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 8, which falls under Part 3.
This is my response to the final chapter in Lankshear and Knobel’s New literacies book. As I was reading the final chapter, I was reflecting on my journey through this semester and this course. The chapter goes on to discuss two cases of social learning and new literacies within formal education programs. Throughout reading these I couldn’t help but to compare these cases with my own social learning and new literacies in my formal master’s program offered through the University of Colorado Denver. This program I have selected to pursue is everything this chapter sums up. My master program is offered as a completely online program. I connect online with my instructor and classmates from the comfort of my home or office. For this reason I still have a hard time truly seeing the ‘social’ part of the learning as I have yet to meet face to face with any of the other students within my program. Oh wait, I have met face to face with one fellow student, but only because he and I worked at the same university, campus and in departments that worked closely together, but otherwise I would not have had face to face interactions with anyone in this program.
So having pointed this out, why do I still feel that this is social learning? Well because we are collectively learning the same material and supporting each other along the way. The act of being social no longer solely applies to being in the same geographic location and physical space. Having read through this New Literacies book by Lanshear and Knobel, I now have a much better understanding of this. As the world of learning and teaching evolves, so does the definitions of how those are accomplished. Simply learning things online doesn’t make it social, its the interactions in whatever form they come that do. Tweeting a message out to the world and having it become seen by others, commented on by others, liked by others, re-tweeted by others is what makes it social.
Higher education curriculum’s are seeing the value in offering programs that are different from the previous standard of teaching. Otherwise, this course wouldn’t exist nor would I as the student be sitting here typing my response to this chapter. Not only is higher education starting to adopt these new literacies within the programs they offer, but so are earlier levels. It’s becoming obvious that in order to meet the needs of these younger students and to prepare them for the world they will soon be apart of, they too must moved to curriculum’s that will give these students the skills and knowledge to succeed. As presented in this chapter, one case uses ‘gamelike learning’ to connect the demands of the world and the 21st century with how these students learn.
As the world changes, so must how we teach. This final chapter sums this up and the rest of the book took me through the journey of seeing this. I have been frustrated and confused practically this entire semester, because I didn’t understand social learning, new literacies and how they are being used to better prepare today’s learners for the world of tomorrow. I’m not saying this chapter suddenly brought this all into focus, because trust me I’m still learning, but summing up the book it has made me understand why we as a class participated as members of the ds106 community and why the different assignments were asked of us. In order to understand the importance of digital storytelling we must first understand the need and how these digital stories will be used.