Information literacy in a media-saturated world


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Lecture 1 for COM 103, Reinhardt University

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Information literacy in a media-saturated world

  1. 1. Dr. Pam Wilson COM 103 Reinhardt University January 19, 2011
  2. 2. What is literacy? <ul><li>Literacy  has traditionally been described as the ability to read and write. </li></ul><ul><li>But are those skills enough to be able to communicate effectively in the 21 st century? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why do we need to be literate? <ul><li>“ Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals , to develop their knowledge and potential , and to participate fully in their community and wider society .“ </li></ul>
  4. 4. So—what do we need to know to be “literate” in the 21 st century? What kinds of skills? <ul><li>If we expand “read” to mean interpret and understand , and </li></ul><ul><li>If we expand “write” to mean produce or create , </li></ul><ul><li>Then we can create a new definition of literacy for the 21 st century </li></ul>
  5. 5. The United Nations (UNESCO) defines literacy as <ul><li>the &quot;ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, compute and use printed and written materials associated with varying contexts.” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Questions about 21 st century media literacies (from media scholar Henry Jenkins) <ul><li>What does it mean to be &quot;literate&quot; and how has this changed in a world of new communication technologies? </li></ul><ul><li>What social skills and cultural competencies do young people need to be able to fully participate in the digital future? </li></ul><ul><li>What ethical choices do young people face as participants in online communities and as producers of media? </li></ul><ul><li>What can Wikipedia and Facebook teach us about the future of democratic citizenship? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Jenkins, continued <ul><li>How effective is YouTube at promoting cultural diversity? </li></ul><ul><li>How is learning from a video game different than learning from a book? </li></ul><ul><li>What do we know about the work habits and learning skills of the generation that has grown up playing video games? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is being left behind in the digital era and what can we do about it? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Michael Wesch, cultural anthropologist who studies Information and New Media Literacy <ul><li>A vision of students today </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Information R/evolution </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>The Machine is Us/ing Us </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  9. 9. Elizabeth Thoman and Tessa Jolls, “Media Literacy: A National Priority for a Changing World” (2004) <ul><li>The convergence of media and technology in a global culture is changing the way we learn about the world and challenging the very foundations of education. </li></ul><ul><li>No longer is it enough to be able to read the printed word; children, youth, and adults, too, need the ability to both critically interpret the powerful images of multimedia culture and express themselves in multiple media forms. </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Framework for media literacy [Thoman and Jolls] <ul><li>Who created the message? </li></ul><ul><li>What creative techniques are used to attract my attention? </li></ul><ul><li>How might different people understand this message differently than me? </li></ul><ul><li>What lifestyles, values, and points of view are represented in–or omitted from–this message? </li></ul><ul><li>Why is this message being sent? </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>(10 th grade project: overview) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Key aspects of media literacy <ul><li>Understanding the constructed nature of all media message s, and the fact that creative strategies and choices are always involved in producing any media message or text </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding how media work : providing gratification, setting agendas, cultivating worldviews, exercising ideological control </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding your roles as citizens, consumers and producers : how to be a critical consumer and producer and to use media to enhance your role as a citizen </li></ul>
  13. 13. But….it’s not all about being on the receiving end of messages (advertising, movies, books, magazines, radio, television, emails….)
  14. 14. <ul><li>According to a 2005 study, more than one-half of all teens have created media content, and roughly one third of teens who use the Internet have shared content they produced. </li></ul><ul><li>This number will be much higher today, don’t you think? </li></ul><ul><li>Have you created and shared media content? </li></ul>
  15. 15. How and where? <ul><li>Facebook (postings, photos) </li></ul><ul><li>You Tube (videos) </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Gaming </li></ul><ul><li>Audio/music </li></ul><ul><li>Comments on blogs and sites </li></ul><ul><li>…… </li></ul>
  16. 16. participatory cultures <ul><li>A participatory culture is a culture with relatively </li></ul><ul><li>low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement, </li></ul><ul><li>strong support for creating and sharing one’s creations, and </li></ul><ul><li>some type of informal mentorship (the most experienced help teach novices) </li></ul><ul><li>members believe their contributions matter, and feel some degree of social connection with one another (at the least they care what other people think about what they have created). </li></ul>Henry Jenkins
  17. 17. Forms of participatory culture <ul><li>Affiliations — memberships, formal and informal, in online communities centered around various forms of media, such as Friendster, Facebook, message boards, metagaming, game clans, or MySpace) </li></ul><ul><li>Expressions — producing new creative forms, such as digital sampling, skinning and modding, fan videomaking, fan fiction writing, zines, mash-ups) </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative Problem-solving — working together in teams, formal and informal, to complete tasks and develop new knowledge (such as through Wikipedia , alternative reality gaming, spoiling) </li></ul><ul><li>Circulations — Shaping the flow of media (such as podcasting, blogging) </li></ul>
  18. 18. New Media Literacies for Participatory Culture <ul><li>a set of cultural competencies and social skills that young people need in the new media landscape </li></ul><ul><li>shifts in focus of literacy from one of individual expression to community involvement </li></ul><ul><li>involve social skills developed through collaboration and networking, in addition to </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional reading/writing, research skills, technical skills, and critical analysis skills taught in the classroom. </li></ul>
  19. 19. The new media literacy skills include <ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Play — the capacity to experiment with one’s surroundings as a form of problem-solving </li></ul><ul><li>Performance — the ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery </li></ul><ul><li>Simulation — the ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world processes </li></ul><ul><li>Appropriation — the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content </li></ul><ul><li>Multitasking — the ability to scan one’s environment and shift focus as needed to salient details. </li></ul>
  20. 20. New media literacy skills, continued <ul><li>Collective Intelligence — the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others toward a common goal </li></ul><ul><li>Judgment — the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources </li></ul><ul><li>Transmedia Navigation — the ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities </li></ul><ul><li>Networking — the ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiation — the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms. </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>The New Media Literacies </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
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