multiliteracyrevolution

Archive for the ‘Global Multiliteracy’ Category

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 »

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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?).

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

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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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.

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How To Do Research on Multiliteracies 101

Posted by nicholaspelafas on July 29, 2011

An important part of understanding the ways in which multiliteracies are useful is studying how people utilize them naturally and what they are inspired to do when exposed to them.  As multiliteracy is a relatively new field of study, it is a crucial time to research how multiliteracies are constructed, and to put that into dialogue with how students are taught to utilize them.  It has to do with a number of factors ranging from intuition, attraction, comfort, familiarity, goals, tasking, and inspiration; I have often wondered what a study of the efficacy of newer literacies might look like.

Surfing the web, I came across an awesome 2008 study by Mercedes Sanz Gil and María Luisa Villanueva Alfonso from the Universitat Jaume I in Spain entitled: A Critical Approach to Multiliteracy: Automates Intelligents.  The abstract reads:

In this paper we present and analyse a website with a complex rhyzomatic structure in connection with the results of a cybertask in which students were asked to read various information sources by navigating a range of websites. The results and discussion include issues such as: a) culture of learning and students’ task representation; b) possible relationships between learning styles and ways of navigating and managing information to solve a task; c) criteria students use to evaluate their navigation practices. Read the rest of this entry »

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

Chauvet Cave paintings; is it literacy?

Posted by rlwalte2 on July 27, 2011

http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/chav/hd_chav.htm

Is the ‘oldest art in the world’ an example of multiliteracy? A little background: in 1994, a hermetically sealed cave in France was discovered by three explorers. Inside this cave exists dozens of cave paints of various animals; cave bears, lions, mammoths, rhinos, horse, bison, etc. Radiocarbon dating pins the paintings at some 30,000 years ago. Recently a documentary surrounding the paintings was released, entitled “Cave of Forgotten Dreams”. The film has been circulating film festivals around the country and as I viewed the film at our local film fest the issue of multiliteracies came to me. I contemplated whether this was or was not considered a facet of our exploration here. Although no text exists, I feel the paintings were a form of literacy. Some animals are drawn with 8 legs as to portray movement, which I found fascinating. Whether they were trying to communicate with each other, paint for religious/sacrificial purposes, or potentially to leave a piece of history for the future, I believe this is a fascinating gem of literacy to debate.

Posted in Global Multiliteracy | Leave a Comment »

San Francisco Online Museum

Posted by serovy1 on July 23, 2011

http://www.sfmuseum.org/

Don’t Touch the exhibit please! This website is an example of the arts being transferred to the web and made accessible to all. This interactive museum teaches eductaors and students alike about the history of San Francisco, and its all free! You can “go in”, find what your looking for, and there’s no need to wait in lines. It’s great.

However, it does make one wonder about how social structures in society are changing, now that people can do it all right from their room. The good ole’ class field trip becomes anticlimactic when you can see it from a screen. Taking guitar lessons with your buddy seems like a moot idea, when you can click your mouse and find a youtube video to teach you without having to meet up with you tutor. However, there is something to be said about organic communication that is not aided by a machine. You tube can’t move your fingers to the right chord, but your buddy can. It is simply richer,in my opinion, to work in the realm of face to face no matter what the topic is. However, if you think about it,it is actually impossible to seperate the two ( organic and technological communications), as so much of our knowlegde now comes from the web. What we talk about, who we see and what we know always goes back to our hours spent surfing the waves of html, youtube and wikipedia, but it is in those moments of real face to face interaction and discussion that we have the chance to break it down and talk about it freely “behind the backs of our computers”. There is no editing, or sharing taking place other than with our five senses, and it just seems more real to me, but I’m rambling now. Anyway, this website is great as a starting point for finding out about the city, but San Francisco also has a world of great 3 dimensional museums to visit as well. Check them ALL out, if you can, if not stick to virtual.

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The Semantic Web-Man Vs. Machine?

Posted by serovy1 on July 23, 2011

“The Semantic Web is a “web of data” that facilitates machines to understand the semantics, or meaning, of information on the World Wide Web.[1] It extends the network of hyperlinked human-readable web pages by inserting machine-readable metadata about pages and how they are related to each other, enabling automated agents to access the Web more intelligently and perform tasks on behalf of users. The term was coined by Tim Berners-Lee,[2] the inventor of the World Wide Web and director of the World Wide Web Consortium (“W3C”), which oversees the development of proposed Semantic Web standards. He defines the Semantic Web as “a web of data that can be processed directly and indirectly by machines.”- Wikipedia

The concept of the symantic web is SCARY, and confusing, but exciting. This new technology takes things a step further, and allows for the computer to recognize not only key words but also the relationship between data on the web. This has wonderful potential to help people in thier research and in building meanings from one another, because it will automatically filter a search more specifically to the material you are looking for. As explained above in the video and in the definition, the semantic web is not an emerging but actually a current technology that developers are actively working on. With the obvious benefits being stated, one can help but also wonder what other outcomes may arise as computers become more like mind reading research assitants and less like machines that we manipulate.

The symantic web seems like it could perpetuate a spirit of laziness that would enable people to remain within more confined realms of information based on the connectins they already have (although the opposite is also true). In all honesty, I’m still trying to process it all, but the idea that a machine can understand me is a bit jarring. Am I thinking faster than my computer,or is it thinking faster than me, and if so, how will this progressively more intelligent symantic web dictate my decisions even further. Have you ever been on facebook tagging photos, and the computer already seems to recognize the faces of your beloved family members and friends before you even type in their names. It Knows who I hang out with!!! I already feel exposed and like other people can find out anything they want about me with the click of the mouse. Now do I have to worry about a computer “knowing” everything too? Is it going to control my mind? This is SCIFI stuff indeed.

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

The Art of Writing – Cursive is Dead?

Posted by nicholaspelafas on July 21, 2011

Oddly enough, I read on the  BBC news website that Indiana has decided to stop requiring students to learn handwriting.  This made me a little bit sad initially, and I really had no idea why I was attached to the idea of cursive or if I really thought it was that important.  But when I put it into the context of Multiliteracies, I decided that my lament was that our conception of multiliteracy is limited largely to the technological and functional, and that we no longer focus on the ways we communicate with each other as an art.  The art of handwriting was a very special act whereby we manifest words as artfully as we conceived them, and while people will surely say that typing is perhaps similar, the fact is that handwriting adds another layer of nuance, of personality, and vulnerability to our words – and also extends the artistic process that begins with the inspiration to express certain thoughts.

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