Thanks for stopping by my site, which is a spot for some ruminating on adolescent literacies, global connections, teachers and teaching, new media composing, and uses of digital and social media in education. I am an assistant professor at University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education in the Reading/Writing/Literacy department (I can be reached at amystorn@gse.upenn.edu or on Twitter at @amystorn).

My research interests center around digital literacies, adolescent and adult literacy, writing studies, education in global contexts, and relations between authors and audiences in new media composing contexts. I am also interested in qualitative methodology more broadly, particularly in methods that capture how people, ideas, and texts travel.

Current research projects:

1) A current research project that began in Fall 2014 is a long-term literacy collaboration with a technology and design oriented high school in Philadelphia. My research team and I are engaged in an ethnographic design research study of high school makerspaces, examining how local educators and students are translating the principles of making to redesign the concept of school and writing. Please see some of our recent presentations that have featured collaborators from the school and early findings from the project.

2) The Write4Change project, currently in its pilot phase, builds on my previous work with the educational social network Space2Cre8 to study teachers’ and adolescents’ cross-cultural, online communication practices. The Write4Change (W4C) project connects adolescents around the world on an online platform as they write to create change in and across their communities. Students are connected through their teachers, and a central part of the project is creating curriculum to support teachers’ work to connect their students in writing for social justice. If you are a teacher or researcher interested in the global dimensions of writing, please visit our project page to see how you can get involved and become a member or collaborator.

Other research projects:

  • Just writing up several pieces from a study examining the online reading community of Goodreads. Funded by the Elva Knight award (via the International Literacy Association), this project explored how adolescents engaged in ‘social reading’ on the social network. Part of this study included working with a National Writing Project teacher and her students at a high school in Philadelphia to examine their use of the platform, as well as studying the use of the site by adolescents across the world.
  • I have been working with Valerie Ross and the team at the Critical Writing Program at UPenn to study writing transfer. Using mixed methods within an ecological writing framework, we have examined how undergraduates write across disciplinary writing contexts over time and the processes involved in their ‘learning transfer’.
  • I am working on the C-SAIL (Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning) research team investigating the implementation of standards across multiple states.


One thought on “About

  1. 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.

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