Tread Carefully in Teen’s Social Media Spaces, Says Researcher

Teenagers haven’t left Facebook, but they’re more involved than ever in a virtual archipelago of social media spaces that educators can take advantage of—if they tread lightly, a researcher told educators on July 13.

“We need to unpack the myth … that young people are technological wizards. There certainly are some who are, but not every kid is like that. I think before we use these

spaces in the classroom, we have to think about why we’re doing it, and what we’re walking into,” said Amanda Lenhart, speaking at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus.

Lenhart, a researcher with the Data & Society Research Institute, delivered a keynote, “The Shifting Landscape of American Teens’ Social & Digital Media Use,” at the fourth annual Developing Digital Literacies Conference, hosted by the Graduate School of Education.

“If [educators] ask young people to use a social space, we want to give them options so they don’t necessarily have to have their personal space invaded by the academic and vice versa.”

She tackled topics such as the rise of the smart phone, and teens’ need for constant access, texting, relationships, and privacy.

Read the full article at Fordham News.

Get more insights from conference participants via #FordhamDLC on Twitter.


July 13th: Developing Digital Literacies Conference

822e8-lcoutdoorpic-bmpWednesday, July 13th
9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

How do digital tools affect our lives as individuals? As educators? How might we use digital tools to engage students in critical and creative thinking? How can we help students to understand technology as an aid to learning, rather than a distraction from it? Participants will explore these questions and more as they consider the impact of technology on literacy.

Featured speakers include Amanda Lenhart, Researcher with the Data & Society Research Institute, and practicing elementary, middle, and high school teachers, who will give classroom demonstrations.


8:30 Registration

9:00 Welcome and Keynote
Amanda Lenhart, “The Shifting Landscape of American Teens’ Social & Digital Media Use”

10:45 Classroom Demonstrations by Teachers

12:00 Lunch on your own in NYC (not included in cost of attendance)

1:00 Classroom Demonstrations by Teachers

3:00 Apps & Tools Share and Closing Remarks

Additional Information

  • The event will be held at Fordham’s Lincoln Center Campus (113 West 60th Street at Columbus Avenue)
  • Payment of $100 may be paid by credit card, purchase order, check, or money order by July 13
  • Early bird registration: $85 if payment is received by June 15
  • Fordham discount: $75 for Fordham staff, students, or alumni if payment is received by June 15
  • Professional Development Certificates Provided. NYC vendor # available

Contact Kristen Turner ( with questions.

Connected Reading: Navigating Print and Digital Texts

How should digital elements be approached in the English classroom? How can students learn to filter, analyze, curate, and share digital content, while making the best use of new technologies and tools, sometimes in coordination with existing print texts?

In an article from The NCTE Council Chronicle titled Teaching Teens – and Ourselves – to be Mindful, Connected Readers, Dr. Kristen Turner tackles connected reading, digital literacy, and how students can manage print and digital texts.

For their book “Connected Reading: Teaching Adolescent Readers in a Digital World“, Dr. Turner and Dr. Troy Hicks of Central Michigan University surveyed and interviewed over 800 middle- and high-school students about their reading motivations and habits. The NCTE Council Chronicle highlights their findings and recommendations, such as introducing students to tools that help them become more mindful readers.

Most students don’t know about RSS readers, for example, which let users subscribe to blogs, newspapers, or other sources and receive articles directly to their devices. They don’t curate content via aggregation tools like Flipboard, which lets you create collections of articles based on topic areas. They don’t use browser tools like Pocket and Readability, which let you easily save articles for later, offline reading.

The article also profiles teachers who practice connected reading, including Lauren King, Adolescence English MST student and member of the Fordham Digital Literacies Collaborative. Lauren teaches English at the Urban Assembly School of Design & Construction.

Last summer, she put a reading project on Twitter, posting high-interest articles that kids could read over break and comment on via tweet—which raised participation. Why? “Their reading and discussion was authentic and visibly connected to the rest of the world,” explains King.

Read the full article.

“Google Exec Urges More Innovation in the Classroom”

Jonathan Rochelle, the co-founder of Google Docs


Jonathan Rochelle, the co-founder of Google Docs, said teachers should be inspiring their students to be ready for jobs that don’t exist yet.

In his July 22 keynote speech, “You Should be Innovating,” Rochelle mixed anecdotes about his children with discussion on the creation of Google Classroom and other platforms that seek to teach innovation. He spoke at the Graduate School of Education’s second annual Developing Digital Literacies conference at the Lincoln Center campus.

Read the full story from Fordham News.

Digital Literacies Conference: Creativity, Optimism, Passion, Decisiveness, Experimentation, Collaboration, Acceptance of Failure, Communication, Research

On July 22nd, Dr. Kristen Turner and the Fordham Digital Literacies Collaborative hosted the Digital Literacies Conference.

Participants heard from keynote speaker Jonathan Rochelle, project management at Google and co-founder of Google Docs, and attended classroom demonstrations and a panel.

Read insights from conference participants below. Check out the full conversation on Twitter at #FordhamDLC.




Examining the Role of Technology in Education

Jonathan Rochelle

“Jonathan Rochelle, product manager at Google and the co-founder of Google Docs, will deliver the keynote speech at the second annual Fordham Digital Literacies Collaborative conference, to be held July 22 at the Lincoln Center campus.

“The focus of the conference will be primarily on the impact of technology on literacy, which Kristen Turner, PhD, professor of education at the Graduate School of Education, wrote about earlier this year.

“Turner, a conference organizer, noted that Rochelle, whose talk is entitled ‘You Should be Innovating,’ co-created Google Docs and Sheets, two apps that teachers use regularly in their classrooms. He is also primarily responsible for Google Apps for Education, which reaches more than 40 million educators and students, and most recently launched Google Classroom and Google Expeditions.

“‘He is passionate about K-12 education. I expect he will talk about how failure is the key to innovation and that we need to experiment in the classroom and allow kids to innovate,’ she said.”

Read the full article at Fordham News.

“Connected Reading: Teaching Adolescent Readers in a Digital World”

Dr. Kristen Hawley Turner's new book "Connected Reading: Teaching Adolescent Readers in a Digital World"Dr. Kristen Hawley Turner and Dr. Troy Hicks of Central Michigan University published a new book Connected Reading: Teaching Adolescent Readers in a Digital World.

As readers of all ages increasingly turn to the Internet and a variety of electronic devices for both informational and leisure reading, teachers need to reconsider not just who and what teens read but where and how they read as well. Having ready access to digital tools and texts doesn’t mean that middle and high school students are automatically thoughtful, adept readers. So how can we help adolescents become critical readers in a digital age?

Read the full description and listen to an interview on the National Council of Teachers of English website.

Drs. Turner and Hicks published a companion wiki with additional resources and discussions.


Dr. Kristen Turner on Teens’ Digital Writing Language

eb25b-turnerDr. Kristen Turner was recently interviewed for the Voices of Literacy podcast. She discusses digitalk, i.e. the informal, written language teens’ use in digital spaces.

When teenagers use a lot of consonants at the end of the word so they would write the word ‘Hey’ but they might use five or six y’s at the end of that word. We were really surprised about that at first and then we found that this is a trend among teenagers and we asked them why. Some of the reasons had to deal with getting their personal voice or the sound of their own voice into their language…

Unfortunately, the media portrayal and even parents…think that their digitalk, these shortcuts that they’re taking, are detrimental to their writing. In actuality, they are developing writing skills.

The podcast references “Demystifying Digitalk: The What and Why of the Language Teens Use in Digital Writing” co-authored by Dr. Turner, Meredith Jeta Donovan (GSE doctoral student in Language and Literacy Education), Sandra Abrams of St. John’s University, and Elvira Katic of Ramapo College and published in the Journal of Literacy Research.

Listen to the podcast.