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The New Litracies--For Blog

The New Litracies--For Blog

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Published by: neelsafdar on Feb 04, 2012
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 The New Web of Litracies
In our new world of Information Technology, having reading and writing skillsalone will not make a person literate. According to NCTE the 21
st
Centuryliteracy involves having the capability to use the tools of technology, usesocial forums for collaborative problem solving, create and shareinformation, and engage in critical thinking. Blogs are an excellent exampleof this Literacy, because it uses visual and writing skills in conjunction withtechnology. Information is shared and exchanged amongst a community thatcan be personal or informative. 21
st
Century Literacy encompasses the termsDigital Literacy, Visual Literacy, Reproduction Literacy, Branching Literacy,Information Literacy and Socio-Emotional Literacy (Aviram, 2006).
Digital Literacy
 This literacy involves using hardware (cell phones, Ipads, etc.) and software(applications) to find, understand and evaluate information, then creatively usingthis information to communicate, share and collaborate. Digital literacy includesVisual literacy, Reproduction literacy, Branching literacy and information literacy(Aviram, 2006). Programming literacy would also be included in Digital Literacy(Prensky, 2008).
Visual Literacy
It is the ability to see the creativity, the implication, the hidden meaning or thepurpose of an image or graphic. To able to “understand the visualmessages”(Aviram, 2006). This skill is used in playing video games, and can beused to capture the attention of students in a classroom. YouTube videos are a
 
good medium to show difficult concepts that are hard to grasp, like DNA translationand transcription.
Reproduction Literacy
 This literacy uses existing text, graphics, or sounds that are available on theinternet, to create new material. This could involve putting together text itemsfrom many sites to present new interpretations or creating new visuals bycombining images from various sites. This type of “digital reproduction” wouldrequire the user to ensure that proper citations are included for the material that iscopied. Reproduction Literacy is used in many forms of presentations in theclassrooms, from graphics and sound in power point slides to quotations in essays.(Aviram, 2006)
Programming Literacy
 This literacy involves using applications to make digital tools do what the userwants. In other word, being able to program devices, and manipulate technology(Aviram, 2006). Skills like programming the home security system to turn on lightsat a certain time, or using an app on your phone to remind you of an appointmentare programming literacies. In the classroom computer programs can be used toconduct science experiments, like using weather patterns to make predictions orforecasts.
Branching Literacy
 This skill is also called hypermedia literacy. It is the ability to remain on task whilesearching in hyperspace for information. Since the internet presents the user withinformation from many sources, it is easy to go from one link to the next and losesight of the direction of the search. Instead of using linear thinking, this literacygives the ability to bring all the information together, from the various branches of asearch, in a coherent fashion (Aviram, 2006). Students could use this skill to doresearch on how one hormone can affect many organs in a human body. Sincethere are so many hormones and they in turn interact with other hormones, thestudent would have to focus the branches of his search to find and use informationthat reflects only the interactions of that hormone.
 
Information Literacy
 This literacy enables the user to critically analyze information to judge its accuracyor bias. The identity of the author, the purpose of the writing, the audience, whodoes it benefit or harm, are some aspects of evaluating information that ispresented. This kind of literacy is important because anyone can post informationon the internet, and it could be false, inaccurate or biased. To be informedconsumers, it is important to use this literacy as a “filter”(Aviram, 2006). We canteach this skill to our students by having them research a topic from varioussources and comparing the presentation in each.
Socio-Emotional Literacy
 This literacy can also be called Social Media Literacy. It uses branching, informationand visual literacies to share data and create data. Users need to develop a senseof what, when and how to share information keeping in mind that informationposted on the internet is mass communicated. Creating data can be doneindividually or as a collaborative effort. (Aviram, 2006). This form of literacy has puta new emphasis on the social skill of networking. Using this skill people are finding jobs, staying in touch with family and friend, sharing information with professionalsin their field, and getting involved in government policies. Teachers can teach thisskill by using Google Docs to open a forum for discussing a topic or a book. Quotescan be posted and students can be encouraged to post questions or comments. The teacher would have to make sure that certain rules of communication werefollowed in these discussions.
Media Literacy
Being informed about and being able to create and use information in all forms of exchanging data is considered Media Literacy. It involves Information literacy andSocio-Emotional literacy. Knowing the audience, the source of information (either ina social context or for research), techniques used to influence audiences and criticalthinking are all part of Media Literacy (David, 2009).

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