Response to L&K – Week 7, Chapter 8: Social learning and new literacies in formal education

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 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.

6 thoughts on “Response to L&K – Week 7, Chapter 8: Social learning and new literacies in formal education

  1. I like your comment about how simply learning online doesn’t make it social, it is what we do and how we interact with each other that makes that social aspect come to life. Though I’ve never met you face to face, I feel like I know you 🙂 Hopefully we’ll see each other in another class through this program!

    I also agree with how the last chapter really made it come to light why we are trying to join the larger ds106 community rather than keeping our projects specifically to our classmates. I always like it when I get a comment from someone outside our course. It makes me feel like I have a say and that my thoughts are being heard.

    Nice job!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Amelia,

    I enjoyed your final statement on how as the world changes, so must how we teach. I think this statement is important in understanding what we have been learning throughout the semester. Students are being introduced and are adapting to new technologies every day and how they think and process information is different from how students were learning years ago. My brothers and I only have a 10 year age difference and when I compared my educational experience to theirs, I am often mind blown. Change happens whether we like it or not, so I think it is important to understand this and adapt to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amelia, when I first started this degree program in August, I really struggled with the idea of social media and learning. I think the textbook, this course and all of its craziness drove it home for me. This is my seventh class and only the second time I truly felt the community sense of learning (the first was games and learning). A large part of the communal development came from the realization that we were all feeling and experiencing similar things. Many of our final reading responses express the same ‘aha’ moments!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amelia,
    Thank you for sharing your reflection of chapter eight. I appreciate that you shared your opinions about social learning. I feel that we have participated in a form of learning that was beneficial for our graduate program experience. I also believe that all forms of learning are important. I think that the social interaction (social learning) that we have shared in this course has greatly increased quality of our learning experience.

    I think that younger learners need to experience all forms of social learning (in person and online). I do not think that eliminating one form of learning for another would be helpful (example: all “push” or all “pull” learning). I believe that a balance between old and new literacies (based on learners needs) would be the best approach.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s kind of poetic that #DS106 exists. We are participants because of our enrollment in Digital Storytelling, but I think we all experienced that sense of invigoration once we started posting, responding, and parsing what DS106 has to offer. It’s something that I hope to keep up with far beyond the end of Digital Storytelling, and in that way I feel like it’s been able to cultivate a “love of learning” that many courses, both post-secondary and more, fail to do. That’s a long way of saying I agree with you about exposing more young learners to a balance of new social learning!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. […] The final chapter of L&K’s book really tied everything together for me. I could see that by having the class participate in ds106, our instructor Remi Holden, was just introducing us to a new world of learning and interacting with people and our fellow classmates. Remi’s  theories and methods used in teaching, or pedagogy is very much for his students to be hands on. To learn and do for themselves. To ask questions and interact with others to gain better understanding. We wouldn’t have been able to truly appreciate digital story-telling if he just told/lectured to us about it. Live it, experience it, mess up and move on. That is how we as a class learned about digital story-telling and why it is important.  L&K – Chapter 8 […]


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