Speaking and Hearing the new media literacies

This week as a content expert I wanted to spend some time looking into what are the new and emerging literacies that we associate with digital literacy and how do they connect to the classroom.

The first resource that I wanted to post about was “The New Media Literacies” which is a website that is committed to integrating media literacy into the classroom.  The video below talks about the need for a new set of skills to deal with our culture.  No longer are our students simply consumers of media, but we are entering a time where they are expected to be creators as well.  Many of them will want to add their mark to the media that they are using and consuming, which is different that how things were in the past.  They want to not simply create, but also to engage others in what they create.  For example, when I was younger I kept a journal, kids these days might keep a blog that they want the rest of the world to comment on, or a Facebook page where they might share pictures.


The website highlights as few of the emerging literacy skills that students will need for the future.  Out of the ten listed, there were a few that I think have had the greatest impact on me and my classroom.  One of the first skills was “judgement”, students are expected today to be able to navigate through various forms of media and use their critical thinking skills to determine the most appropriate response to that media.  It takes a tremendous amount of strategies and understanding to be able to make judgments like this on the web.  I think that often as adults we take for granted the ability to recognize “truth” and to determine the correct course of action.  As educators, and for students these days it is really trial by fire.  They are accessing and interacting perhaps before they realize the implications of what they are doing.

The other skill that I wanted to touch on was “appropriation.”  We have talked about this generations desire to create and recreate, or mix and remix as a form of expression.  Even for adults the lines of copyright and “original” are blurred with media cultures ability to take what is out there and interact with it or to create something different.  Many of us as educators often don’t expect kids to create in the same way that they are doing online.  Many assignments are focused around original thoughts or work, when really does that even exist anymore?


Photo Credit: inertia_tw via Compfight cc
This brings me to my last point that I wanted to address and that is the idea of “collective intelligence.”  Interacting on the web in this fashion is really the equivalent of group work on steroids.  The skills involved in contributing and connecting are really what we would have considered the higher levels of thinking and collaborating that is now more of an expectation than it was in the past.  We want our students to not just be bystanders to what they are seeing, but to actually and actively become involved in the collective understanding being developed.


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