I have read a superb article by Ibrar Bhatt and Roberto de Roock in “Research in Learning Technology”. It’s open access too.
These researchers have grappled with the challenges presented in ethnographically founded approaches to digital literacy events. We simultaneously want methods to do so much. We want to bring out the ‘big picture’, rejecting any idea that attention to text alone is sufficient without a greater understanding of context. And with broadly sociocultural understandings we have complex, dynamic ideas relating to “context” as shaping and shaped by, specific interactions. Yet we also know that to study any event closely, especially when considering humans interacting with one another in mediated online actions, demands attention to detail at forensic levels. A few seconds of data can take hours to collect and analyse.
Bhatt and de Roock have achieved what I would have thought impossible in just one article. They have illustrated, in considerable and helpful detail, methods of collecting data in digital literacy events using video and screen capture, within an overall commitment to ethnography. The concept of granularity of analysis is not new in itself, but it is hard to think of a more clearly and concisely explained approach than this. But far more than this they have also made a tremendous contribution to our theoretical understandings. I’ve been trying for some years to bring the ideas of Karen Barad on performative enactments together with Latour’s take on sociomateriality. It’s tragically easy to find failed drafts that went nowhere in my files!
In my opinion Bhatt and de Roock have nailed it. There’s no point my wasting your time in further describing their work when you could much more fruitfully engage with it directly.