Computational Literacies Lab

Reading Journal

Keep a running log of your reading responses using a social digital medium. A required component of this assignment is some interaction as author and as audience with other students or an outside community. Summarize your reading and writing in this course with a closing reflection.

The reading journal functions as both a formative and as a summative assessment. This is a place to work through ideas you encounter in the readings, connecting them to your past experience and using them to articulate how your identity as an educator is growing and changing. The reading journal is also a place to participate in computational literacy and to reflect on the experience.


Choosing the format of your reading journal, and leaning into this choice, is a big part of the assignment. The journal should belong to some recognizable genre of digital media. It's up to you whether you want to make this yourself or use an existing tool, whether you want to share your journal with your classmates or more broadly to your public(s), and to what extent you want to bind your voice to your existing identities. The only requirement is that Chris has to be able to access your journal in some reasonable way which doesn't include making a Facebook account.

If you decide you want to explore a more technically-involved medium (e.g. writing your own website from scratch) I will support you.

Assessment criteria

I will be reading and responding regularly to your journal, and will also provide holistic assessment twice during the semester.

  • Engagement with readings. Substantial and specific reference to ideas in each week's readings, generally including specific quotations. It is not necessary to summarize readings or respond to every ideas, but the ideas you take up should be put in accurate context of the text and of other relevant texts exploring those ideas.
  • Literacy participation. Your journal actively engages with its medium to shape how you develop and present ideas, structure your content, engage with others, and author an identity in context. Exploration is encouraged.
  • Trajectory of thought. Your reading journal builds on itself, making connections between posts and noting where and when your thinking is changing.


This assignment is a good opportunity to learn some medium you wanted to learn anyway--whether for your work as a scholar, to grow as a teacher, or for purely personal enjoyment. A few channels you might consider:

  • If you're interested in the possibilities of teaching and learning with youth media, consider TikTok, Discord, or whatever has probably already taken their place.
  • Interactive storytelling? I've got an app for that.
  • If you're interested in media politics, look into IndieWeb and Mastadon, or new-retro genres like NeoCities.
  • Digital extensions of print media have interesting possibilities: Web comics? Zines?
  • What about counter-storying a genre oriented toward other purposes? A Minecraft reading journal? What about Tinder?
  • Feeling posthuman? Dive into VR, let us know what's going on in Meta, or churn out some NFTs.
  • It's also perfectly fine to blog, tweet, tumbl, etc.

If you have more ideas, please share them and I'll update this list.