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Multimodal Literacy Autoethnography

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Anthony Scott

on 28 April 2010

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Transcript of Multimodal Literacy Autoethnography

LITERACY IS IT... the ability to READ and WRITE ? OR, IS IT... MUCH MUCH MORE ........... ? I think we know the answer to that. LITERACY and the practices thereof LITERACY LOG and ALPHABETIC LITERACY Through the examination of my daily literacy practices, facilitated by a careful log of each minute interaction with text I discovered how frequently I employ various literacies,
without even realizing it. 3:30 p.m. - Operating Microwave (Numerical and Alphabetic Text) 5:20 p.m. - Searching for Destination : Street Signs 9:15 A.M. - Checking Ingredients Just a few examples of many.

As Szwed mentions in 'The Ethnography of Literacy',

"The point to be stressed overall is that assumptions are made in educational institutions about the literacy need of individual students which seem not to be born out by the students' day to day lives.

And it is this relationship between school and the outside world that must be studied, observed, and highlighted." The constant implimentation of non-school related literacies in my daily life
serve as proof that there is more relevance to non-academic literary practices than is traditionally acknowledged. DIGITAL LITERACIES The LITERACY LOG revealed that
a HUGE portion of my alphabetic and non-alphabetic literacy practices, academic and non-academic, occurred in the "digital" and frequently "online setting" Typing a paper Social Interaction Entertainment Porter discusses this idea of the connection between human life and computer technology:

"We need a theory that focuses on writing as not simply the activity of an individual writing or the isolated writing classroom (where the field of computers and writing has been strong, but also limited), but that looks closely at the socialized writing dynamic and the conglomerate rhetorical dynamic of readers, writers, and users and their impact on society. The revolution, if there is one, is the social one of interconnectivity." My own literacy practices reveal quite clearly that computer technology, and the internet, are playing a growing role in both personal and academic activities. This emphasizes the fact that this role should not be ignored by the education system. The POWER of LITERACY Silvia Scribner discusses her metaphor of 'Literacy-as-Power, "the capacity of literacy to confer power or to be the primary
impetus for significant and lasting economic or social change."
I found this to be relevant to my own literacy practices. Although much of the data recorded in my literacy log was DIGITAL,
the majority of the log also consisted of SCHOOL- RELATED practices. And although Scribner stresses that "possibilities and limits of the literacy-as-power metaphor within
our present-day social and political structure are not at all clear," my primary motivation for attending school has been the social and economic advancement that is (for some) facilitated by the certification of a degree(s). a degree which is generally acknoweledged as an official acknowledgment of an individual's literacy LITERACY and ACCESS Deborah Brandt goes into great detail about the issue of Literacy Sponsorship, and the important role a sponsor can play in an individual's attainment of literacy. She points out that as obververs it's necessary that we connect "literacy
as an individual development to literacy as an economic development." A simple analysis of all my literacy practices reveals the importance sponsorship has played in my current state of literacy: Reading and and technology materials
were provided by my parents at an early age... Access to formal education,
as well as to the materials necessary to participate in such an education, has been granted to me... Along with 'moral support,'
encouragement, and most importantly
he expectation that I grow in my literacy. Thus, the value Sponsorship can have on LIteracy
should be acknowledged as the primary facilitator
f my current daily literacy activities. By observing my Literacy and Literacy Practices... It has become clear that Literacy is a vital tool in the world I am a part of... But is also something that has been granted to me just as much as it has been obtained through my individual efforts. References Silvia Scribner, "Literacy in Three Metaphors" Deborah Brandt, "Sponsors of Literacy" John F. Szwed, "The Ethnography of Literacy" Jim Porter, "Why technology matters to writing: A cyberwriter’s tale"
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