Jill M. Castek
Jill Castek is Associate Professor in the department of Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies. Dr. Castek has a PhD from the University of Connecticut in Education Psychology emphasizing Cognition and Instruction with a focus on Literacy and Technology. She was a Neag fellow in the New Literacies Research Lab and completed a post-doc at the University of California, Berkeley working with the Learning Design Group at the Lawrence Hall of Science. A former teacher and literacy specialist, Jill has over a decade of experience working to support striving readers and English language learnings in the Bay Area of California.
Dr. Castek works collaboratively with multidisciplinary colleagues from across the University of Arizona on Technology Enhanced Language Learning (TELL). She is affiliate faculty with the Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT) program – an innovative graduate interdisciplinary program that includes over 79 faculty members from 17 academic departments. Drawing from theories on literacy and language, as well as research from education, new literacies, and new media scholars, her courses address the intersection of literacy and technology and examine the development of literate capacities, both in print and digital form, in classrooms and beyond them.
Dr. Castek’s research explores digital literacies, learning, and collaboration. She co-edits a column in the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (JAAL) focused on digital literacies for disciplinary learning. Her work in disciplinary literacies explores how reading, writing, communicating, and collaborating digitally can support language development, knowledge building, and STEM learning. She supports efforts to affect digital equity and digital inclusion for all individuals and is active in designing learning environments and implementing supports for diverse learners through partnerships with a range of educational and community-based organizations.
Dr. Castek is the Principal Investigator on a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) focused on library patrons’ digital problem solving. This research is designed to improve library practices, programs, and services for adult library users—especially economically vulnerable and socially isolated adults, seniors, English learners, and others lacking basic digital literacy skills and builds on a three year study focused on the digital literacy acquisition process also funded by IMLS.
Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Arizona, Jill was a Research Assistant Professor and Director of the Literacy, Language, and Technology research group at Portland State University. She contributes regularly to the Digital Literacy Acquisition and Equity Research Hub as well as Literacy Beat.