Application 3: Critical Reflection/Consolidation on Fouronesixlit

The video on Fouronesixlit allowed me to make connections to a number of ideas that we have discussed from readings and in class, including: literacy as a cultural phenomenon and James Gee’s discussion on the term discourse, the hierarchical system being flattened, Lankshear & Knobel’s (2008) idea of remix, culture and collaboration, re-contextualization and the act of redesigning, ludic production pedagogies, the physical classroom extending beyond brick walls, Cope and Kalantzis’s ideas around “active citizenship” (172) and the two demos presentations that we have had as a class.

Fouronesixlit as a pedagogical program demonstrates the idea that literacy and modes are highly cultural. I imagine that fouronesixlit as a collaborative, student centred tool would work well in north American schooling contexts as it is more likely that our education system can afford fully tech-enabled schools, rather than most public schools in countries with lower socioeconomic status. What can occur, at least in north American schooling contexts, is a flattening of a hierarchical system of education where the information is top-down. A collaborative tool such as fouronesixlit would allow students to break out of the top-down, teacher centred approach to learning and take charge of their own decisions.

Lankshear & Knobel’s (2008) idea of remix, culture and collaboration can also be connected with fouronesixlit as once having understood the code with the help of the teacher, students can collaborate, remix, reproduce and redesign class material with their peers. For example, the video spoke about serious comics and short stories — students could co-create these comics and products with one another while intrinsically having fun. In a way, students create a new culture every time they collaborate and remix, as culture is essentially a remix of prior principles.Without remix, there would be no new culture (Lankshear & Knobel, 2008, p. 23). Students can participate in the transformation and redesigning of previous materials in an ongoing, dynamic way, rather than take a static, boring approach.

Individuals learn best when they are on a creative adventure — when playing is built into creating and communicating knowledge. The ludic production pedagogy behind fouronesixlit is an excellent example of the physical classroom extending beyond brick walls as students take ownership of their learning as “active citizens” through the power of play (Cope and Kalantzis,172).

In connection to the demo presentations on iMovie and Explain Everything, just as these apps, fouronesixlit is student run, and student created — which means learning is taking place beyond the classroom. Learning in this context happens when peers connect “…digitally to resources and learning partners”, which allows for a sense of authorship amongst students (Lotherington and Jenson, p. 229). Students have the capacity to share their own stories through engaging in critical, multimodal social justice work, including serious comics, reflections, production, and ultimately being involved in their own and their peers’ learning.

As an educator, I might use this tool to engage my students in outside of class work — engaging with the community around them and then sharing with myself and their classmates. I greatly enjoyed the serious comic application that Professor Thumlert had us complete for class, and if the opportunity presented itself, I would use an application like fouronesixlit to critically engage my students in reflection as well.

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