Sunday, February 27, 2011

Maria's concept map - multiliteracies

“Defining what counts as “valid or legitimate or desirable” forms of understanding and creativity in current contexts will certainly continue to be one of the challenges.” (Buckingham, 2005, p. 149, in Greenhow, 2009, p. 249)
My additions to my concept map this week are in orange color... I found myself making even more connections and mixing this week's terms with the previous ones, which i really enjoyed! Click on the image to go to the actual concept map.

New media is about multiliteracies; it involves a (hidden) pedagogy that emphasizes on more than the ability to use language as a means of communication, but also text, music, pictures, animations, etc. It is sensitive to the cultural context one functions in and the community that speaks to particular pieces of work (e.g. when someone creates an animation about the planets, that might be speaking to the community of scientists, leisure artists, etc., depending on the character of the creation). There is a dynamic relationship between the different modes of literacies, as one can be combined with other modes. The result is a rich collection of projects and information that provide multiple perspectives, feelings and tones.

Perceiving the participants of the 21st century as being active, new media embrace diversity and freedom of speech. There are no boundaries in the way one can express themselves and there is always a means of communicating different messages. The result of the use of multiliteracies is a dynamic social change and transformation. Identities are constantly changing, being shaped and aligned with different aspects of new media. Digital immigrants, according to Prensky, are speaking the outdated language whereas digital natives seem to be talking the language of technology, of new media and can use technology naturally, as part of their lives (Prensky, 2001). In this sense, new media are a sine qua non of a person’s development in the 21st century.

I believe that new media, being so powerful, can change the ways we think about learning and professional development. Creativity in this sense becomes central in the ways that people learn and become productive in their contexts. The hierarchies that used to structure the ways people participate are no longer stable, and the power has started shifting from the heads to the participants; everyone has a voice and everyone participates in the construction of their learning. Our participatory culture, as Jenkins (2004) characterizes it, is being shaped from and shapes new media.


  1. I like that you have been connecting the concepts from each reading from the beginning - showing the overlap and the "organized chaos" as a result of each scholar's work and what they have introduced to the field. Do you mind sharing your thoughts about Shirky? I took his work as a way to explain how something like "organizing groups" can be difficult without new media - but as a result of new media, it is more accessible, easier to organize, and even easier to communicate among a large number of people - even if you disagree, you are still able to communicate faster and easier now more than ever. I connected Shirky with Prensky and Greenhow as an example of how new media is the virtual organization that organizes people to come together and WHY we should be utlizing technolgoy tools and new media in our classrooms and homes. Do you think I am on the right track? What do you think?

  2. I agree with Shirky when he says that change occurs when society adopts new behaviors rather than new technologies. I think that groups should be organized around targeted behaviors (e.g. flexibility, openness to diversity and creativity, etc). Being accessible to everyone, new media does affect behaviors because it becomes naturally adapted. The question for me is how do we facilitate the adaptation of new technologies with positive attitudes and how do we make sure that the behaviors host the effective use of those technologies... Does that make sense? The fact that new media can organize the collective is a strong property of the particular technology, which I think should be treated carefully, as there are also dangers, apart from benefits. Your questions and concerns make sense to me, as I was thinking through them as well. :)

  3. Thanks, Maria for your comments. Yes, I think you are saying that due to the natural immersion comes a natural adaptation - changing behaviors - except not all people have been immersed, so there needs to be some recognition of these differences - allowable flexibilities - creative thought about how to utilize the technologies. I do worry about the benefits and dangers - as well - however, my biggest concern is that experts will begin to suggest standards and assessments regarding human behavior and skills related to new media and technology (if they haven't already suggested these standards/assessments) - removing the novelty and excitement of learning in this framework/environment. Rather than accepting it as a "place" to learn - some will argue that it is "knowledge" to learn. This is a big concern - in my opinion.