collage new literacies

This week,s chapter provided a deeper and complex explanation about what “new” means in new literacies. The authors pointed out the social influence of the change of paradigm from individualization towards collectivity has in the organization in our life, thinking and actions. Lankshear and Knobel mentioned how distributed expertise and collective intelligence reconstitutes and reconfigures everyday practices transforming personal relationships and communications. These emerging and evolving ways to generate, communicate and negotiate meanings have a direct pedagogical impact on how to approach teaching and learning. This has a direct impact on how immigrant students achieve their learning processes. In the article A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing Social Futures, written by THE NEW LONDON GROUP1 the authors pointed out the importance of integrating multiliteracies pedagogies. “The multiplicity of communication channels and increasing cultural and linguistic diversity in the world today call for a much broader view of literacy than portrayed by traditional language-based approaches. Multiliteracies, according to the authors, overcome the limitations of traditional approaches by emphasizing how negotiating the multiple linguistic and cultural differences in our society is central to the pragmatics of the working, civic, and private lives of students.”

I found very interesting the distinction of new technical “stuff” as digital generation and new ethos “stuff” as values. The possibility to generate encoded meaning opens up communication possibilities to expand knowledge across a widely open spectrum of people and interest. This implies significant participation derivate of enabling and sharing that provide opportunities to practice complex narratives inherent to social, cultural or political issues; increasing local and global participation. As the authors mentioned the development of complex programs is created using users’ conventions. The goal is to create an interface simple to manipulate where the interaction in engaging though simple steps that facilitate continuous contributions and participation without wondering about learning complex procedures to use the different communicational platforms. In schooling these skills facilitate researching, writing, reading, producing and commenting topics. Contradictorily this brings a new and important issue to teaching practices: the copyright dimension. How to address and control the material students are generating? What is the limit between fair and unfair use? What is the appropriate notion of proprietary knowledge versus collective intelligence? The boundaries seems to promote a common contribution where collective knowledge will be accessible for everyone. What will be the ethical implications of this approach? What can be the social consequences?

Another remarkable concept for me was understanding what the authors called “folksonomy” in juxtaposition to “taxonomy”. The idea to generate ecological meanings from a participatory culture on platforms have in my opinion positive and negative implications. On one hand is a democratic practice where collaboration, participation, and distributing expertise builds significant relationships with concepts and meaning in a systemic approach, but at the same time I wonder about the validity and credibility of knowledge generated in that way. In which cases does it have a real value? When is it better to use each approach? New ethos stuff has an undeniable value to integrate immigrant students since the communication practices serve as a catalysis to bring students’ perspectives and practice different ways of participating such as assuming different roles or building new relationships. Immigrant students becoming members of affinity spaces or participatory web cultures are developing identities. To understand the impact and mechanism underlying the new ethos values are priorities to actual teacher practice. How to best address accurately today’s students literacy needs?

THE NEW LONDON GROUP1 (1996) [Online]
http://www.static.kern.org/filer/blogWrite44ManilaWebsite/paul/articles/A_Pedagogy_of_Multiliteracies_Designing_Social_Futures.htm

Lankshear, C. & Knobel, M. (2011). New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning. New York: Open University Press