multiliteracyrevolution

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DIGITALIS – web resource of the National Writing Project

Posted by nicholaspelafas on September 4, 2011

DIGITALIS.nwp.org is a web forum created by the National Writing Project for educators and scholars to “read, discuss, and share ideas about teaching writing today”.  It is a host for a growing number of resources that form “a collection of ideas, reflections, and stories about what it means to teach writing in our digital, interconnected world.”  The format of DIGITAL IS is such that anyone may sign-up and contribute a ‘resource collection’ which represents different postings, lesson plans, articles, and discussion threads around a common general topic.  The democratic, open-source format of the platform also serves to exemplify the way multiliteracies can contribute to building an inclusive and participatory digital civic culture.  This impressive site is making important contributions to the field of multiliteracies and at the same time actively transforming the use of multiliterary  technology in multiliteracy discussions.

The resource collection topics are divided into four general areas: Art/Craft, Teach/Learn, Provocations, and Community.  Provocations are resource collections that deal with critical literacy and perspectives.  I find the resources in this section particularly interesting and have found many pieces that deal with issues we’ve talked about here.   Read the rest of this entry »

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

African Hip-Hop and Critical Multiliteracy Engagement

Posted by nicholaspelafas on September 1, 2011

I love this video because of all the young people in it.  Hip hop, as I have said before, has become one of the world’s most embraced literacies by Youth.  Fortunately, hiphop in other countries, and particularly in Africa and Latin America, tends to usually have a social or political focus, making it much more useable than the majority of contemporary US-based hiphop for critical thinking and literacy exercises.  In addition to describing the realities of contemporary life, African Hip-hop often discusses the historical background to the present situation, includes significant reflection on the present reality, and is often a call to action.  This is more akin to the hiphop of the early 1990s in the United States that included the likes of Public Enemy, KRSOne, Tupac, Common, Tribe, etc., but often even more broadly dissected (in my opinion).  However, as has happened with reggae and dancehall in the Caribbean, money and corporate influence in the more economically influential African nations (Nigeria, South Africa) has thrust African Hiphop music into the Global HipHop Economy (including its digital manifestations), injecting it with violence, consumerism, and other superfluous and destructive lyrics, while spreading its influence as a literacy at the same time.

Besides liking this video and music, I posted it because I thought middle school or high school teachers could use it for critical literacy assignments.   Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Critical Perspectives, Global Multiliteracy, In the Classroom, Resources, The Arts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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 »

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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 »

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 »

Posted in Critical Perspectives, In the Classroom, Technology, What is Multiliteracy? | Tagged: , , , , | 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 »

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

Facebook, Social Media & Education

Posted by nicholaspelafas on August 2, 2011

Reading the New York Times, I came across a little news blurb about how Facebook was acquiring the e-book publisher Push Pop Press.  Normally, I avoid things having to do with Facebook, but I have been keeping an eye out for multiliteracy related stories, and I had actually already posted about Push Pop Press’s technology last week.

So why would Facebook buy an e-book publisher?  I really appreciated Push Pop’s approach because it came from an educational inspiration, and their first publication really reflected that.  The thought of Facebook diverting these talented software engineers from the education field to the ‘social networking’ field sort of made me sad.  The NYtimes article pushes some theories, but we don’t know the real motivation.

In an effort not to become more of a Facebook-hater than I already am (lol), I decided to do some searching on Facebook and Education.  Clearly, the role of Facebook in delivering multiliteracies to students (for educational purposes or not) is huge, and I was wondering if a) Facebook recognized this and b) what teachers were saying about it.

Read the rest of this entry »

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