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.

Digital Citizenship for the Real World

Learn how one of my Media 21 students, Nolan, connected our study and use of Creative Commons licensing for a research project to his passion for photography and his work being featured in an iPhone app in this guest post from Nolan at my blog, The Unquiet Librarian.

Free Webinar Tonight: Transmedia Navigation

from the New Media Literacies network:

Join us on Wednesday, June 9, 2010 at 7PM–8:30 PM EST for an in-depth panel discussion about Transmedia Navigation led by Henry Jenkins and joined by Mark Warshaw (The Alchemists, LA and Brazil) and Clement Chau (DevTech Research Group, Tufts University). The goal of this session is to help educators better understand about transmedia navigation and the value it can have in learning.

This free webinar, hosted via Elluminate, can be accessed by clicking here. The session will be recorded and archived for those who cannot attend this learning session live.

Libraries and the New Media Ecosystem

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has posted a presentation by Lee Rainie which he gave at the Catalonian Library Association’s biennial meeting and to librarians at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. The site posts not only the slides but also a transcript of the presentation.

In this presentations, Rainie describes how the information ecosystem has changed in the past 10 years. In doing so, he points to many interesting and informative facts, such as how in 2000, 46% of American adults used the Internet compared to 75% in their most recent study and how less that 10% of people worked in the cloud in 2000 compared to more than two-thirds today.

But the crux of his presentation is his more philosophical description of the 8 ways that the Media Ecosystem has changed.  Although he does not specifically refer to transliteracy in his presentation, he does outline the challenges presented to technology users who are now faced with more outlets to gain and to give information via a greater variety of media.

The 8 changes he discusses are:

  • The growth of the volume of information
  • The increase in the variety and visibility of information at its creators
  • The impact on people’s use of time and attention
  • The increase in the velocity of information
  • The changing nature and availability of information venues
  • The compelling vibrance of virtual environments
  • The improved relevance of information results
  • The participatory nature of information exchanges

Teaching New Media Literacies with Blogfolios and Multimedia Presentations

Jason Ohler talks looks at changes in literacy, digital storytelling and the challenges and opportunities for teaching in New-Media Literacies: Don’t be so text-centric; experiment with the media technologies your students use

Being literate in a real-world sense means being able to read and write using the media forms of the day, whatever they may be. For centuries, consuming and producing words through reading and writing and, to a lesser extent, listening and speaking were sufficient. But because of inexpensive, easy-to-use, and widely available new tools, literacy now requires being conversant with new forms of media as well as text, including sound, graphics, and moving images. In addition, it demands the ability to integrate these new media forms into a single narrative, or “media collage,” such as a Web page, blog, or digital story.

The capabilities and options provided by the social help expand communication from an outward facing solitary broadcast to a community, collaborative exercise.

Since the advent of the Web, expression has shifted toward including social, rather than strictly individual, kinds of communication. Traditional essays remain vitally important, but they now co-exist with new media within the context of a “social web,” often referred to as Web 2.0, which permits collaborative narrative construction and publication through blogs and services like MySpace, Google Docs, and YouTube.

He incorporates these new ideas into the classroom by having students manage blogfolios and create two multimedia presentations.

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