multiliteracyrevolution

Posts Tagged ‘multiliteracies’

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 »

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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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Networked Literacy and the Next-Generation Book

Posted by nicholaspelafas on July 23, 2011

[Meet Nelson, Coupland, and Alice — the faces of tomorrow’s book. Watch global design and innovation consultancy IDEO’s vision for the future of the book. What new experiences might be created by linking diverse discussions, what additional value could be created by connected readers to one another, and what innovative ways we might use to tell our favorite stories and build community around books? ]

So I pulled this video and the one below from the wordpress blog Preprint (see blogroll for link) and I found it to be fascinating how contextualized and informative the experience of reading a book could be.  The Nelson software allows readers to see different perspectives on what they are reading, and locate referential materials that can assist their understandings of critical arguments, see what kinds of discussions are being spawned by a particular book, and share critical insights.  This is somewhat revolutionary in how it can network the literacy experience of individuals, and enabling people to gain greater critical insight at a time when decentralized publishing means a greater questioning of reputability of sources.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Multiliteracy Policy Development

Posted by tricialauter on July 22, 2011

The 21st century classroom is beginning to reflect the global, digital world. Policies must follow. Policies that address multiliteracies must be developed in order to provide proper assessment and instruction. Policies within the school level, district level, and the state/national level should take into consideration the changing needs of the student population.

School Level Policies

As with any work place, an environment is established that reflects the goals and principles of its’ members. Schools must create an environment that encourages continued professional development, collaboration, and team building. Curriculum and pedagogy developed and used in the classrooms should reflect the skills students need to work and live in the global economy. Technology policies should allow integration of multiple literacies as well as provide all students the opportunity to develop specific technology and communication skills (Burbules et. al, 2006).

Distict Level Policies

In order for the school environment to support 21st century teachers and students, the district should provide access to multiple assessments, and allow input from teachers and administrators within the schools to influence district policies concerning assessment and technology. District level assessments should include formative and summative measures; acknowledging the expertise of educators. Districts should also be open to learning from other schools or professionals, especially charter schools with innovative designs (Christensen et. al, 2008).

State/National Level Policies

Policy development within the United States is influenced by many actors: political, cultural, societal. Somehow the voice of the teachers and students has been drowned out. Focus is not so much on actual understanding of learning and the context of learning, as it is about pleasing the public. As Costello and Johnson state, “The assumption behind current accountability testing is that schools as organizations, and the individuals within them, are not only unable to monitor their own performances but also are unlikely to provide the best instruction they can unless forced to do so annually through rewards and punishments,” (2006, p. 264). State and national education policy development must consider the changing landscapes of life and work in the 21st century. Standards, as the International Society of Technology in Education have outlined, should include the specific skills that are needed within these changing landscapes (http://www.iste.org/standards.aspx). Policy should be developed with acknowledgement of the context of which students are living, creating assessments that are for learning and not of learning. State and national assessments should include both formative and summative measures, more closely resembling what students will actually encounter in their future.

Resources:

Burbules, N. C., Callister, T. A., & Taaffe, C. (2006). Beyond the Digital Divide. Technology and Education: Issues in Administration, Policy, and Applications in K12 Schools Advances in Educational Administration, 8, 85-99.

Christensen, C.M., Horn M.B., & Johnson C.W. (2008). Distrupting Class: How Distruptive Innovation will Change the Way the World Learns, McGraw Hill: New York.

Costello, P. & Johnston, P. (2006). Principles for literacy assessment. Reading Research Quarterly, 40, 2. 

International Society for Technology in Education-Standards in the digital age. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards.aspx.

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Multiliteracies Assessed: Examples from the Field

Posted by tricialauter on July 21, 2011

MLC School: City Experience–The City Experience is an interactive learning experiencing at a middle school in Sydney, Australia. Description of their project on their website states, “The learning that takes place is experiential, collaborative, negotiated, independent and interdependent. It challenges the notion of schooling and indeed of teaching. Students are challenged to respond to a “big question” with some guidance in the form of both written instruction and negotiated discussion. They demonstrate their individual and group learnings at a “learning celebration” held on the last day.”

The City Experience allows students to explore an area that is relevant to their lives, create a knowledge network, accessing and providing feedback to their peers and staff, and present learning through a medium that incorporates multiple literacies.

Auborn Middle School: Anywhere Learning–Students used digital tools to develop literacy, communication, and critical thinking skills. Teachers acted as facilitators, students remained motivated, and learners demonstrated 21st century skills.

21st Century Skills Assessment–A unique assessment that combines multiple choice knowledge-based questions, and authentic performance tasks to assess students’ 21st century skills. Allows for optional portfolio assessment to address skills that are not easily assessed through written portion.

 

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