Tech Talk: Teaching Digital Citizenship

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I’ll admit it; I am complete tech junkie. Each day I read four tech blogs just to stay on top of what’s happening in the world of computers and technology.  I “popcorn” the posts—skimming over them to predict emerging patterns a la futurist Faith Popcorn. Occasionally, I find a post worth sharing, like this one: “Educators Battle Eternal September by Teaching Digital Citizenship with MinecraftEdu.” I think the video explains it best: Of course, video games and literacy has been an area of composition research for some time now, but what I like about the approach taken here is the particular mix of gaming and teaching. They’re not taking school and turning it into a game. They’re taking a very popular game, Minecraft, and thinking about what students can learn from and in it. Perhaps this approach is something we’ve been missing. I don’t know that my program is ready for this kind of experiment, but I like that it helps me think in new ways about how literate communities traverse real and virtual spaces. That, for me, is a good start. Have you ever used video games in your teaching? I’m wondering about not just the effectiveness but the sheer logistics. Please share your comments and experiences.  
About the Author
Barclay Barrios is an Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Programs at Florida Atlantic University, where he teaches freshman composition and graduate courses in composition methodology and theory, rhetorics of the world wide web, and composing digital identities. He was Director of Instructional Technology at Rutgers University and currently serves on the board of Pedagogy. Barrios is a frequent presenter at professional conferences, and the author of Emerging.