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Notes on listening to Mark Pegrum’s second video

January 21, 2010 (scroll down to video)

Digital Literacies:a good focus point for education, a way to teach students key skills and make them aware of how technology will influence their future

Groups: from traditional/simple to complex/new
1. literacies bound up with language: We must not neglect traditional print literacy, but we also need to realize that language is changing (txtspk, netspeak, new punctuation, hypertext…). Marc Prensky and Mark Pegrum have suggested that a certain level of code (technological) literacy is needed as well. Nina says: Much of what we do on the web is read, and if we want to respond to what we read we often comment in writing, so old-fashioned traditional literacy is not irrelevant.

2. literacies bound up with information: we access and assess info differently now. You need to understand search engines, tagging; evaluating web information has become very important. “Filtering literacy” means a way to filter all the stuff out there: where we go to find the experts/authorities. Nina says: Teaching students to evaluate websites as sources of reliable or unreliable information is very important. On a very basic level, I always tell my students that a .com domain means that someone would like to make money off you (Sorry, Ning, PBWorks, Yahoo!, Google, etc!), so more objective sources of information include .edu, .org, and (for those of us who trust the US government), .gov. How this applies to other countries I don’t know. “Attention literacy”: we cannot pay attention to everything, and this affects education, personal relationships, health, stress, etc. Nina says: Ah, yes, striking that delicate balance among one’s various lives!

3. literacies bound up with connections: personal literacy (online persona) and how you hook into networks, leverage the networks and contribute to/influence them. Participatory literacy–getting people together to contribute to a class wiki, but also participating in political protests, which can be very dangerous. Nina says: We must teach students how much information to divulge and what not to divulge online–like home addresses. I am not a good model for names, however, as I generally use my full name and prefer it because much of my web presence relates to my professional life.

4. remix literacy: the hallmark of digital culture, heavily associated with the younger generation. Calls together all the other literacies. Nina says: This is the one I feel least able to handle myself, and certainly am not qualified to teach others about it!

This is where Pegrum’s research is currently focused. He would like to know:
*How are language and literacy changing as a result of the web?
*How should educators approach literacy in the classroom? To what extent is it our responsibility to educate them about these different literacies and to warn them of the dangers?


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One Comment
  1. Joel Bloch permalink

    Last year (I think) there was a discussion with Stuart Selber. He characterized multiple literacies more from the perspective of their function. He categorized literacy skills as functional, critical, and rhetorical. It would be interesting to compare this perspective to the one offered by Pegrum.

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