Literacy Beat is a blog created by six friends who teach and research in the area of digital literacies – Dana Grisham, Jill Castek, Bernadette Dwyer, Bridget Dalton, Blaine Smith, and Thomas DeVere Wolsey. We are using this blog to share ideas, tools, resources and strategies for integrating technology, media, and Web 2.0 into teaching and learning. Please join in by sharing your ideas in the comments associated with each post.

Who we are:

Bridget Dalton, Associate Professor, Literacy Studies, University of Colorado-Boulder. I design and study how children and adolescents read, learn, compose, and communicate in digital literacy environments. I bring a universal design for learning perspective to this work, agreeing with its social justice premise that inclusive design benefits us all. Email bridget.dalton@colorado.edu

CastekJill Castek, Research Assistant Professor at Portland State University.  I am a Literacy and Technology researcher and former reading specialist with a decade of experience working with striving readers. My research examines the challenges and opportunities for reading, writing, and collaborating on the Internet for adolescent learners and their teachers. I look for ways to use a wide-variety of instructional strategies to support students’ online reading comprehension. Email jill.castek@gmail.com

Bernadette Dwyer, lecturer in Literacy Studies in Education, St. Patrick’s College, Dublin City University, Ireland. I have extensive teaching experience at all levels of the primary school (k-8) and have also worked as a reading specialist. I am particulary interested in the possibilities afforded by digital tools in supporting the development of literacy among challenged readers from disadvantaged communities. Email Bernadette.dwyer@spd.dcu.ie 

Dana L. Grisham, retired professor, California State University, and currently professor, National University. I am co-editor of The California Reader and a graduate of The National Writing Project. I taught K-12 for a decade then taught courses from initial teacher preparation to the doctoral level. I love the intersection of literacy and technology and have been researching and writing on this topic for the past fifteen years! Email: dana.grisham@gmail.com

20180904-DSC_3244Thomas DeVere Wolsey teaches in graduate and undergraduate courses in education with a focus on literacy. He is the founder of a consulting firm with international reach. He is also a professor of literacy and author. He worked in public schools for twenty years teaching English and social studies at the secondary level. Dr. Wolsey is interested in how school spaces affect learning, how technology changes and intersects literacy instruction, and how writing in the disciplines is best taught. Message me on Twitter.


Blaine E. Smith, Assistant Professor, University of Miami. I am a literacy researcher who has taught urban adolescents in a variety of contexts. My research focuses on the digital literacy practices of culturally and linguistically diverse youth, with special attention to their multimodal composing processes and products. A main goal of my work is to develop instructional strategies to support the integration of digital literacies in the classroom. Email: blaine.smith@miamil.edu

The Literacy Beat banner is an image from a scarf entitled “Heartbeat” designed by Jane Henry, Bridget’s amazingly talented niece. Jane is experimenting with visual language and fashion at Loomlab. We liked the juxtaposition of the beating heart with the notion of literacy as heart and life and dynamism.


12 Responses

  1. Wonderful suggestions. I can’t wait until school begins to use digital story telling. What is a snippet where you saved the created pictures?

    • HI Dale,
      Good luck with your digital storytelling! I’ve been having great fun this summer with middle schoolers who are creating a retelling using Photo Story (it is produced as a video, but does not contain live action video). I will post about it in the future! With regard to snippet — I use a tool called Snip It that allows me to copy images (or parts of images – you select the area) and save them as jpg files (I find that format the most versatile). It is inexpensive – maybe less than $25?. Your computer may also have a tool that allows you to do this. I would love to hear about your digital storytelling projects once you get underway in your classroom!
      Best, Bridget

  2. Please check out my websites at http://www.worksheetless.com/. Technology and literacy are major components in my classroom.


  3. Love the website, Bridget!

  4. Wonderful work! Thank you for your leadership!!!



  5. Much continued success with your very informative blog.
    Marilyn Moore

  6. […] Citation: Grisham, D., Castek, J., Dwyer, B., Dalton, B., & Wolsey, T. D. (2011-2014). Literacy Beat. Retrieved from https://literacybeat.com/about/ […]

  7. I just promoted your blog on the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Journal-of-Adolescent-Adult-Literacy/235013803238408 -Peggy Semingson

  8. Just shared on the Language Arts Journal facebook page as well… (Caitlin)

    • Caitlin, great to hear from you! Thanks for the link on the Language Arts journal facebook page. I found the link to the UK digital literacies initiative quite helpful. We need to move faster to advance digital literacies in US schools!

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