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Digital Tools in Urban Schools

Mediating a Remix of Learning

Jabari Mahiri

Publication Year: 2011

"Today there is massive interest in how digital tools and popular culture are transforming learning out of school and lots of dismay at how digitally lost our schools are. Jabari Mahiri works his usual magic and here shows us how to cross this divide in a solidly grounded and beautifully written book." ---James Paul Gee, Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies, Arizona State University "Digital Tools in Urban Schools is a profoundly sobering yet inspiring depiction of the potential for committed educators to change the lives of urban youth, with the assistance of a new set of technical capabilities." ---Mimi Ito, Professor in Residence and MacArthur Foundation Chair in Digital Media and Learning, Departments of Informatics and Anthropology, University of California, Irvine "An uplifting book that addresses a critical gap in existing literature by providing rich and important insights into ways teachers, administrators, and members of the wider community can work together with students previously alienated---even excluded---from formal education to enhance classroom learning with appropriate digital tools and achieve inspiring results under challenging circumstances." ---Colin Lankshear, James Cook University, and Michele Knobel, Montclair State University Digital Tools in Urban Schools demonstrates significant ways in which high school teachers in the complex educational setting of an urban public high school in northern California extended their own professional learning to revitalize learning in their classrooms. Through a novel research collaboration between a university and this public school, these teachers were supported and guided in developing the skills necessary to take greater advantage of new media and new information sources to increase student learning while making connections to their relevant experiences and interests. Jabari Mahiri draws on extensive qualitative data---including blogs, podcasts, and other digital media---to document, describe, and analyze how the learning of both students and teachers was dramatically transformed as they utilized digital media in their classrooms. Digital Tools in Urban Schools will interest instructional leaders and participants in teacher preparation and professional development programs, education and social science researchers and scholars, graduate and undergraduate programs and classes emphasizing literacy and learning, and those focused on urban education issues and conditions.

Published by: University of Michigan Press

Series: Technologies of the Imagination


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1: New Literacies Need New Learning

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pp. 1-25

The digital age and the age of hip-hop emerged collaterally during the last 35 years. Increasingly, young people in the United States and globally use screen-based, digital technologies to source and transmit words, images, video, and sounds as they engage in meaning making, identity connections, and social networking. They come to school with...

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2: Hip-Hop Journalism

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pp. 25-53

During the 2007–8 school year, students in Ms. Foster’s Hip-Hop Journalism class learned to use a number of digital tools that directly connected to her curricular goals of developing their skills with traditional and new media literacies. They created digital photography projects and blogs, digital stories and PowerPoint presentations, youth ...

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3: Digital Teachers

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pp. 54-93

Ms. Foster’s use of digital media for learning in her journalism class reflected her developing competencies to design and implement instruction in new ways. In addition to efforts of teachers, administrators, parents, and community members to create a culture of caring at V-Tech, students also needed to be engaged in a range of dynamic learning ...

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4: “Virtual” World Media

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pp. 94-123

The image shown in figure 3 is from Teen Second Life, the youth version of Second Life. This multi-user virtual environment is free for teens under 18. They can access the features of this MUVE by creating an avatar whose image and actions they control; then they can move around and do things in this world. It was originally established as a site where ...

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5: A Second Life for Learning

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pp. 124-146

With ever-expanding modes for making meaning, creating and enacting identities and social networking enabled by digital media, the roles and challenges of teachers are more crucial than ever. Consequently, the professional development of teachers has to activate instructional leadership that addresses the immediate dynamics of classroom practices ...

Appendix A. The ISTE National Educational Technology Standards and Performance Indicators for Teachers (NETS•T)

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pp. 147-150

Appendix B. The ISTE National Educational Technology Standards and Performance Indicators for Students (NETS•S)

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pp. 151-152


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pp. 153-154


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pp. 155-162


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pp. 163-170

E-ISBN-13: 9780472027606
E-ISBN-10: 0472027603
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472051533
Print-ISBN-10: 0472051539

Page Count: 192
Illustrations: 3 figures
Publication Year: 2011

Series Title: Technologies of the Imagination
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OCLC Number: 792929055
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Digital Tools in Urban Schools

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Urban youth -- Education -- Social aspects -- United States.
  • Critical pedagogy -- United States.
  • Digital communications -- Social aspects -- United States.
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