Week 4 (week 1 of module 2)

If you have not checked the things to do for this week, there is a link to an excellent post by Michael Nielsen which will help round out the first module. It's important. It's useful.

Dana Wilber's editorial is from the online and open-access journal Digital Culture & Education.

Some questions to help your thinking.

Wilber asks some useful questions but allow me to add a few more. What makes a literacy new? How many different takes on new literacies have you come across? You may feel inclined to dip into one or two of the papers that Wilber briefly points to. Do these papers appear to have anything in common? And, while new literacies generally refer to the literacy practices of humans, a case might be made that machines (i.e. computers) exhibit kinds of literacies.

The report from the MacArthur Foundation is one of many useful documents that have been funded by this philanthropic organisation. The report was published in late 20081. Their two key research questions were: How are new media being integrated into youth practices and agendas? and, How do these practices change the dynamics of youth-adult negotiations over literacy, learning, and authoritative knowledge? It's a long report so as you work through it keep your notebooks handy and keep an eye on what you think your focus will be for the two tasks. It is a popular device of older folk to represent the young as being highly skilled and techno-savvy. How is this perspective explored in the report? Given McLuhan's point about making sense of the new through our rear-view mirrors, what practices in bit space are reported in this study that are mapped onto more familiar practices in atom space?

The MacArthur Foundation publishes its reports via MIT press. More often than not, the pdf version of each report is made open access, i.e. free. The MacArthur Foundation Reports on Digital Media and Learning are here. Well worth a look.