book-cover-finalSummer 2018 saw the publication of DARE member Michelle Cannon’s book – Digital Media in Education: Teaching, Learning and Literacy Practices with Young Learners (Palgrave). In the book she argues for dynamic and relevant school experiences for primary and early secondary learners that embed film and digital media production. She proposes a vision of literacy that combines new technologies with multiple modes of meaning-making, as witnessed in her 18-month auto-ethnographic study of film production with 9-10 year old primary school children in East London, UK (see

Drawing on theories related to cultural studies, media literacy, anthropology and creativity, she explores learning strategies with digital media based on an empowering, values-driven framework. The book advances innovative teaching methods, critiquing educational ‘reforms’ that marginalise media and fail to engage with the complex tensions and textures of modern pedagogy. Positioning film and media-making as vital practices in schools that nurture the skills, dispositions and competencies of modern literacy, the book foregrounds connections between human agency, cognition, and creative practice.

“In this inspirational and timely book, Cannon adds her expert voice to calls for rethinking literacy education to account for digital media practices. Firmly grounded in extensive research and professional experience, Cannon combines thought-provoking and incisive commentary with rich compelling examples of her own work with learners. Her book provokes the reader to see anew the complexities of young people’s creative and critical media production and as such is rich with possibilities. It’s a must-read for those already researching and practising in this field as well as those new to this area, and for all teachers who are committed, like Cannon, to ‘reimagining school’s relationship to film.” (Cathy Burnett, Professor of Literacy and Education, Sheffield Hallam University, UK)

“Michelle Cannon’s book is an important and well-written contribution to the field of media literacy and media education. Her examination of media production in schools raises critical questions that challenge our understanding of creativity and digital technology as they relate to literacy. The book serves multiple purposes, offering an introduction to media literacy, a critical perspective on student agency and support for teachers working with film and media production.” (Oystein Gilje, Associate Professor – Department of Teacher Education and School Research, University of Oslo, Norway)

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