Sunday, 1 November 2015

Week 8: Social Justice and DIY Citizenship

             I found the readings this week to be very interesting and engaging. The topics were relevant and touched on thought-provoking concepts. The article by Fields, Magnifico, Lammers and Curwood (2014) also highlighted some excellent web resources that I want to share with colleagues and students.

            In Rose’s chapter, she effectively outlines how ‘documentary’ is or can be a form of DIY Citizenship. “The idea of the documentary subjects becoming agents in the making process is such a phenomenon.” (p. 201). The phenomenon to which she refers here is personal testimonies and witness accounts by the key subjects in the documentary. I was immediately reminded of Humans of New York ( where regular guy, turned social anthropologist, Brandon Stanton shares snapshots – both pictorially and through words – of people in the world. His work/hobby has allowed for extensive exposure of peoples’ plights and accomplishment with the results of heightened awareness and even of aid and assistance from decent citizens everywhere. This Fall, Stanton released his second hard cover book of some of his most poignant stories.

            Rose goes on to outline the history of televised documentary and the evolution of it towards a participatory, collaborative concept. This framework of collaboration has birthed the phrase of “Do-It-With-Others”. Collaboration is a key concept we are trying to instill, explicitly, in our TLLP project classes. I can envision using the documentary form in order to promote social justice and citizenship among the students in the grades 10 and 12 English classes and the grade 9 Geography class.

            I read DIY Media Creation (Fields et al., 2014) with increasing interest and explored the two collaborative sites highlighted in the article. is a very intriguing repository of youth writing. I’m sharing it with my colleague and it makes me wish we offered the Writer’s Craft course at our school.

            The Scratch site looks pretty amazing also – especially if one is involved in coding projects. I like how it allows users to be part of a bigger community – where all are passionate about the same thing. There’s a lot of opportunity for feedback on this site. This would be embraced by some of my students who are somewhat marginalized by their intense coding/programming interests. What I mean by this, is that they are so into coding, that they have a hard time relating to others who are not. I would need some coders to check out this site for me because I’m wondering if students could use it to create presentations?

            Of the four digital tools recommended at the end of the article, I am familiar with only one – Padlet – which I have used with classes in the past two weeks. I intend to check out the other three in the near future.


Fields, D. A., Magnifico, A. M., Lammers, J. C., & Curwood, J. S. (2014). DIY Media Creation. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 58(1), 19-24.
Rose, M. (2014). Making publics: Documentary as do-it-with-others-citizenship. In Ratto, M., Boler, M., & Deibert, R. (Ed.) DIY citizenship: Critical making and social media. (pp. 201- 212). MIT Press.


1 comment:

  1. A very interesting response, Janet. I'm happy to see that these materials are so useful to you.