Affinity Spaces and Ecologies of Practice: Digital Composing Processes of Pre-service English Teachers


  • Patrick Howard Cape Breton University



Digital media, Literacy, New Literacies


English educators are responsible for preparing pre-service and in-service teachers to consider the ways in which people engage in meaning making by using a variety of representation, interpretive and communication systems. Today new technologies are radically changing the types of texts people create and interpret even as they are influencing the social, political and cultural contexts in which texts are shared. This research project was designed to immerse pre-service English education students in the creation of multimodal, multimedia texts as part of a digital composing workshop. For the purposes of this paper, three student experiences were drawn from a group of twelve pre-service English education students participating in the project. Each student represents a unique experience from which we may draw insight and direction as English educators. Despite the ever present barriers to integrating afterschool (Prensky, 2010) literacy practices into traditional schools and to ensure what we are teaching has the important element of “life validity” ( Mills, 2010) and reflects the evolving socio cultural literacy practices of contemporary society, English educators  must provide authentic, engaging opportunities for pre-service teachers to learn about and through multimedia, multimodal digital technologies.

Author Biography

Patrick Howard, Cape Breton University

Patrick Howard is an Associate Professor of Education at Cape Breton University. His research interests are in teacher education, hermeneutic phenomenology and the intersections between eco-criticism and education for sustainability.




How to Cite

Howard, P. (2014). Affinity Spaces and Ecologies of Practice: Digital Composing Processes of Pre-service English Teachers. Language and Literacy, 16(1), 34–52.