"Classic with a twist or a twist with some classic": Defining and teaching digital literacy in a secondary English classroom through the use of social network sites
Kersten, Colleen E.
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Digital technologies have transformed literacy practices and have assumed great importance in the functioning of educational, recreational and community settings. This paper reviews a decade of scholarly work focusing on the application of digital literacy within the tradition of New Literacy Studies. It addresses the central theoretical, methodological and pragmatic challenges associated with the adoption of digital literacies, which are themselves embedded in local contexts and informed by global ideologies. The paper also identifies common trends in digital literacy practices through cross-comparisons of ethnographic research. It takes into account the resulting pedagogical implications associated with the introduction of new literacies into classroom environments. While various digital technologies and tools are examined, special consideration is given to how social network sites (SNSs) in particular have been applied to the teaching and learning of skills associated with literary proficiency in the 21s t century. With two unit plans for a High School British Literature class serving as examples for implementation, it is argued that SNSs as media/um(s) can be utilized not only for the development of digital literacy skills, but also for the enhancement of students' understanding and appreciation of specific texts. Concluding remarks suggest how simple transformations in classroom learning can better prepare students for citizenship in the 21 st century.