I am an associate professor in the Reading, Writing, and Literacy program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education (I can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @amystorn). My research interests center around digital literacies, adolescent and adult literacy, writing studies, education in global contexts, technology integration in schools, and teacher learning with digital technologies.
Toward my overarching goal of examining young people’s creative capacities and working toward educational equity, I have collaborated with Dr. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas to study how young people are using new media tools and spaces to restory themselves and work toward textual justice. Given my interests in literacy and mobility, I spend time thinking about the relations between authors and audiences in new media composing contexts, focusing particularly on methods that can help trace how people, ideas, and texts travel and move in sometimes inequitable ways (see my work on transliteracies with Dr. Anna Smith and Dr. Nate Phillips). In a recent mobilities-focused study with Bethany Monea and Emily Plummer, we explored the participatory potentials of timelapse video in a high school makerspace. These projects are examples of studies housed within my Youth, Media, Literacies, and Culture (YMLC) Lab at Penn.
The Digital Discourse Project is one of my current research studies, a five-year collaboration with the National Writing Project (NWP) funded by the James S. McDonnell Foundation to study how English Language Arts teachers learn to facilitate discussions using digital tools and spaces. Expert NWP teachers in Philadelphia and Denver are currently creating curriculum to support educators in facilitating rich and generative online literature discussions – a need made more pressing in the pandemic-fueled move toward online and hybrid instruction in K-12 education.
The Write4Change project is another current study, focused on developing a network for youth writers around the world who are using their writing to effect change at local and global scales. After several iterations, including as part of a NSF-funded study of the intersections of writing and data literacy, the Write4Change network is moderated by/for/with international youth publicly on Instagram and privately on Facebook. We are currently working to grow this community of youth writers, so if educators are interested in being involved, please share the links with high school students or reach out to learn about how collaborate.
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Amy, I couldn’t make the session at LRA but met later with Doug during Vital Issues. We talked for a good hour or more. Like you, I believe there is much to like about the Mozilla Map, and I also appreciate Doug’s openness to discussion inside a literacies paradigm. While I didn’t state my major concern with the Map in quite the same way you did, I did keep asking for more fluidity. For example, I asked why I couldn’t jump around, maybe start in the middle and “leave” before finishing all the steps. Doug seemed to understand when he said he thought I was asking for something similar to a reading program he had experienced in school: choose your own adventures/endings. So, I think he gets our concern. As to whether or not the Map can take into account the New Literacies perspective, I know not. Sure pushing and hoping for that, however.