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Teaching & curriculum professor heads to Indonesia on Fulbright Scholar award

Warner School Professor Headed to Indonesia on Fulbright Scholar Award
Jayne Lammers to focus on the digital literacy practices of Indonesian students

Jayne C. Lammers, associate professor in teaching and curriculum at the Warner School of Education, is the recipient of a prestigious Fulbright Scholar award for 2019-20. Drawing on her expertise with literacies research and qualitative methods, Lammers will conduct research on the digital literacy practices of adolescents in Indonesia starting in the fall.

The Fulbright award will take Lammers to State University of Semarang/Universitas Negeri Semarang (UNNES) for five months to explore students’ interest-driven digital literacies and online practices. She will use her research findings to help inform Indonesian teachers and teacher educators about the technology use of their students.

Lammers will travel to Indonesia in August to begin her research, which will include a qualitative study among students from three public middle schools and four public high schools located near UNNES. As part of her Fulbright research experience, Lammers will continue an ongoing collaboration she has developed with Warner alumna Puji Astuti ‘16W (PhD), an Indonesian English as a Foreign Language (EFL) researcher and faculty member at UNNES. Together, they will collect data through surveys, interviews, and youth-directed guided tours of the online spaces they frequent to understand students’ digital literacy practices in their everyday lives.

As the world becomes more digitally connected, Lammers sees the Fulbright opportunity as essential to addressing not only an educational need in Indonesia but also globally. Most of the research to understand digital literacy, she explains, has been derived from studies conducted in Western countries, such as the United States, Europe, and Australia. She hopes her work in Indonesia will help to expand knowledge with participation from a broader range of cultural contexts, beyond the knowledge derived from Western research.

“My goal is to take what we learn about Indonesian youth’s use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to help teachers and teacher educators make classroom-based literacy instruction more relevant to young people in Indonesia,” says Lammers. “I believe with the opportunity to bring Indonesian perspectives into the Western scholarly conversation and understanding of digital literacies, we will honor the way that Indonesian youth engage in our connected global community.”

While in Indonesia, Lammers will also organize and offer academic writing workshops and mentorships at the host institution to help create a more collaborative, supportive editorial environment for faculty in the English department. She will adapt a model of writing camps, an informal gathering of scholars to work on professional writing projects, that she has helped to create and facilitate in Rochester. She will also be giving lectures at local universities and will deliver the keynote address at the 8th UNNES International Conference on English Language Teaching, Literature, and Translation.

Lammers, who has been at the Warner School since 2011, studies adolescent literacy learning, especially in online contexts. She has been working to help English teacher candidates shape literacy classrooms into vibrant, student-centered learning spaces where online/offline and in-school/out-of-school boundaries get blurred, and students are designing literacies that prepare them for 21st-century futures. Lammers adds, “Indonesia represents a unique opportunity for me to deepen and broaden my understanding of digital literacies by giving me a global perspective informed by Indonesian youth.”

Lammers is committed to sharing the findings of her Fulbright research in literacy and technology journals read by Indonesian and international audiences. Additionally, results will be disseminated by Lammers and Astuti at international scholarly conferences, both in the Asian-Pacific region and back in the U.S..

The Fulbright Scholar award lengthens Lammers’ list of accomplishments. As an associate director of the Warner School’s newest center, known as the Center for Learning in the Digital Age, she leads initiatives in digital literacy and informal online learning and works to build graduate students’ capacity to conduct research in online spaces. Since coming to Warner, Lammers has taken a leadership role in school-wide efforts to create online course offerings for Warner students, to create programs to prepare high-quality online instructors, and to prepare classroom teachers and school leaders who can engage in digitally-rich teaching practices. She has led efforts to put together a series of events on this topic that are open to faculty and staff across the university. In 2017, she received the University of Rochester’s G. Graydon ’58 and Jane W. Curtis Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Nontenured Member of the Faculty.

The Fulbright Scholar award program is the flagship United States academic exchange effort, administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars on behalf of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. Applications for the 2020-21 academic year are now open.