Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Brass Article "Local knowledge and digital movie compsoing in an after-school literacy program"

In our first class, we didn't really touch upon this particular article, but I figured that I would shed some light on it.

I found it interesting to read the story about Horatio. He was an engaged teenager in outside literacy practices, but he could not engage himself in in-school literacy practices. He is involved in an after school activity called Technology and Literacy Project. The focus of his project is on a remix of Nelly's popular song, #1. Horatio takes this song and incorporates images from his home that are meaningful to him such as images from hip-hop magazines and clothing popularly worn by teens that are his age (basketball jerseys, athletic shoes, etc.). Horatio entitles his video "What Does It Take to Be #1." In this video, Horatio questions whether status symbols, such as having expensive clothes and accesories are really what are needed to be number one.

It is interesting to read how Horatio recontextualizes images and lyrics from Nelly's #1 song and creates his own version and remix on his take of the song. He incorporates his home and school culture, and different status symbols that are important to them. It is amazing what one can do with all of the technological advances that we have. With technology, especially with photo and video production, one can produce a twisted remix on anything that comes to mind and create an amazing piece of art that still has a literacy conception to it. It will be interesting to see our class' take on how people take an idea and create a multimedia twist that you never thought could come about!


  1. Reflection of “Local Knowledge and digital movie composing in and after-school literacy program”
    This article mainly describes the literacy achievement gap between the economic, cultural, and linguistic minority groups and those privileged students whose culture and language are the mainstream in the school curriculum.

    However, the previous researches suggested that students who have low achievement in schools can manage very well in their intellectual and literate works outside of schools. Therefore, those minority and low achievement students can perform better if the school provides a “permeable curriculum” with culturally diverse contexts. This paper studied the case of Horatio, a Latino Sophomore, who participate an after-school digital movie composing program called “the Technology and Literacy Project” (TALP) which was coordinated by Michigan State University. Horatio was a fan of hip-hop. He creates a movie with his hip-hop passion and uses a lot of hip-hop literacy. The movie is reflecting his after school knowledge, and successfully, he interplays very well between his after school experience and the content in his movie.

    In Horatio’s movie project, he demonstrates not only his engagement to integrate audio and video texts from school knowledge and home literacy, but also proves that his engagement and use of out-of-school literacy can help his performance in-school work.

    This study is an empirical support for the permeable literacy curriculum to facilitate engagement and academic achievement for cultural minority students. Horatio’s case tells us that students can perform well if the conventional school curriculum takes into account of their diverse cultural and linguistic background. The school curriculum can build a bridge between students’ literacies in and out of school by reflecting their cultural knowledge in the school standardized assessments for literacy achievement.

  2. I think too often there is a misunderstanding from teachers regarding out-of-school technology practices. For example, some teachers do not see creating a YouTube video as educational. There is a disconnect, but, as the very purpose of this course emphasizes, there are many important skills (and much patience) needed to create a technology-based project from beginning to end.

    This reading showed that Horatio had motivation, drive and determination when working on the Technology and Literacy Project. This is illustrated when he ran home with the video camera to capture images there.

    Horatio did have some difficulties, but worked through them. This is similar to what we are currently doing to create videos and finding resources to help. It is interesting how we develop skills through this trial and error/practicing process.