Sunday, February 27, 2011

Multiliteracies in the 21st Century

“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 Digital immigrants, according to Prensky, are speaking the outdated language whereas digital natives seem to be talking the language of technology, of new media and can use technology naturally, as part of their lives (Prensky,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.