multiliteracyrevolution

Archive for August, 2011

DMLcentral Resource / Beyond The New London Group

Posted by nicholaspelafas on August 26, 2011

The more time I spend on the web exploring this field, the more encouraged I am at the number of people thinking and writing about new literacies.  The field of multiliteracies is in the midst of a transformation that is pulling the discussion closer to our contemporary reality and beyond the original work of the New London Group published 15 years ago (which is eons in techno-time).  In the multiliteracy blogosphere as of late there is an increasingly popular trend to explore the linkages between education, civic participation, and multiliteracies.  It seems educators are simultaneously becoming more aware of the natural participatory potentiality of multiliteracies and the necessity of education to embrace widely used new medias.  This type of thinking comes from the conviction of many young teachers/students these days, namely that education must be the central tenant in the movement to realize social transformation and a civic re-imagining.

A great example of one of these web resources is DML central (dmlcentral.net), which stands for digital media and learning.  DML central is the online forum  for the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub located at the systemwide University of California Humanities Research Institute.  It is similar to what we were envisioning for this blog, but with much more funding and institutional direction – which is certainly a credit to what you can accomplish without those two things.  DML is a space where we can consciously consider the role of digital media in our society, and how we can best understand it and influence its usage via education.  While clearly digital interconnectivity is only part of the picture when it comes to transforming society and truly reforming education, DML ties it to praxis, stating its mission as wanting “to enable break-through collaborations and evoke illuminating conversations that lead to innovations in learning and public participation.”   Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Critical Perspectives, In the Classroom, Resources, Technology, The Arts, What is Multiliteracy? | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Web 3.0 Multiliteracies, Decentralized Learning, and other Bits

Posted by nicholaspelafas on August 22, 2011

Thanks for your post on Anonymous and The Contagious Continuum Natty, I think you are right to point out that it is the youth who are utilizing social media most and who also make up a lot of the force behind activist movements like Anonymous.  This shows us that their use of Multiliteracies is empowering and powerful in realms that extend from their educational experience into society at large.  I found an Anonymous related story at the NYTimes technology blog Bits (Business, Innovation, Technology, Society).

The NYTimes Bits blog (bits.blogs.nytimes.com) is a great resource for educators to keep up with technology related topics.  It helps understand some of the practical new technology students are likely to encounter via the marketplace, it highlights innovations in technology and how it’s changing, and it  frames critical issues about the impact of technology on society that can seed important discussions for students.

Recently a couple posts on the blog caught my eye that I though would be pertinent to share here.  The first post I noticed was by Steve Lohr titled ‘A Call To Rethink Internet Search’, and it talked about the future of the internet search and technology being able to understand ‘natural language’.   Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Critical Perspectives, In the Classroom, Resources, Social Networking, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Insurrections in the UK and Chile, Networked Social Praxis, and Multiliteracies

Posted by nicholaspelafas on August 11, 2011

There is a certain tension hanging precipitously in the air this month, as young people and teenagers, mobilize via facebook, twitter, and their blackberry messengers.  In London and other cities around England, rioters are engaged in seemingly random acts of vandalism, that interestingly coincide with serious downwards slippages in the global economy.  While in many cases there is only pretense of political motivations behind the law-breaking there, at the very least we can understand that there is a dynamic playing here between polarizing socio-economic inequality, perceptions of the irrelevance of the state, collective youth action, and the drives of a capitalist society.  Throw digital technology into the mix, and we have a situation where youth are using the multiliteracies that they didn’t learn how to use in schools, to translate socio-economic-material perceptions, collected via various media outlets, into extended networks of social praxis.

Networked Social Praxis, as I am calling it here, is the way that electronic networks aggregate and distribute information that is in turn combined with individual users’ complex personal experience in such a way that they are inspired to use that information to create new, externalized, and tangible experiences.  The real life events that occur as a result of this decision to mobilize one’s self or group, is then almost immediately fed back into the electronic network via multiliteracies.  As people increasingly access more networked experiences and share their own experiences with others, the more they can realize the scope of that reality which in turn prompts them to get involved.  While perhaps most ramifications of this are still unclear, we can note that the use of multiliteracies by young people in this case encourages expression (what kind?), participatory action (by what means?), and democratic cooperation (to what ends?).

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Critical Perspectives, Global Multiliteracy, Social Networking, Technology, The Media | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Multiliteracy defined pt. 2

Posted by nicholaspelafas on August 9, 2011

In the 2010 article by Dr. Carol Westby entitled, Multiliteracies: The Changing World of Communication, she offers a very straight forward look at how the scholarship is defining multiliteracies in 2010.  It provides a very good basic overview of the topic, and definently contributes to the growing lexicon surrounding multiliteracies.

The purpose of this article is to elaborate on the aspect of ‘multi-modal ways of making meaning’ as identified by the New London Group in their 1996 report A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing Social Futures, and to ‘explain the implications of this aspect of multiliteracies for [Speech Language Pathologists] and educators.’  The author gives examples of what some of todays multiliteracy-dependent media looks like, and expounds on its relationship to the skill identified by the New London Group called design (which in turn has three aspects: available designs, designing, and redesigned).   The author also gives educators and SLPs guidance on how they can promote multiliteracies in the classroom.

The article finishes with a short but interesting section on targeting multiliteracy skills for children with language disorders.  In this section she explores the idea of creating a Multiliteracy Map as developed by Dr. Susan Hill, who completed the report Mapping multiliteracies: Children of the new millennium, a project funded by the Australian Research Council investigating the use of new literacies by children aged 4-8 years.  She concludes by summarizing what is important about multiliteracies.  The article is worth a read, especially for students unfamiliar with the topic, as a basic introduction to multiliteracies.

Posted in In the Classroom, Resources, What is Multiliteracy? | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Lip Dubs: Yet Another Form of Literacy

Posted by mariamengel on August 8, 2011

It seems that the YouTube Lib Dub trend is catching on!  According to Wikipedia, a lip dub is “a type of video that combines lip synching and audio dubbing to make a music video”.

At JCC Camp By the Sea, children two years through grade ten attend summer camp in New Jersey and participate in several projects and athletic group activities.  One of their favorite projects includes a lib dub that all of the participants play a part in.  The students learn about lib dubbing, filming and editing videos, directing, mash ups, playing roles and drama, and music.  Here is one example of a lib dub created at JCC Camps, “The Ultimate Queen Mash Up“:

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Administration=Education

Posted by serovy1 on August 7, 2011

This is a post is a rant about the connection between administration and the quality of education.It could be argued that administrators “speak their own language in a sense, meaning, each has his or her own way of handling tasks and implementing new strategies for procedures which ultimately direct and dictate a student’s path. What I have come to find as a teacher, however is that administrative staff need to also be open to learning the language of their schools. It is infinitely important that an administrative officer immerse themselves into the culture of the school and try to work as a team along with fellow colleagues, students and staff. If this doesn’t happen, it creates a real distance between everyone. Students don’t get what they need, and teachers become frustrated with the lack of understanding in terms of how documentation and facility strategies form in conjunction with the demands of students and their learning objectives.The bottom line is that in order to solve this problem, everyone needs to communicate. More collaboration between staff means less referrals, more direct answers for students and less objections to new policies,since everyone’s needs would be considered. One way for this to happen is an increase in faculty meetings and discussion, but when daily tasks are so maxed to begin with, that may not always be possible. Thus, the potential for technology to aid in this communication between staff, teachers and students is huge. Online databases and social networking can open portals for schools that would help keep everyone informed, while offering an anonymous, open space for voicing opinions, ultimately creating more democratic, healthy learning environments where everyone is on the same page. Furthermore, it can all be done with utter CONVENIENCE. In conclusion, every school could benefit from the use of an online network.

Posted in Assessment & Policy, Critical Perspectives, Global Multiliteracy, In the Classroom, Social Networking, Technology, What is Multiliteracy? | Leave a Comment »

Music – the original multiliteracy – an ode

Posted by nicholaspelafas on August 7, 2011

[note on the 2pak track: this is the first lp by these new cats from chicago, with that traditional summertime chi-town boom-bap flav.  some of their rhymes are a little bit juvenile, but their flow is generally on point and production tight.  i chose this track because it came out a few weeks ago and deals with technology and online literacies in a very contemporary way that reflects both the shallow and deep ways youth are relating to these ideas.  make sure you check the 2nd verse @ 1:25 especially]

PEACE! Music, for me at least, has always been the original multiliteracy.  Although we seem to discount music as being less important that other literacies, I have always believed that music literacy could be just as beneficial, critical, reflective, motivating, creative, and complex as any other literacy.  Jazz, Reggae, Funk, Blues, Rock, and especially Hip-Hop have made crucial contributions to progress in the complexity of music literacy.  It is important to consider that, in a fashion parallel to multiliteracies, technology has played a central role in the evolution of music literacy.

I think music literacy in some degree should be required by all students.   Read the rest of this entry »

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ASL Multiliteracies as Critical Perspective

Posted by nicholaspelafas on August 6, 2011

In the Volume 10 No. 2 of the Sign Language Studies (Winter 2010), Kristin Snoddon published an article entitled Technology as a Learning Tool for ASL Literacy.  The article explores “how learning technology was incorporated as part of a study at the Ernest C. Drury School for the Deaf, Milton, Ontario, Canada….which is part of Early and Cummins’s (2002) cross-Canada project, From Literacy to Multiliteracies: Designing Learning Environments for Knowledge Generation within the New Economy.”  The project’s founding objectives were:

1. To explore ways of bringing students’ cultural and linguistic knowledge into the classroom as a foundation for overall literacy development;

2. To explore how technology can enhance students’ engagement with traditional literacy (reading and writing skills) and also pro- mote students’ expertise in “21st-century literacy skills.”

What is interesting about this article, besides demonstrating some of the ways technology was beneficial in the Drury School Study, was Ms. Snoddon’s critical discussion of the relationship between ASL Literacy and Technology. Read the rest of this entry »

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Formative Assessment

Posted by tricialauter on August 5, 2011

Looking for various examples of formative assessments, I have come across these two sites recently. To include multiliteracies into the curriculum and the 21st century classroom, there must be a restructuring of assessment. Summative assessments may have their place, but formative assessments provide “as you go” evaluation of a student’s learning-providing a clearer picture of what the student understands and how he or she can synthesize the information within their own lives. This can allow education to be intuitive to students’ needs. But as the burgeoning market of assessments have grown (along with NCLB), testing companies have found a way to package a truly summative assessment and label it formative. As Stephen and Jan Chappius (2008) state, “In reality, this level of testing is often little more than a series of minisummative tests, not always tightly aligned to what was taught in the classroom. There is nothing inherently formative in such tests—they may or may not be used to make changes in teaching that will lead to greater student learning.” Formative assessment is to be “on-going” and “dynamic”; creating an environment where teacher and student use the assessments to encourage further and deeper learning. Providing feedback on a continuous basis, and supporting the development of skills such as self-assessment, can transform a monolithic classroom into a classroom where student and teacher work together to improve learning. One way to provide this two way system is utilizing e-portfolios.

E-Portfolios (http://www.eportfolio.org/): A digital collection of pieces of work that are multimedia in form, e-portfolios allow interaction between the creator (student) and the viewer (teacher or peers). Viewers can provide informative feedback, creators can include various works that provide a broader picture of the skills and knowledge they have, and the portfolio can be edited and added upon as the student progresses through school. When shared among peers, e-portfolios can encourage collective learning.

Cognitive Tutor (http://www.carnegielearning.com/specs/cognitive-tutor-overview/): The cognitive tutor is a  computer learning based program that provides real-time feedback and adjusts the problems and pace of learning dependent on the needs of the student. Providing interactive and multimodal approaches to learning math skills, the Cognitive Tutor assesses a students skill as they progress through the program. If the student is struggling with a certain concept, the program will generate new problems that target the student’s weak area.

As policies are enacted that support assessment of all students, the type of assessments must be considered. If we are to truly know the knowledge and skills a student possesses, we must acknowledge the fact that we may not see a complete picture when looking at summative results. Other considerations and additional assessments must be considered.

Resources:

Chappius, J. & Chappius, S. (2008). The Best Value in Formative Assessment. Educational Leadership, 65, 4, 14-19.

Posted in Assessment & Policy | Leave a Comment »

Blogging in the Classroom and @ Work

Posted by nicholaspelafas on August 4, 2011

Blogging has become one of the most important literacy skills of the 21st century.  While few people are disillusioned enough to think that Facebook or Twitter could actually be valuable for social commentary or as serious discussion forums, blogs have become accepted as a democratic and ‘authorized’ space for digital knowledge production.  The other important aspect of blogging and blog culture is that it allows people or groups to give others continuous updates on a variety of topics and receive feedback.  I want to briefly explore the relationship of blogging to education.

Many companies and organizations, across various sectors maintain blogs as a way to communicate and update their constituency.  In the last few years I have noticed especially NGOs embracing blogging as a way to market their work and to show progress.  Either way, corporate blogging has spread rapidly and is now an established marketing communication tool for companies.

The only reason I bring up blogging in an economic/marketing context is because ’employment skills’ plays such a large role in discussions about education and education pedagogy.  While it is clear that knowing how to blog is now one of those skills, there are other far reaching benefits of blogging in education and the classroom.  Besides appealing to students in a technologically stimulating way, we can also use blogs to teach children about democratic participation, community building, online ethics, and networking.  In addition to these crucial civic/social skills I have also found some obvious and interesting articles on the uses of blogging in education.

Read the rest of this entry »

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