Over the last two weeks, we’ve been heavily immersed in digital storytelling. In the initiating post, suggestions were provided for developing and thinking about digital stories, and we’ve been so happy with the ensuing conversation. Now, we’re going to dive into another topic that will require you to think deeply about how we attain knowledge and about our relationships with/in the digital world.
There have been numerous studies which examine the nuances among differing definitions of so-called new literacies (Pinto, Cordon, & Gomez Diaz, 2010). Since the first use of the term “information literacy” in 1974 (Pinto et al., 2010), varying terminology has been used to define the ability to find, analyze and use information in a changing knowledge landscape (Pinto et al., 2010). In recent years, many academics have added a social and cultural layer to the definition of these literacies.
Terminology used for these literacies include “information literacy”, “digital literacy”, “technological literacy”, “computer literacy”, “media literacy”, “communication literacy”, “internet literacy” and other ambiguous terms.
As Doug Belshaw points out in his doctoral thesis (2011), these terms “do not have the necessary explanatory power, or they become stuck in a potentially-endless cycle of umbrella terms and micro literacies,” (p. 200). Belshaw makes an impressive case for ditching the semantic argument and focusing on the improvement of educational practice. He also suggests that the term “literacy” is too binary and that in the context of digital or web skills the plural “literacies” should be used to show that in these realms there are no ‘literate’ or ‘illiterate’, but rather degrees of literacy (Belshaw, 2011). Perhaps those who experienced our last topic on Digital Storytelling may agree.
So over the next two weeks, we will