Beyond ‘New’ Literacies, A Special Themed Issue from Digital Culture & Education

Digital Culture & Education latest issue looks beyond “new” literacies.  DCE is an international inter-disciplinary peer-reviewed journal, that is interactive, open-access web-published journal is for those interested in digital culture and education. It is apparent right from the introduction by Dana J. Wilber that this is a must read for anyone interested in transliteracy

In fact, new literacies change so quickly, they can be thought of as deictic, or dependent on the context on which they are used at the moment they are used (Leu et al. 2004, p. 1591): “Today, technological change happens so rapidly that the changes to literacy are limited not to technology, but rather by our ability to adapt and acquire the new literacies that emerge”. Deixis, a linguistic term, relates to words such as “now” or “here”, that are understood completely in context – what is “now” means something completely different five minutes later from when it was first uttered. From a research standpoint, deixis means we must research and understand new literacies as they are happening, as users adopt new technologies and make them a part of their lives. These new literacies span the multiple spaces—education, family, leisure, private, public, work—of our lives, and are embedded in our daily activities (Coiro et al., 2008). New literacies change faster than traditional literacies because of the rapidity of technological change; what it means for someone to be a Facebook user now may be very different two days or two weeks from now, as changes to the technology or to the user’s life occur.

This special issue, entitled “Beyond new literacies,” seeks to broaden the conversation around new literacies research by extending the possibilities to include multiple lenses and research perspectives. Here we mean “beyond” as “in addition to” – in the sense of adding to the conversation between new literacies research and other theoretical and methodological frames that will enrich the study of new literacies. It is a call to augment a complex field. As Coiro et al (2008, p. 12) write in the Handbook of Research on New Literacies: Research questions on the new literacies of the Internet and other digital technologies take place in contexts that are far too complex and too rich for any single perspective to account for all that is taking place. We believe that to understand these new literacies will collectively require us to bring multiple sets of perspectives to research on new literacies.

Even better because it is open access all of these article are available online for you to read!

  • The Language Of Webkinz: Early Childhood Literacy In An Online Virtual World
  • Classroom Uses Of Social Network Sites: Traditional Practices Or New Literacies?
  • Talking Past Each Other: Academic And Media Framing Of Literacy
  • Education Remix: New Media, Literacies, And The Emerging Digital Geographies
  • Digital Technologies And Performative Pedagogies: Repositioning The Visual
  • Improvable Objects And Attached Dialogue: New Literacy Practices Employed By Learners To Build Knowledge Together In Asynchronous Settings

Free Readings on New Media for Your Kindle Device or Kindle App

Helping Educators Learn About New Media Practices

Although the book,  Teaching Tech-Savvy Kids Bringing Digital Media Into the Classroom, Grades 5-12, highlighted in these  interviews by Henry Jenkins with author Jessica Parker and additional contributors is geared toward educators, the conversations and content are also applicable to librarians who work with youth in a public or school library setting.   You can read both Part 1 and Part 2 of Henry Jenkins’ interview on his blog, Confessions of an Aca-Fan. Here is a short excerpt from Part 1 of the interview:

With regard to new media practices making youth less literate, it’s a version of an old argument that surfaces every time there’s a new wave of practice. Each new wave of media practices encounters resistance. Literary scholar, Nina Baym (2006), chronicles magazine and journal articles from the early 1800’s in which editors asserted the need for reviewers to exercise surveillance and provide direction to the newly literate masses who had taken up the habit of reading fiction. Novels were dangerous! There was a similar kind of backlash in response to comic books. If anyone had taken that criticism seriously we would never have the incredible array of graphic novels we enjoy today.

As Henry Jenkins has pointed out, the critical change in the latest of the new literacies is that of convergence. The problem with “either/or” thinking with regard to traditional and digital literacy is that it fails to capture the experiences of youth. The child who is reading a novel from a traditional text, or listening to it on her ipod, downloading it onto her e-book, and visiting a website where she can play a game as a character from the book, participate in a forum discussion, and answer challenge questions, is transforming the practices of reading and writing. The sad fact is that she is not allowed to bring her e-book to school, even though some of her classmates wear outfits that cost more than her Kindle. She only sees a computer when her teacher beats out the thirty other teachers attempting to sign-up for the school’s only computer lab on Wednesday, after lunch. Though at home she rarely writes with a pen, during the school day it is the only tool she is allowed to use in most of her classes. Even her cell phone must be kept in her locker or it will be confiscated.

Chapters in the book include:

1. Understanding Youth and New Media

2. Hanging Out With Friends: MySpace, Facebook and Other Networked Publics

3. YouTube: Creating, Connecting and Learning Through Video

4. Wikipedia: The Online Encyclopedia Based on Collaborative Knowledge

5. Role Playing: Writing and Performing Beyond the Classroom

6. Virtual Worlds: Designing, Playing and Learning

7. Remix Culture: Digital Music and Video Remix, Opportunities for Creative

8. Conclusion

You can also join the website/social network  for the book for supporting content and discussions related to the themes of the text:

Free Webinar: Collective Intelligence with Henry Jenkins

from the New Media Literacies Community Site:

For the 3rd in this 8-part series, we will explore the new media literacy collective intelligence, and its relevance to educational practices. Leading this in-depth discussion will be renowned media scholar, USC’s Provost’s Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts, and author, Henry Jenkins. Be ready to participate!  This webinar is scheduled for April 15, 2010 at 7PM EST/4PM PST.

In addition to the white paper, take a look at our featured videos to get an idea of how collective intelligence is used.

Also, check out these Challenges in theLearning Library to explore other’s understanding of the skill:

Monkeys on Typewriters: http://www.newmedialiteracies.org/library/#/challenge/69

Swimming in Pools of Knowledge: http://www.newmedialiteracies.org/library/#/challenge/129

Chains of Thought: http://www.newmedialiteracies.org/library/

Also, save the date for  June 10, 2010 at 7pm EST / 4pm PST : Transmedia Navigation!

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