1st Edition

Virtual Literacies Interactive Spaces for Children and Young People

Edited By Guy Merchant, Julia Gillen, Jackie Marsh, Julia Davies Copyright 2013
    288 Pages 61 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    304 Pages 61 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The growth of interest in virtual worlds and other online spaces for children and young people raises important issues for literacy educators and researchers. This book is a timely and much-needed collection of current research in the area. It provides a synthesis of knowledge and understanding and will be a key resource for scholars, students and teachers, particularly those interested in digital literacies. The work presents a coherent vision of current knowledge, and some of the most engaging, empirical research being undertaken on virtual worlds and online spaces in and beyond educational institutions. It contains international studies from the UK, North America and Australasia.

    This is an important time for those researching virtual worlds, videogaming and Web 2.0 technologies, since there is growing professional interest in their significance in the education and development of children and young people. Whether these technologies are solely associated with informal learning or whether they should be incorporated into classroom contexts is hotly debated. This book provides a principled evaluation and appreciation of the learning, teaching and instruction that can occur in digital environments, showing children, young people and those who work with them as active agents with possibilities to navigate new paths.

    Introduction  Part I: Exploring Virtuality  1. From Virtual Histories to Virtual Literacies  Julia Gillen and Guy Merchant  2. A Sociocultural Approach to Exploring Virtual Worlds  Rebecca W. Black and Stephanie M. Reich  3. Barbies and Chimps: Text and Childhoods in Virtual Worlds  Victoria Carrington  Part II: Virtual Literacies in Everyday Life  4. Multiliteracies in the Wild: Learning from Computer Games  Catherine Beavis  5. Countering Chaos in Club Penguin: Young Children’s Literacy Practices in a Virtual World  Jackie Marsh  6. Telling Stories Out of School: Young Male Gamers Talk About Literacies  Alex Kendall and Julian McDougall  Part III: School Innovations  7. ‘What is the MFC?’ Making and Shaping Meaning in Alternate Reality Games  Angela Colvert  8. More Than Tweets: Developing the 'New' and 'Old' Through Online Social Networking  Martin Waller  9. Children as Game Designers: New Narrative Opportunities  Cathrin Howells and Judy Robertson  10. "I Oversee What the Children Are Doing": Challenging Literacy Pedagogy in Virtual Worlds  Guy Merchant  Part IV: Aspects of Participation  11. Scientific Literacy in a Social Networking Application  Christine Greenhow  12. Seeking Planning Permission to Build a Gothic Cathedral on a Virtual Island  Julia Gillen, Rebecca Ferguson, Anna Peachey and Peter Twining  13. Learning from Adventure Rock  Lizzie Jackson  14. Playing Together Separately: Mapping Out Literacy and Social Synchronicity  Crystle Martin, Caroline C. Williams, Amanda Ochsner, Shannon Harris, Elizabeth King, Gabriella Anton, Jonathon Elmergreen and Constance Steinkuehler.  Virtual Literacies and Beyond: Some Concluding Comments


    Guy Merchant is Professor of Literacy in Education at Sheffield Hallam University.

    Julia Gillen is Senior Lecturer in Digital Literacies at the Literacy Research Centre, Lancaster University.

    Jackie Marsh is Professor of Education at the University of Sheffield, UK.

    Julia Davies is Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Sheffield, UK. She is a director of the Centre for the Study of New Literacies at Sheffield, and directs the EdD in Literacy and Language and the MA in New Literacies.