Everything Old Is New Again – Week 1 Response to Readings

New Literacies Graphic

The required reading for week one of Learning with Digital Stories was the first chapter of Knoble & Lankshear’s  The New Literacies Sampler.  I was at first surprised to find that we were reading a text that was 10 years old on a subject that seems a new phenomenon.  My second surprise was that this text, written before YouTube and Facebook, was very relevant, and examples of new literacies mentioned such as online gaming, fan fiction, music remixing, weblogging, etc. have exploded in popularity and are much more integrated into our lives in 2016 than they were in 2006.

The New Literacies Sampler takes a socioculture perspective on examining how people make meaning and understand reading and writing.  It contends that literacies are social practices and the way we interpret literacies has much to do with the way we interpret the world as well as the common discourses we regularly participate in.   Lankshear and Knoble define “new” literacies in terms of not just the new technologies which allow us access to more information, etc., but that to be truly “new” the literacy must contain elements of both what they call “ethos stuff” meaning they contain elements that are collaborative, participatory and less expert-based than “old” literacies.

This week I have begun an audio book for my interest driven readings called The Confidence Code by Katy Kay and Claire Shipman. At first I was having difficulty understanding how my audio book, which was simply one of those “old” literacies translated into a new form, could give me any insight into sampling new literacies.  But as I considered this further I realized that these new literacies have become so ingrained into my every day practice of learning and experiencing, that I had simply missed these connections.  Yes, my audio book was written by authors with expertise in their fields, contains scientific research and was originally published by a publishing house.  But as I considered further how I was really participating with this text, it occurred to me that, not only was I really finding time to enjoy it because I was able to listen to it on my phone while walking and jogging (multi-tasking), but also that I began following the authors on Twitter, that I looked up their website where I was able to not only read their ongoing blog, but take a confidence quiz and get further information based specifically on my score, but also searched them on facebook and participated in discussions with other fans of the work.

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Merging a lifetime in the arts and over 15 years in marketing and communications with a passion for learning and helping others learn, I take pride in striving to design online and blended learning experiences which engage thoughtful reflection, improve performance and motivate and excite learners … or at least make compliance training a little less painful :)

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