To diverge from traditional pedagogies and research approaches and to embrace the spirit of following a road less traveled, the Divergent Award for Excellence in 21st Century Literacies was established in 2016 by the Initiative for 21st Century Literacies Research to recognize the indelible contributions of educators and scholars who have dedicated their careers to the theoretical and practical study of 21st Century Literacies.
Congratulations to the 2017 Honorees
Dr. Antero Garcia is an Assistant Professor at Stanford University. Antero’s research focuses on developing critical literacies and civic identity through the use of mobile media and game play in formal learning environments. Prior to moving to Stanford, Antero was an assistant professor at Colorado State University and a teacher at a public high school in South Central Los Angeles. Antero received his Ph.D. in the Urban Schooling division of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.
In 2008 Antero co-developed the Black Cloud Game. A Digital Media and Learning Competition award recipient, the Black Cloud provoked students to take real time assessment of air quality in their community. Using custom-developed sensors that measure and send data about air quality, students critically analyzed the role pollution played in their daily lives and presented recommendations to their community. Antero is a 2010-2011 U.S. Department of Education Teaching Ambassador Fellow, providing teacher input and feedback on national education policy initiatives. Antero’s numerous publications and conference presentations address technology, educational equity, youth participatory action research, and critical media literacy. Updates about Antero’s work can be found on his blog, The American Crawl.
Dr. Donna Alvermann is the University of Georgia Appointed Distinguished Research Professor of Language and Literacy Education. She also holds an endowed chair position: The Omer Clyde and Elizabeth Parr Aderhold Professor in Education. Formerly a classroom teacher in Texas and New York, her research focuses on young people's digital literacies and use of popular media. Author of numerous articles, she has several books to her credit: Adolescents and Literacies in a Digital World; Reconceptualizing the Literacies in Adolescents' Lives (3rd ed.); Adolescents' Online Literacies: Connecting Classrooms, Digital Media, and Popular Culture; and Bring It to Class: Unpacking Pop Culture in Literacy Learning. Most recently, she helped in designing an interactive website to learn how a community of researchers and researched objects can push boundaries associated with creating and disseminating "original" work and remixes online using a Creative Commons license. Come join her at http://www.becoming3lectric.com
Dr. Ernest Morrell is the Macy Professor of English Education and the Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME) at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is also a Past-President of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). For twenty years, Dr. Morrell has worked with adolescents using popular culture and participatory action research to promote academic and critical literacy development, civic engagement, and college access. Morrell is author of eight academic books and numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries.
Dr. Sara Kajder is a faculty member in Language and Literacy Education at The University of Georgia, a writer, and consultant to k-12 school systems across the US. Having spent the past two years teaching middle school English in Pittsburgh, PA, Dr. Kajder currently is a Professor in Residence at Burney Harris Lyons Middle School. Her most recent research examines secondary English teacher practices and adolescent literacy identities as they are constructed in dialogue with uses of digital tools and social media. Amongst many peer-reviewed articles and books, she is the author of Adolescents and Digital Literacies, the 2012 Recipient of the NCTE Britton Award. Dr. Kajder is the immediate past chair of the Middle Level Section of NCTE and, beginning in the Fall of 2015, will co-edit the NCTE journal, Voices from the Middle.
Dr. Hannah Gerber is an associate professor in the Department of Language, Literacy, and Special Populations at Sam Houston State University. Her scholarship focuses on the ecologies and pedagogies afforded through video-gaming practices among adolescents. She is the author of forthcoming books Gaming in the New Library: Learning Beyond the Stacks (Abrams & Gerber, VOYA Press) and Conducting Qualitative Research of Learning in Online Spaces(Gerber, Abrams, Curwood, & Magnifico, Sage) and the edited volume Building Literate Connections Through Video Games and Virtual Environments: Practical Ideas and Connections (Gerber & Abrams, Sense Publishers). She is the founding co-editor of the Sense book series Gaming Ecologies and Pedagogies.