1. Web 2.0 for Schools

"In the last five years, Web 2.0 applications - vast virtual worlds, multiplayer online games, social networking, and file sharing among them - have inspired new notions of what it might mean to be literate in the twenty-first century. While previous scholarship on Web 2.0 has focused on its social and recreational uses, this book explores its ability to enrich and transform the educational experience of children and young people. It discusses the opportunities and risks presented by this large-scale shift in popular engagement with new media, and uses illustrative vignettes to document the work of innovative educators who construct new ways of thinking and being around Web 2.0."
(Book synopsis)

Jennifer Rowsell's cover endorsement hits the nail on the head. Jennifer says:

"Blogs, Flickr, wikis, Second Life, memes - no stone is unturned in Julia Davies and Guy Merchant's roadmap to Web 2.0. From their clear and insightful look at digital epistemologies to the implications of new habits of mind for educational practice, Davies and Merchant have crafted a book that must sit on the bookshelf of every school and university faced with the challenge of twenty-first century literacies. Building on their own and other research and writing, Davies and Merchant provide us with a textured picture of how virtual worlds make us think and act."

2. Perceiving Play Enormous congratulations to Torill Mortensen on the publication of her new book, Perceiving Play: The Art and study of Computer Games. Having had the good fortune to read this book in manuscript form, we can unequivocally state that it's the best introduction to computer games theorising and research available! Avid academic games scholars are going to find the scope of the book engaging--and may encounter interesting new ways of theorising games and game play. computer game play and games research. And everyone interested in digital culture should read the book, anyway, to see how cleverly Torill addresses some major copyright issues she encountered in wanting to reproduce screen grabs from computer games in her text. Here's the blurb from the back of the book:

Computer games are increasingly prevalent, and cause both curiosity and concern in the general public, so understanding these games and play is important. Game researchers need to work quickly to document, report, and analyse the effect of computer games on our modern society as an increasing amount of people make new and drastically different choices in how they spend their time. Perceiving Play: The Art and Study of Computer Games looks at the directions and findings of this research, and examines how game research integrates the studies of social science, ethnography, textual analysis an criticism, economy, law and technology.

3. Making New Media: Creative Production and Digital Literacies

Almost a case of another day another title in the New Literacies series. Today we heard from our colleague Andrew Burn in London that his book, //Making New Media: Creative Production and Digital Literacies// is out.

Readers who are familiar with Andrew's work will know exactly what to expect -- an interesting and accessible book that achieves an impressive balance of theory and practice, description and analysis, and that is loaded with rich examples that ground the book in ways we can readily identify with.

"Making New Media offers a series of case studies from the author's work with students and teachers from the mid-90s to the present day, charting the dramatic rise of new media in schools. Work across a wide range of media is presented: computer animation, digital video and film, computer games and machinima. The author tackles the vital contemporary themes of literacy and creativity, making an innovative argument for the combination of traditions of social semiotics and cultural studies in the study of literacy and new media. This volume should be read by every undergraduate and graduate student, as well as any faculty member, involved with or interested in any aspect of new media".