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.