Thursday, November 20, 2008

5 minute interview with Professor Jackie Marsh

The second of our 5 minute interviews with key people in the field of digital literacies. Meet Professor Jackie Marsh. If you haven't read Jackie's work, you need to.

Jackie is Professor of Education at the University of Sheffield, UK, where she is involved in research exploring the relationship between young children's use of popular culture, media and new technologies and their literacy practices both in- and out-of-school. Her blog is:

What digital technologies do you have in your handbag/satchel?
USB pen drive
Digital voice recorder
Creative Vado Pocket Camcorder

Which one/s can't you live without and why?
iPhone - music, email, web access, maps with GPS, alarm clock, phone, voicemail and txt messages all in one piece of Apple-produced hardware - need I say more? I only wish it made tea...

What's your current favourite blog/website/virtual world?
Second Life - I find it a creative environment for teaching, research and, increasingly, art.

What are you finding fascinating in relation to technology/literacy/text at the moment?
I am currently researching young children's use of virtual worlds (Club Penguin and Barbie Girls) and I am fascinated by the integration of literacy, identity and play in the children's use of the worlds. This combination is of course important in 'RL' also, but the affordances of virtual worlds do enable the creation of potentially interesting texts e.g. machinima, which not only combine modes in skilful ways but serve as a key identity work and are used ritualistically to promote social cohesion in-world.

What do you predict will be key issues in digital technologies/literacies over the next five years?
This is an interesting question for me at the moment as I have been involved in writing a paper on this with Victoria Carrington for the Futurelab/DCSF 'Beyond Current Horizons' project. In the paper, we have predicted the following as being key issues: ubiquity (which can mean access to texts at point of need); convergence (leading to new kinds of texts); personalisation (intensifyng the focus on identity and self-representation in textual practices); mobility (enabling meaningful textual engagement across formal/informal learning spaces). In my own area of interest, early childhood literacy, I think a key issue will be the acceleration of the blurring of boundaries across online and offline, 'real' and 'virtual' spaces - this is already occurring with, for example, the use of 'clickable' technologies linked to virtual worlds such as 'Pixie Hollow'. There are many implications for early literacy in the development and I look forward to exploring them.


Terry said...

This is fascinating to me. Thanks for the great info.

Victoria Carrington said...

She's amazing, isn't she?