Tag Archives: phonics

Literacy Networks . . . & Confusion

Hey all,

This week, I’m like not mentally here, okay. I hope we can really understand what I’m saying. It’s been really hard, lately – so bear with me, here. And, then I’m presented with this lovely research article that made my head spin even faster. I threw up because it reminded me of being dyslexic and how academia scares me (which, through my logical-rationale brain, this makes perfect sense to why I overreacted to this text and to why my relationship with literacy texts of this nature are not so cute). Do you understand what I’m saying, here? Because half of me does and the other half doesn’t.

Remember, people — I’m an open book.

So, with that being said, I’m going to just write random stuff for this week’s blog post that I hope makes sense in relation to, “Literacy Networks: Following the Circulation of Text, Bodies, and Objects in the Schooling and Online Gaming of One Youth” by Kevin Leander and Jason Lovvorn.

What I’ve gathered is that this research article is an ethnographic study that follows and analyzes one youth – Brian – in three different literacy networks which were two from his school classrooms (History and English), and one from his play of a massively multiplayer online game called Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided. I had no idea what any of the jargon meant in this research article, so I looked up everything: Literacy Networks, Actor Network Theory, Space-Time Dimensions, and any other term that made me want to cry. I still don’t understand what Actor Network Theory is and I truly don’t even care for it at this point. This quote, “Literacy is a form of networking that produces space-time” (Leander & Lovvorn, 293), helped me understand the relationship between such confusing jargon. And I learned that literacy network is an expansive notion for theorizing literacy practices, specifically to move and push social practices of literacy forward so to make sense of how the social and wide-ranging text actor features form a relationship with one another in a unique space-time quality.

~~ I have no idea what I just said ~~

Anyway, I think that the environments (in school or out of school) in which literacy learning takes place are considered the “space-time dimensions,” but I could be wrong. To be honest, I couldn’t even finish this article but my failure to finish reading and fully understanding the depths of this research reflects my mental state and internal frustration with myself NOT this chosen piece of research or anything to do with Daniel’s personal selection. I usually love learning, if truly interested in the topic or not – even if the topic makes zero sense to me, I somehow can make the text relatable in some form or another.

Also, the research discussed a lot about literacy practices in relation to making meaning out of text through personal engagement and agency and how one can use the tools within the text and their spatial surroundings to help form or build upon their identity. I found it funny and interesting as I’m personally struggling with my identity (early adulthood mid-life crisis, perhaps?), while trying to read a form of literacy that does not want to agree with my sense of agency right now. I’m certainly not having a meaningful exchange with literacy right now as you can probably sense the annoyance in my voice.

Out of all the gibberish and jargon within this research article, I did agree with the concept that meaningful exchanges in literacy practices can occur outside of the home, school, or workplace (Leander & Lovvorn, 292). With that being said, I also agree with Leander & Lovvorn in that closer examination must be done to help scholarly researchers and literacy educators to “reconceive of literacy as clearly embedded in other activity structures and forms, and [to] consider the special role that literate activity has in shaping the spatial and temporal relationships of streams of activity (292). Setting-based distinctions (home, school, arcade, etc.,) and the diversity that each space-time dimension presents across activities like gaming, blogging, mixing music, remixing fan fiction, etc., offer a great opportunity for understanding differences among literacy practices of learning, teaching, and thinking.

Oh my – thank goodness this blog is technically, considered done (for what I think). I kept telling myself, “B!tc*, write something, anything – just get it DONE!” I hope whatever was said made sense because it kind of does and kind of doesn’t for me. What a weird blog post of mine. Okay . . . goodbye, now.


Francesca Di Fabio 