Military Mashups: Remixing Literacy Practices

Writing Classrooms: Social Networking and 'Knotworking'

Writing Classrooms: Social Networking and Knotworking. Continuing to trace the literate activity of the students at Seminar Hakibbutzim, this digital narrative examines the ways that the frequent exchanges of texts, objects, and talk continued beyond the bounded walls of the classroom and into online spaces. As one of the students explained, from the moment they arrive home from school they "pick up right from where they left off." Arguing that the digital revolution is a social and cultural one, Heidi McKee (2008) wrote, “Merging technologies may create the conditions for convergence to happen, but it is how people integrate these technologies into their lives, how they create cultures and social networks of use that is the real phenomenon at the heart of convergence” (p. 105). Observing the unofficial literacy practices of the students in online chats, this study critically identifies ways that the rhetorics of the military are deeply embedded in the students’ digital literacy practices. In this manner, I again merge Hawisher, Selfe, Guo and Liu’s (2006) cultural ecology with Spinuzzi’s (2003) genre ecology. Traditionally, the concept of genre ecology has been used within institutional contexts, while this research extends this concept by examining the ways that these ecologies extend to spaces and places outside the classroom. Concluding this study, I take up Patrick Dias, Aviva Freedman, Peter Medway, and Anthony Paré's (1999) Worlds Apart to argue that as opposed to conceptualizing workplace and academic literacy practices as discrete spheres of activity, we need to attend to the intersections amongst them. We furthermore need a less bounded approach in our teaching and research and need to examine activity beyond our institutional walls. Such work is critical for understanding the ways literacy practices are mashed into wider cultural, national, and global ecologies.


by Steven Fraiberg