Response to L&K – Week1, Chapter 1: From ‘reading’ to ‘new’ literacies

new Literacies

New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel, is divided into 3 parts;

  • Part 1: New Literacies: Concepts and Theory
  • Part 2: New Literacies: Some Everyday Practices
  • Part 3: New Literacies and Social Learning

Below is my response to Chapter 1, which falls under Part 1.

In order for us to get to ‘new’ literacies, we need to first think about the basic definition of literacy. When a person initially thinks about literacy, we think of having the ability to read and write. In order to survive on a day to day basis, a person needs to have a minimum level of literacy. This chapter introduces literacy and how it came to be at the forefront of educational policy, practice and research by the 1980’s. Lankshear and Knobel discussed five reasons that have been linked to this change over time, to help the reader get a better picture of how literacy went from just having the ability to read and write to SO MUCH MORE.

Literacy is now very broad, no longer being as simple as being able to read and write. It has evolved to where anything that has educational value can be, in part, perceived as literacy. It can used as a metaphor for being functional in something, competent or proficient, such as ‘Computer Literate’. As technology advances, literacy will too continue to broaden.

Prior to reading this chapter, or even signing up for this course, I don’t think I consciously thought about literacy or digital storytelling. Sure I had a few accounts on social media networks, but I never really thought about how contributing to those accounts told my digital stories. I would say that I am not very ‘Social Network Literate’. Most of the sites confuse me and I have avoided them because I was intimidated, still am but I’m trying, by their vastness. After reading this chapter, how I would have defined ‘digital storytelling’ has definitely expanded. A digital story can be a simple post on Facebook or it can be a running blog. Digital images, cartoon, videos also tell stories. My previous definition was limited to text, to formal published articles. I didn’t realize that a persons online footprint no matter how small or large told their digital stories. Perhaps if I had participated more in social posting, my definition would have grown on its own, but having read this chapter and thinking about where literacy started and now where it is, I am able to see the educational aspects of participating in this world.

I’m now curious about how my online presence will grow. How I will use technology to learn and understand these ‘new literacies’ and watch them evolve again as social practices change. I am still intimidated by the thought of using animation, video, and audio to produce digital stories, mostly because I don’t have very much experience with using the different types of software tools, but I’m starting to become interested in the possibility of what I could create.

Having read this chapter and as I read through the rest of this book, I’m sure I will continue to gain a better understanding of ‘new literacies’ and how they are changing our world. This is just the first week of this course and already I have become to an extent Blogging, Twitter, and ds106 literate. Can’t wait for Chapter 2: Literacies: Practice, Discourse, and encoded texts.


5 thoughts on “Response to L&K – Week1, Chapter 1: From ‘reading’ to ‘new’ literacies

  1. Amelia – welcome to the journey! It’s exciting to read that you’re beginning to experiment with new tools, eager to develop new skills, and possibly shifting toward establishing new learning dispositions. An objective of our course is the development of individual and shared literacies practices – and whether those are socially, technologically, or pedagogically mediated – and to then leverage these practices in service of (digital) storytelling. It’s nice for me to read that your definitions are expanding through experience and engagement with literature – I hope the remainder of our course continues to inspire such expansion and, ultimately, expression.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m nervous about learning new processes to create too. Might I add that you check out Audacity ( before we head into Week 2. It’s a free open-source audio editing program that is rather easy to use in my experience. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that can help teach you how to edit sound. Anyway, as you continue to become more literate with social media, I think it is worth reflecting of the “three dimensional model” of literacy as written in New Literacices, page 18. First, there’s the operational dimension, which I think you will become more familiar with as you play around with social media, but there is also the cultural and critical dimensions. Thinking about this could be a good weekly reflection – just an idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Amelia,
    I was close to your same boat before starting this course. I wasn’t really aware of what a ‘digital story’ was either, even though I am an avid Facebooker! I took a class a few summers ago about teaching kids about their digital footprint and I never really got the connection until now…your digital stories directly impact your digital footprint. I too was never a blogger or a Twitter user and yet here we are! From what I have seen so far, it looks like we have a lot of competent classmates that will be able to help us along the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I found your comments about Chapter one to be similar to what I was thinking. This class for me is so confusing because I do not use social media much at all. I started a Twitter account maybe 4 years ago and used it one time. I have also sort of avoided the whole social media craze. Now that I have a blog I tell EVERYONE about it and I force people to read it. I am slowly warming up to the idea of twitter. Great to know someone else in this class feels the same way!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Amelia,
    What I liked about your response is how personal it was. You’re pretty brave to step right up and describe how much of a beginner you are. You have literacy, story, and social networking all stewing in your brain, which is good. Mitchell’s advice above is excellent – keeping the three dimensions of literacy in mind as you employ digital media.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s