Catherine Beavis–March 16, 2014

                            DR. CATHERINE BEAVIS

Catherine Beavis, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia

Catherine Beavis, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia


Living in a Digital World:
Literacy, Learning and Videogames

March 16, 2014
7:00 p.m. Eastern time zone/New York/USA

Dr. Catherine Beavis is a Professor of Education in the School of Education and Professional Studies.  Her research interests focus on the changing nature of text and the implications for literacy, education and schooling of young people’s engagement with digital culture and the online world. Dr. Beavis conducts research in the areas of English curriculum, pedagogy and assessment; digital culture and computer games; digital literacy and new literacies and games-based learning. She has numerous publications including Digital Games: Literacy in Action (2012),  Literacy in 3D: An integrated perspective in theory and practice  (2012), and Doing Literacy Online: Teaching, Learning, and Playing in an Electronic World (2004). She has undertaken numerous research projects focused on English education, and on literacy, digital culture, young people and computer games.  Her current  Australian Research Council Project is entitled, Serious Play: Using digital games in school to promote literacy and learning in the twenty-first century (2011-2014). Watch a co-presented lecture with Dr. Beavis and Joanne O’Mara discussing games as text and games as action, a model for thinking about critical games literacy developed in conjunction with Thomas Apperley.

Watch a co-presented lecture with Dr. Beavis and Jo O’Mara discussing games as text and games as action.

Literacy in 3D

Literacy in 3D

Dr. Beavis’s most recent co-edited publication (with Bill Green), Literacy in 3Dis a collection of exemplary essays,  each drawing on Bill Green’s influential ’3D’ model of the cultural, critical, and operational dimensions involved in literacy, pedagogy, and practice. The book is divided into three sections, which cover the model in theory, the model in practice, and extending the model. Literacy in 3D presents a core framework for curriculum and pedagogy design within the New Literacy Studies tradition. This integrated perspectives dynamic model emphasizes contemporary literacy dimensions and their interplay.

Digital Games: Literacy in Action

Digital Games: Literacy in Action

Dr. Beavis has also collaborated with Joanne O’Mara and Lisa McNiece to write Digital Games: Literacy in ActionDigital Games: Literacy in action is the result of a wide-ranging investigation into the educational possibilities involved in young people’s games. From their creation in the classroom to analysing games and the world of games as text, academics and teachers are now taking seriously the serious play of young people. The contributors use the interaction between the theoretical frameworks of games as text and games as action to explore a wide of range of issues relevant to the teaching of English and literacy. These include understanding games as media texts, the place of digital culture in young people’s lives, the narrative and visual design components of games, exploring concepts of role play and identity in games, the potential for games to engage disengaged students, and issues of gender and social interaction in game playing.

Dr. Beavis’s web seminar will address the way in which videogames have become a prominent feature of contemporary life, and for many young people are an integral and important part of their everyday lives. Game-play works across on and offline spaces and calls on knowledge and resources of many kinds, is often highly social, requiring players to work together or alone to solve problems, work out strategies and develop skills in order to play. Players need to interpret and respond to information of many kinds, presented in many forms, often in highly sophisticated ways. To be successful, games depend on players wanting to play, knowing how to play, and experiencing both challenges and satisfaction. Games need to teach players what to do and how to play, with the qualities and structures of games and of digital technologies well suited to teach players about complex interactions and processes. Game playing also calls upon and teaches a wide range of literacies and literacy practices, both traditional and those that call on multimodal elements such as images, movement and sound.  There is increasing interest in incorporating digital games of many kinds in schools, to teach Twenty First century literacies and engage Twenty First century learners. This presentation outlines some of the issues and questions that arise in relation to videogames, learning and literacy, and describes some of the ways in which digital games are being integrated into teaching and learning in Australian schools.

Access Dr. Beavis’s website.

Selected Publications

Beavis, C. (2014). Games as text, games as action., Journal of Adult and Adolescent Literacy, 57(6), 433-39.

Green, B. and Beavis, C. (2012). Literacy in 3D: An integrated perspective in theory and practice. ACER Press.

Doing Literacy Online

Doing Literacy Online

Snyder, I. & Beavis, C. (Eds) (2004). Doing Literacy online: Teaching, Learning and Playing in an Electronic World. Hampton Press, New Jersey.

Durrant, C. & Beavis, C. (Eds) (2001). P(ICT)ures of English, Teachers, Learners and Technology. Australian Association for the Teaching of English/Wakefield Press,

P(ITC)ures of English, Teachers, Learners and Technology

P(ITC)ures of English, Teachers, Learners and Technology


Green, B. & Beavis, C. (Eds) (1996). Teaching the English Subjects: Essays on English Curriculum History and Australian Schooling. Deakin University Press.

Laskey, L. & Beavis, C. (Eds),(1996). Schooling & Sexualities: Teaching for a Positive Sexuality, Deakin Centre for Education & Change.

Book chapters

Beavis, C. (2013) Multiliteracies in the Wild: Learning from computer games In Guy Merchant, Julia Gillen, Jackie Marsh & Julia Davies (Eds) Virtual literacies: interactive spaces for children and young people, London Routledge – Taylor and Francis pp.57-74

Green, B. and Beavis, C. (2013) Literacy Education in the Age of New Media. In  Kathy Hall, Teresa Cremin, Barbara Comber and Louis Moll: International Handbook of Research on Children’s Literacy, Learning and Culture. John Wiley and Sons pp. 42-53

Beavis, C. (in press) Online and Internet Based Technologies: Gaming. In Sarah Price, Carey Jewitt and Barry Brown [Eds]. Sage Handbook of Digital Technology Research,

Beavis, C. (in press) Games and Broadcast Language. In Constant Leung and Brian Street (Eds): The Routledge Handbook of English Language. London, Routledge

Beavis, C. (2013) Video Games and Electronic Media. In P. Albers, T. Holbrook and A. S. Flint (Eds) New Methods in Literacy Research (p. 210-223). London, Routledge

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