multiliteracyrevolution

Posts Tagged ‘democracy’

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

OSI discussion: The Impact of the Internet on Democratic Culture, Institutions, and Engagement

Posted by nicholaspelafas on July 19, 2011

Over at the Open Society Institute, I found an interesting discussion entitled Through A Web Darkly: Does the internet spread Democracy or Ignorance?.  It deals with the melding landscapes of technology, information and government control.  I would recommend listening to it as it touches on some key issues being discussed in technology circles, but in terms of multi-literacy I think it really gives us some important things to think about.

One of the themes that arose on a couple of occasions was that of the ‘fragmentation of media platforms and experiences and their relationships to media literacy.’  Similarly, another panel member’s states that there are now different (yet specific) types of intermediaries for organizing information and directing attention.  What we are seeing then is that being literate is taking on an increasing number of forms and that the way we interact with these new literacies is determined in a growing number of ways.  In some cases, the way we adapt to these new literacies is determined by very specific key players, namely Google and Facebook (among others let influential ones).

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

Free Jazz and Democratic Communication

Posted by nicholaspelafas on June 29, 2011

I lifted this conversation between Jacques Derrida (philosopher) and Ornette Coleman (Jazz musician) from a post over at  The Liberator Blog. (weblog.liberatormagazine.com).

The entire conversation is fascinating for a variety of reasons, but Coleman makes some very interesting points that relate to literacy.  In the same vein as Sun Ra and John Coltrane, Ornette looks at music as a language and the ability to relate to music as a form of literacy or way to create meaning.  He says:

“I’m trying to express a concept according to which you can translate on thing into another.  I think that sound has a much more democratic relationship to information, because you don’t need an alphabet to understand music.”

This incredibly deep statement is important in that it reminds us that music and art represent some of the most core multiliteracy skills that humans have, and perhaps it would be possible to imagine alternate configurations of new literacies outside of speech and the written word.

At its core, literacy is about constructing meanings that relate information and deepen the complexity of one’s understanding of a given topic or subject.  By stating that music can be a more democratic conduit for information exchange, we can be more open to the idea that the way we create meaning is related to the project of creating a more equitable society.  It also suggests that words, and traditional forms of literacy (particularly considering when this dialogue took place) are tied to a power structure that can limit the ways people are able to construct meaning.  The question then becomes, do new literacies sufficiently liberate us from the power structures that plague the old literacies?  And, in what ways does moving away from music and art in schools hinder students’ capacity to adapt and develop new literacies?

more excerpts from the discussion after the jump and the .pdf of the original conversation can be found here……

Posted in The Arts | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »