Home > education, reflective practice, technology > Here’s to you Marshall McLuhan

Here’s to you Marshall McLuhan

Today at the New Literacies Institute our keynote, Donald Leu, spoke to us about his work with literacy and technology. Afterword we broke into groups where we generated our own definition of “new” literacies, and were asked to come up with a visual representation of our definition. Although it was meant to generate some conversation around the topic of the institute, I found myself wondering if there really is such a thing as new literacy. Isn’t literacy just literacy?

Kevin H in his post to our Ning stated some things that are helping me to make the distinction. According to him, new literacies allow for more interaction between the reader and the writer, or at least more visible interaction. Now, readers can respond directly to the writer. I also think that new literacy involves understanding this interaction, and recognizing how one viewer’s perspective can be dramatically different from another. There is no truth, just our interpretation of events. Just look at the tweets from today’s session to see what I mean. (#nli10)

Perhaps it comes down to this, digital literacy is media literacy, but it is an evolving media, one that is no longer static and easy to categorize by simple definitions. If we want our students to be critical users rather than merely consumers of information we need to teach them to recognize the layers of meaning inherent in all messages, regardless of the medium.

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