SOE Emerging Scholars May 3, 2016 – Antero Garcia

SOE Emerging Scholars May 3, 2016 – Antero Garcia


I’d like to welcome everybody
my name is Steven Athanases, professor in the school of education. Our chair of the graduate
group in education professor Michal Kurlaender was
caught getting of a flight. And she was planning to
introduce the session and she asked if I would say a few words. So I wanna introduce to you, this is
an event cosponsored by the graduate group in education and interdisciplinary body
on campus and the school of education. And the particular day has been organized
by three of our wonderful faculty members, Professors Danny Martinez,
Marcella and Alexis Patterson. We have this terrific group of panelists
that you’re gonna hear from in a few moments and now I will turn it over to Denny Martinez
who’s going to introduce you to them.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Thank you all for joining us today. I just wanna give you a little
surge of what’s gonna happen. See, we’re gonna hear from
each one of our presenters. First, we’ll hear from Dr. Antero Garcia,
Dr. Maribeth Santiago, and then Dr.. This will be followed by a few comment
by Professor Dr., Dr. [LAUGH] yeah, professor Dr. who will then open
the follow up questions from the audience. And we really hope we can,
I know we’ll get to generate some questions from you all and
some comments about their amazing work. I have pleasure of first
introducing you all to Dr. Antonio Garcia who will
be our first presenter. So give you a few things about Dr. Garcia. So Dr. Antiono Garcia is an Assistant
Professor in the English Department at Colorado State University in Fort Collins,
Colorado. This research focuses on developing
critical literacies and civic identity through the use of mobile media and
gameplay in formal learning environments. Prior to moving to Colorado Antero
was a teacher in a public high school in South Central, Los Angeles for eight years he thinks, eight,
nine, ten could be, yeah. During this four years and graduate
students, you have to listen to this. During four of these years,
he was a fulltime PhD student at UCLA, where he received his PhD in
the Urban Schooling Division in the Graduate School of Education and
Information Studies. [COUGH] Prior to that, in 2008, Dr.
Garcia Co-developed the Black Cloud game that became a digital media and
learning competition award recipient. The Black Cloud provoked students to take
real time assessments of air quality in their community using custom
developed sensors that measured and sent data about air quality. Again, while he was a teacher and
graduate student, Antonio was also a US Department of
Education Teaching Ambassador Fellow. A program designed to involve
teachers in the development of and implementation of national
education policy. Dr. Garcia’s work has been
published in the Harvard Ed Review, Teacher’s College Record,
The English Journal, and Rethinking Schools just to name a few. He’s also the author of four books. The most recent, Pose, Wobble, Flow. A great teacher education book. A culturally proactive
approach to literacy and learning the next one is doing youth
participatory acts in research. Next is critical foundations in young
adult literature which he worked on while he was writing his dissertation I think. I believe yes and he is the editor
of teaching in the connected learning classroom,
a publication of digital media learning. Antero is also a former
national counsel for teachers of English cultivating
new voices amongst colour fellows. And currently along with our own
Professor Kevin G he is a National Academy of Education Spencer Postdoctoral fellow. So on a personal note Antero is a homey. We got through our PhD
programs together and I had the privilege of
getting to know him. And when we were thinking
about our projects and later since graduation working
on a publication together. His work continues to inspire me in how to
think about what the everyday language and literacy practices of students are. And how we can truly leverage
these rich practices into everyday spaces of learning to create powerful and
humanized research process for the students so please help me welcome Dr.
Antero Garcia.>>[APPLAUSE].>>I guess start before Daniel get down so
my time doesn’t start yet. Thanks Daniel, I appreciate that. Yeah, there’s nothing to preview there. So my goal today in the next 20ish
minutes is I want us to think through the kind of journey
we are going on with digital. With digital technologies in
three different contexts, I want us to think about the kind of
journey we’re taking with digital technology with our students in
our profession and for ourselves. So I’m gonna just kind of offer gonna trip
take of three different ways to think through what’s happening
with digital technology. And we’re gonna go really quickly which
means these are all based on various studies that I’ve focused on. So this is my Twitter handle. So if you’re interested in the methodology
and all of those slides that usually we gloss over I just took them out so
I won’t gloss over them. So reach out to me and I’m happy to send you the publications
that these are all tied too. In order to do that I wanted to think
through the ways I’m thinking about this. Thinking through how we’re socializing
in terms of communities and practice. And the kinds of forms of actions
research that Danny mentioned being through action research along with
you than action research with teachers. I also wanna offer a quick Snapshot. So if we think about the kinds of virtual
world that young people and adults alike are spending a lot of timing and what
collaboration looks like in this basis. I’ve talked about Minecraft
with many of the faculty today. My favorite note about Minecraft is
it’s complex enough where you can build a computer in Minecraft, so theoretically
you should be able to build, you should be able to play, build a computer
to play Minecraft inside of Minecraft. And then my brain hurts, okay. In a way that we’re thinking about
a relationship with eSports and digital technology. Along with all the sales,
I wanna think through what this means for connective learning. This is a framework that mini Ito and
a large or something through this larger
eco system of how young people are learning outside informal
learning environment primarily. And I’ve started thinking through what
this means for teacher education. I wanna push this to think through
what connected literacies mean, particularly in an area
of Black Lives Matter. And how we can think through what
do connected literacies mean from a critical stance. And how do we engage with
these as activists and thinking through the civic
identities of young people. Okay, so all of that said is like a quick
snapshot cuz I’m gonna go fast here. I want us to think through this
Responsible Journeys with all that stuff marinating in your brain. I now wanna start with the journey
focussing on our students. To do that I wanna look at a meaning. So there’s a book you might have
heard of called the Hunger Games. Who’s read the hunger games? Okay, good.
If you haven’t i’m gonna spoil it, so leave I guess and
then come back to the other presentations. So I wanna talk about what
I’ve called the Rue-volution. This is some work as doing with
literacy scholar Marcelle Haddix. To do this, I wanna look at a meme. This meme is a Tumblr page and it had,
it takes place in three parts. The first is a Tumblr page. It takes place within the platform
of Tumblr, a microblogging platform. Next is a series of GIFs or GIFs. By depending on how you
want to pronounce it and it is these GIFs from the end of
the hunger games film that also represent firly accurately the end of
the hunger games, the first book. If you haven’t seen or
read the book spoiler. Thresh who is from district 11 kills a
girl from district two but spares Katniss. In this bottom left-hand corner,
and, as you can see, he says, just this time 12, district 12, for Rue. People who have read the book, is this a
familiar moment Can someone who said yeah, cuz I heard you.>>[LAUGH]
>>Can someone explain why this is an important moment, or why he
doesn’t kill Katniss in this moment? And I’ve got a minutes,
you gotta just talk, yeah.>>He’s acknowledging a kindness that was
done to Rue, who was one of his district->>Yeah, absolutely, right. So that kindness, the way that
Katniss was respectful for her friend, this young girl named Rue, this is
the only way he can repay her, right. So this is a meme, this was circulating. But what I wanna actually look at
are the comments that happened underneath this, right. So first comment says, and
these all circulated with it, these are all part of the viral meme. Can we just stop and
talk about this for a minute? Thresh doesn’t make an alliance. Thresh doesn’t waste time liking Katniss. Thresh knows that either
he must kill her or she must kill him for one of them to win. But this is the only way he can repay
her for protecting Rue when he couldn’t. It’s the only way he can repay her for
honoring Rue when he couldn’t. He honors her by sparing her friend,
the girl, who would’ve died for her. The revolution really doesn’t start
with Katniss, it starts with Rue. And then you see the second comment
underneath it, right above Juan’s head. It says somebody finally said it. There’s a third comment
that circulates with these. And it’s a little bit longer so
I’m just gonna pull out some excerpts. This is exactly the point I’ve
been trying to make for years. Okay, so the revolution gets its
kindling with Katniss and it goes on. As a former English teacher, I really appreciate the kinda in-depth
reading that this person goes on to. And then he or she says, but
what changes the game is Rue. And it continues. The speech for Rue,
Peeta’s painting in the next book. Everything eludes back to this one
little girl who became Katniss’s family. So the revolution never
started with Katniss, she was just the tinder for
Rue’s ignition. Rue was the real Mockingjay. And I think about this in terms of
the kinds of civic potential of what this means as a reader of Hunger Games books,
right.. These notes have been circulated
more than a quarter million times. That means, oftentimes, putting these on other people’s blogs and
liking them in that Facebook way. So we can think through what does this
context means for readers of color, right? If Rue shows up in films as a young
black girl, what does this mean, as my reading as a person of color engaging
with a young adult literature text? And I think about this in the context
of what other kinds of viral media and what other kinds of civic lives
are portrayed In the kinds of actions and lives of young people of color today,
right. What does it mean to think of
Rue as a revolutionary when cities are nothing more than hashtags for
civic engagement, right? I think this is the civic opportunity
that we need to be thinking through. I want to mention here a text
I received from a friend. Yea, I’m tired, bro. Super tired. Keep a button on this for a second. I also want to point out, so
this is Amandla Stenberg. This is who played Rue in
the first Hunger Games. She dies, so
she’s only in the first Hunger Games. And I’m gonna read some tweets about her
when the previews first came out for the Hunger Games. Why does Rue have to be black,
not gonna lie kinda ruined the movie. Cinna and Rue weren’t suppose to be black. Why did the producer make all the good
characters black, shaking my head. Call me racist but when I found out
Rue was black her death wasn’t as sad. I hate myself. Rue looks nothing like I imagined her. Isn’t she supposed to be a pale
redhead (or was that just in MY head)? Why is she black? And for the record I’m still
pissed that Rue is black. Like you think she might
have mentioned that? Is that just me? There was a #SticktotheBookDude
cuz people were mad. And so I’m gonna to stick to the book. This is from the first book. . . And most hauntingly,
a twelve-year-old girl from District 11. She has dark brown skin and eyes, but other than that she’s very like
Prim In size and demeanor. You guys all heard Danny’s
great introduction of me. I have a PhD, I’m an English teacher. So when I read this as an expert,
I don’t read white, right.>>[LAUGH]
>>When I see dark brown skin and eyes, we could argue on what the race of Rue is. But it’s probably not white
based on my literal reading. Just want to point that out, okay. And I wanna think about that in light of
what public imagination means, right. The late Maxine Greene talks
about public imagination. But what does public imagination mean for
civic lives of young people, when a character is written as black and
we still can’t see her as that, right?. I think we need to think about the kinds
of cultural blind spots that we’re engaging in. The other, I think, other very famous
young adult literature example I wanna think through as a metaphor to think
through what’s happening with young adult literature is Harry Potter and
the Mirror of Erised. Are there any Harry Potter nerds who can
tell us what the Mirror of Erised does?>>It’s a mirror where whoever looks
in the mirror can see what they really most desire.>>Yeah, so whoever looks in the mirror
can see whatever they most desire. Exactly, thank you. The deepest, most desperate desire of
our hearts is reflected in it, right. And Dumbledore only sees a new
pair of socks when he looks in it. And so I would argue that young
adult literature today, and particularly digital representations
of young adult literature, if you are a white reader of young
adult literature, you can look into that mirror and see yourself reflected
in the kinds of experiences, right. If we think about the windows and mirrors of young adult literature, you can
see yourself reflected in the lives and opportunities hat
are portrayed in these books. However, if you are a person of color and you are engaging in these texts, the image
is going to come back distorted, right. There will be LGBTQ texts, but there’s not enough of them to get
an accurate reflection of yourself, right. If you’re a young man of color,
I hope you like sports or gangs, right. I’ll just point out that for Hamilton
nerds, the audiobook of Aristotle and Dante is read by Lin Miranda, so
you should just listen to it. And I’ll move on, I’m sorry. Okay, a warning. Man has wasted away before the Mirror of
Erised, entranced by what they have seen, not knowing if what it shows is real or
even possible. I want to think about what are the
possibilities around young people and digital technology as reflected
in young adult literature. I also want to think about
the words of James Baldwin. You must consider what happens
to a life which finds no mirror. And so
I wanna pause here to think through, what are the limitations of young people? As we move into what are some of
the limitations in our profession, as to this journey and
the kinds of warnings up ahead? So before I moved to Colorado, I helped open this school in
the Critical Design and Gaming School. It is also in South Central Los Angeles,
it’s a public high school. The population reflects the community
population, 60.5% Latino, 37% black. Annual median income is 31,000. And I wanna think through, the challenge
was I helped co-design a school around principles of game design and then I left. And the other teacher who also helped
deign the school had been laid off by LAUSD every single year, so he left. And so we didn’t have the kind of
professional development resources around this. So we’ve been going back and developing what we’re calling
Player Professional Development. So along with teachers,
we used Jenga stacks. And basically teachers took the process
of learning how to play and understanding principles
of play seriously, right. Figuring out how can I embody
myself as a player, and how will that funnel into my classroom? So this is a study that
I presented at ARA. I’m happy to share
the paper with any of you. And so they took play seriously. And so that means something
like playing Jenga, and talking about it as a community and
reflecting on those practices. As one participant in this
teacher inquiry study said, we don’t always think of
games as being professional. Hopefully, this is the start
of things about to change. And then the task for all of the teachers was everyone was going
to bring a game each time to our meetings. They had set aside time. We’re going to play the game, and talk about modifications as well as
outcomes for teachers and for students. And they had okayed this
with the principal, who also helped co-design the school,
this was a grassroots process. And so that was that the point, right,
that through her leadership and taking on gameful identities, they were going to transform
the learning experience of young people. This was a GameGem at the school
year that students participated in. But there are limitations because
as soon the principal okayed it, the next month after this meeting
where they were playing Jenga, the principal then said, actually,
you guys can’t have all that meeting time. We’ll give you A meeting every other month
because we have our WASC accreditation and he took away that time. And so teachers felt tired. One quote in particular from a teacher,
we were tired when your group says to a group of
teachers let’s meet after our meeting. Whatever follows that
sentence doesn’t matter. We are tired. Tired of meetings. Tired of working hard and then being
asked to do more because it’s needed. And then not being compensated or even
acknowledged for all of the extra work. We’re just being burnt out right? And I think through what is the biggest
challenge in terms of the kinds of connected learning context for
teachers in schools today. And it’s that we’re not sustaining these
in humanizing ways that are necessary and revitalizing for the profession. All right, teachers tried to create
Magic Time by playing games like Magic: The Gathering during lunch. But it’s hard to have a professional
development after school and all day teaching,
during the teaching schedule. You’re just plain exhausted. But I guess that’s the purpose of having
teacher player professional development. So we tried to center
ourselves around having fun. But again, they tried to be flexible, but
there are some real struggles, right? In order to do that they
switched from playing professional development to trying to
escape from professional development. And they went to escape rooms which is a
growing phenomena where basically you and your friends willingly lock
yourselves in a room for an hour and try to solve the puzzles
to escape from them. You should do it if that sounds like
a weird thing you’ve never heard of it. It’s an experience. So they had gotten grant funding and
they had gotten sub days and they had gotten all this approved
to go to an escape room and do some community building as
a professional development group. However, one of the colleagues
in this posted this on his blog. I should really entitle this
post there is no escape from PD. After being honored as one of the United
Way’s 25 most inspirational teachers the night before, I woke up to
find this email waiting in my box. Out of an abundance of caution I
doubled checked with so and so regarding the approval of the PD for
your seven teachers next Friday. She was very surprised
that it was approved and clearly stated that it was a mistake,
blah, blah. Consider this message a formal
notification that PD has not been approved by ISIC or by me. This is from the principal. And so we can think through
the tensions with the principal and with administration to try to support
teachers around this work, right? Where are administrative tensions? How do we find the learning context and adjust teachers to prepare
them properly for this work? As that teacher noted, eventually we
were able to play the game of LAUSD and emerge victorious. Our team was indeed able to escape
professional development and create something much more
effective in the end. And so when I think through,
as urban educators, these teachers had to take a stance. And they originally thought that
stance was gonna be playing professional development but they
realized they had to take that stance and move it to escaping
professional development and what those kind of challenges
mean as we move forward. Okay, so we talked about students. We talked about the profession. I wanna think through what is the
responsible journey around technology with ourselves. So, this is Mark. Mark is a friend. Actually, he, Monty Bell, and I all went through the teacher
education program together. He helped co-found the Critical Design
& Gaming School in Los Angeles. He’s been a formative member at that
school, so I’ve known him for a long time. He’s also the person who texted
this to me earlier in the year. Yes, yeah, I’m tired bro, super tired. And I wanna think about what makes
urban teachers tired, right, and the ways we communicate
this in digital context. So he posted a blog post that said, Celebrating a life,
a different kind of homecoming. I’m gonna read the first sentence till
the last paragraph of this blog post. Today, a community cam together as they
have many times before to celebrate the life of a young man taken too early. And then he goes on, he talks for awhile. The last day I spoke to Elijah I
celebrated, however momentarily in those minutes during passing period,
his accomplishments. He was improving and moving the needle
forward on his academic meter. He was honing in on a focus pursuit
of his goals to play football and attend a college. Today when we spoke to Elijah,
we celebrated the same thing. We’re proud of his life, though so very
short and so unnecessarily violent an end. It is the possibilities in
life that keep us coming back. And I wanna think through,
how do we sustain our work as educators, as teacher educators, and how do we
sustain that of our friends, family, and colleagues, right? Mark, as someone who has three
children at home, and a wife. And how does he go home after
losing students at school, right? And how does he balance and
not bring that into his home? And what are the healthy practices
in which we support ourselves? All right, and I wanna think through an exchange I
had with a new teacher via Twitter. So I woke on morning and someone who’s
in her first year as a teacher in Denver has sent me the following message. She said, hey, so one of my students,
who is never around, was shot yesterday morning. She’s in the hospital,
don’t know more than that. Considering you’ve probably
dealt with this and worse, what do you do to
cope in times of like this? It’s unfamiliar territory to this
privileged white girl, frowny face? I don’t know what we call that. And I respond, I quickly respond, and
notice how I go into triage mode and I want to critique this. If this is common knowledge for your students, they probably need some
place to talk, ask questions, feel safe. You don’t need to be an expert but
you do need to cope. You should see if you can
visit after school at all. Make sure there is a counselor
who knows and that his or her services are available. I keep going, if students are aware
what’s happening, I’m sure they will be. Moving on to typical lesson plans probably
isn’t the right move until after some class discussion. Talk with your AP or
principal about how you’re feeling, see if there’s any support here. And then almost as an afterthought I say,
it’s okay to be upset and sad and uncertain. It would be weird not to, right? It’s after this kind of triage
mode that we as teachers go into that I send by the way you should
think about your own feelings. You should think about how you’re healing,
how you’re processing. And I wanna critique this, right? This is the wrong way to do it. And then she responds and says, we aren’t
supposed to talk about it in the class because the family has requested as much
privacy as possible for the time being. I haven’t heard about it from my kids and this student isn’t close with
anyone in my class, I don’t think. School staff is being
great about directives. I’m more asking for
advice on how to personally cope with it since it’s a really foreign,
difficult experience, right? Clearly, she was asking for this and that’s not at all where my
thinking was going, right? This is a real gap, and obviously, digital technology is not the solution
to this kind of conversation, right? She says I know my kids
lead rough lives and that they have lost people
close to them and so forth. But this is the first time
I’ve seen a student get hurt. And it opened up a world of
vulnerability for me mentally. Especially since I’ve gotten close with
one of my students who is in a gang. And I think about like what
are the missing lessons in terms of how we’re supporting teacher
responsibility for ourselves, right? We spend a lot of time as teachers
figuring out how do we remain student centered. And sometimes we need to think through
how are we centered on ourselves and our own needs, right? And in each other, right? How would I support
the colleagues around me. So I want to think through these
responsible journeys, right? The kinds of choppy waters we
have around all of these pieces. And I want to think through this in terms
of the metaphor of the ship of Theseus, which I’ll come back to in a second. There’s a whole lot of stuff
that is around this ship, right, of thinking of our students,
the teaching profession, and ourselves. There’s a lot of flotsam and
jetsam in the water. How do we deal with all of this? And I want to think through
the ship of Theseus. This is also talked about in museum
studies as The Same Ax, Twice. And the ship of Theseus is this, right? So Theseus returns from his journeys. And he comes into port and the Athenians see his bow as a herald to the kind of
great accomplishments of the Romans. And so they keep in port for
years and years and years. And then, every once in a while,
a piece of wood on the ship would rot. And they’d just set it to the side and they’d replace it with another piece,
right? And another piece would rot and
they’d set it to the side. Until eventually, years and
years go by and there’s a pile of wood so big that it’s next to the original ship. And you could theoretically build
two identical ships of Theseus. And which one is the real ship, right? And I wonder at what point do the digital
tools that we’re implementing in school simply recreate the same inequalities that
they’ve been trying to address year after year, right? How is the ship of Theseus something
that we need to address as a teaching profession, right? So what journey are we taking
on this vessel, right? And is this ship a seaworthy one? So I’m gonna end, but
I wanna think through this questions. Maybe this is where some
conversation can come at the end. How does connected learning shape
in-school student identities? What are the relational and
narrative driven opportunities cultivated? And how do we support preservice teachers
vis-a-vis the shifting contexts of culture and schooling? Thank you.>>[APPLAUSE]

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