuasively for a point of view about literacy.

How to get started

Watch all four parts of Ira Glass on Storytelling. Then use Hawisher and Selfe’s Digital Literacy Interview Protocol as an invention space to think about your own literacy experiences, and finally go back and review what we have read, watched, and listened to in the class about literacy. Identify an event/phenomenon/trend that you care about and that has some larger cultural import and significance. Finally, start writing down some anecdotes that get at what we are reading and what you want to say.

assessment criteria

Quality of Narrative Skill: Are the anecdotes relevant? Is there a thread that links them? Are they detailed? Does the work tell a good story? Emotionally compelling? Do you tell a story about your experiences with literacy? Can it be linked to a larger themes in the course? Do you use anecdotes well?

Quality of Evidence: Are there enough details? Does evidence support the claims of the work? Do anecdotes have enough specific details to make them compelling?

Quality of Intellectual Skill: Are there moments of reflection? Do they relate to literacy? Is there enough detail to intellectually engage the issue? Does the academic content from the class inform the work? Does it have import for a broader audience? Does it help the audience extend/expand their understanding of a particular event/phenomena/trend or a particular issue associated with an event/phenomena/trend? Does the work add value to the intellectual discussions that our readings engage in? Does the experiential research explain other works well?

Focus/Structure/Organization: Does the piece hold together? Does the Piece maintain its focus on the assignment?

Quality of Revision/Craft: Thoughtfulness in writing. Grammar/Spelling/MLA Citations. Editing. Proper formatting, etc.

To receive full credit for your drafts for this assignment you must have the appropriate drafts on the appropriate days (see specifics).

Work Cited

Adler-Kassner, Linda. Considering Literacy: Reading and Writing the Educational Experience. New York: Longman, 2005.