Lankshear and Knobel. Third Chapter. Pedagogical Considerations.

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]

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

6 responses to “Lankshear and Knobel. Third Chapter. Pedagogical Considerations.”

  1. Hi Rosanna,

    I really appreciate your approach to tackling the topic of multiple new literacies in relation to how immigrant students learn. I’m going to argue that we can apply multimodal or multiliteral pedagogies to all students to enhance learning. Not everyone learns the same way, being open to trying new ways of instruction and applying these new techniques can benefit most students.

    You bring up the issue of copyright. Copyright is such a grey area. Unless you have the letters “J.D.” after your name that did some kind of specialization in copyright law you will be confused a lot by what you are and are not allowed to do in regards to copyright. I held a copyright session for my faculty a couple of weeks ago and I think they left with more questions than they had coming in!

    Great response to this chapter! I look forward to next week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lisa, Thank you for your comment, I appreciate it. I totally agreed with you about how the benefits of innovative technologies are important for every student; I focused on immigrant students because that is my focal theme. Regarding copyright, like you mentioned it is a confusing and complex area. I personally spent a lot of time researching and trying to find out if the audios and visuals I am using for my projects are under fair use; I am really not completely sure. I think that it is an important professional skill we are missing in our program and I wish we had more specialist support on that topic. I plan in the future to take a course, certification or workshop because I believe it is very important to know more about it in our area.


  2. I also liked this notion of “folksonomy,” and I agree that it can be beneficial, but can also be disingenuous. It’s messy. I think understanding the credibility and validity of participatory cultures, affinity spaces, and their resources, is a part of the literacy of new literacies. In Chapter 1, the authors mention Howard Rheingold’s “crap detection,” or more eloquently called critical consumption (page 25). Crap detection is an ability to understand what is relevant and what has value. I think it requires special attention and effort to acquire this skill too. Personally, I find myself being fooled by online misinformation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mitchell, Thank you for your comment, I appreciate it. I cannot agree more with your concerns about the downside of generating new meaning by affinity spaces and other participatory spaces. I also frequently find myself confused and lost with the enormous amount of information and the difficulty to validate much of it. I found extremely useful guidelines to evaluate online articles from my research course, but I think it would be beneficial to take a course or class to learn how to properly evaluate online resources.


  3. Hello Rosanna,

    Thank you for sharing your response!
    I agree that there are many pros and cons to the “new” literacy approaches. I can appreciate the various ways that we can communicate and share our thoughts / ideas. I like that we can all work together to improved software to more effectively meet our needs. I am also concerned about how companies are misusing our information to make money. Are we part of a sharing relationship with companies or are we the product?

    I wish it was easier to determine what is relevant and what is not within our culture of shared content. I think that there are pros and cons to having only select individuals determine the information that is worthy of consumption. Maybe there should at least be an overseeing authority that can help assess the validity of information.


    1. Aaron, Thank you for comment on my post. You bring a big question about our relationship with the web 2.0 business model and if the open spaces are reciprocal or if in fact internet users are unaware victims of exploitation. I found very enlightening Susannah’s reflection about it. Sometimes it seems we are constantly under a social/technological experiment like a science fiction movie.


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