Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Last week at the University of Greenwich I talked about new technology and the commodification of literacy. I used digital apps and playthings - aimed at very young children and their parents - as a way of exploring the tension between the opportunities and attractions of the digital, and the corporate interests that package and sell them. Erica Hateley in Children's Literacy, Learning and Culture expresses something similar when she writes that: 'As children are inducted younger and younger into particular modes of literacy, and particular dispositions as 'consuming citizens', researchers committed to learning from and contributing to young people's agency and social opportunities need to pay attention to what is happening culturally when reading and playing and literacy and learning means tapping, touching, swiping, and scrolling and combining online and offline activities.' (2013:39). I also pointed out how some of what is available carries an implicit message for parents - these are the sort of literacy routine that are important. This has been called the discourse of the 'good parent'. But this tension runs through everyday and institutionalised uses of technology at all levels - its potential both to free us and to enslave us.

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