Information is Always Evolving

The video below was made in 2007, the same year the term Transliteracy was coined by Production and Research in Transliteracy (PART).  It was created by Dr. Michael Wesch to show the way we find, house, and share information was changing.

Now in 2010, the video and its content are still relevant  This video really shows how the transliterate individual can do so much with the access to information we now have.  In addition to this, the video shows a clear need to educate people on how to transverse this now limitless sea of information. I think that this is where Participatory Librarianship and Transliteracy go hand in hand.  We need to understand how to help or patrons, students, friends, family, and colleagues become cognizant and comfortable with the tools they will need to communicate and collaborate with others.

Visual Learning and Mind Mapping


Visual Learning & Mind Mapping was created and originally presented by Roger Hannon and Kaitlyn Mesley of Adult Learning Centres Grey-Bruce-Georgian for Transliteracy Conference 2010 in Owen Sound, Ontario. These videos give you a great visual representation of mind mapping, immersive learning, and how we are primarily visual learners. They also go into explaining how to use Power Point and mental models to educate adult learners.

These presentations will give you some great tools and ideas for your adult technology/non-technology programs and help you understand how they learn and retain information.

Clay Shirky Discusses the Emergence of New Literacies

Clay Shirky responds to Nicholas Carr’s assertion that “the Internet is making us dumber” with his essay, “Does the Internet Make You Smarter” in the Wall Street Journal. Shirky thoughtfully makes the case that we are living in a transitory period in which new forms of reading and writing are emerging as well as evolving meanings of “literacy.”

Every increase in freedom to create or consume media, from paperback books to YouTube, alarms people accustomed to the restrictions of the old system, convincing them that the new media will make young people stupid. This fear dates back to at least the invention of movable type.

This essay can help educators and librarians better conceptualize the scale of change and provides insights into the paradigm shift we are experiencing in how we define literacy.

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

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
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