The New Media Literacies from USC

Project New Media Literacies was established at MIT Comparative Media Studies and now housed at USC’s Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism.  The project is led by Henry Jenkins III, Erin B. Reilly and Vanessa Vartabedian.

Participatory culture shifts the focus of literacy from one of individual expression to community involvement. The new literacies almost all involve social skills developed through collaboration and networking. These skills build on the foundation of traditional literacy, research skills, technical skills, and critical analysis skills taught in the classroom.

The new skills include…

  • Play – the capacity to experiment with one’s surroundings as a form of problem-solving
  • Performance – the ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery
  • Simulation – the ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world processes
  • Appropriation – the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content
  • Multitasking – the ability to scan one’s environment and shift focus as needed to salient details
  • Distributed Cognition – the ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities
  • Collective Intelligence - the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others toward a common goal
  • Judgment – the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources
  • Transmedia Navigation – the ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities
  • Networking – the ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information
  • Negotiation – the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms
  • Visualization – the ability to interpret and create data representations for the purposes of expressing ideas, finding patterns, and identifying trends

from Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century, by Henry Jenkins, with Ravi Purushotma, Katherine Clinton, Margaret Weigel, and Alice J. Robison

The site also includes resources like  Reading in a Participatory Culture

The Teachers’ Strategy Guide: Reading in a Participatory Culture, offers strategies for integrating the tools, approaches, and methods of Comparative Media Studies into the English and Language Arts classroom. This guide is intended to demonstrate techniques which could be applied to the study of authorship in relation to a range of other literary works, pushing us to reflect more deeply on how authors build upon the materials of their culture and in turn inspire others who follow to see the world in new ways.

Mapping in a Participatory Culture

This online guide is related to mapping in a participatory culture. The framework provides the guidance and the strategies are illustrated through the resources, projects, ideas, and people profiled. It is not meant to be complete. It is meant to keep growing as technology and the needs of educators evolve. It is meant to be more aggregate than prescriptive.

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