Negotiating ‘New Literacies’ in Literacy Learning and Teaching

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Negotiating New Literacies in Literacy Learning and Teaching. Len Unsworth Professor in English and Literacies Education School of Education University of New England, Armidale, 2351 Australia. Phone 61 + (0)2 6773 2677 FAX 61 + (0)2 6773 2445 Email: - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Negotiating New Literacies in Literacy Learning and TeachingLen UnsworthProfessor in English and Literacies EducationSchool of EducationUniversity of New England, Armidale, 2351 Australia.

    Phone 61 + (0)2 6773 2677FAX 61 + (0)2 6773 2445Email:

  • RhiannonRhiannon is one of 12 seventh and eight grade girls in a study of students out-of-school online literacy practices Chandler-Olcott, K., & Mahar, D. (2003). "Tech-saviness" meets multiliteracies: Exploring adolescent girls technology-related literacy practices. Reading Research Quarterly, 38(3), 356-385.

  • RhiannonRhiannon lived with her mother, a nutritionist, and a younger sister in an apartment complex about a mile from Oakwood Middle School.

    She spent most of her time out of school with her church group or pursuing online activities, on which she estimated spending two or three hours each day. Her technology-mediated literacy practices included sending email and instant messages to her friends in other states, participating in chat rooms and online role-playing games, and writing fanfictions. Her primary technology-related pursuit, however, was constructing webpages on anime-related themes (p. 369)

  • Taught herself programming languages like HTML and JavaScriptAt the time of the study had constructed more than 12 homepages related to animeOn her websites visitors could comment on anime characters they most admired or download images from picture galleriesSeveral sites featured fanfictions (episodic stories she wrote using characters from favourite cartoons and video games)She used a site called Transloader ( to raid images from other sites, rename them, and send them to her WebTV serverShe also constructed a website to help other children learn HTML.Rhiannon

  • Eowyn Skywalker - 14yrsThomas, A. (2007). Youth Online: Identity and Literacy in the Digital Age. New York: Peter Lang.

  • Teens as Internet Media CreatorsAccording to a 2005 study conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life project (Lenhardt & Madden, 2005), more than one-half of all American teensand 57 percent of teens who use the Internetcould be considered media creators. For the purpose of the study, a media creator is someone who created a blog or webpage, posted original artwork, photography,stories or videos online or remixed online content into their own new creations.

    Jenkins, H. (2006). Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century [Electronic Version]. Occasional Paper, The MacArthur Foundation. Retrieved 29.06.07 from

  • Australian Bureau of StatisticsThe latest ABS Survey of Childrens Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities found that in the 12 months prior to April 2003, 64 per cent of Australian children aged 5 to 14 years accessed the internet, either during or outside of school hours. the proportion of children using the internet increased with age, from 21 per cent of children aged 5 years, to 90 per cent of 14 year-olds (p.44).Of the 4.4 million Australian households with home internet access in 200405, 28 per cent had broadband internet access and 69 per cent had dial-up access (p.43).

  • Australian IT (The Australian) Ben Woodhead | October 16, 2007AUSTRALIAN children are flocking to the World Wide Web, with almost half those aged six to 17 logging on every day, according to a study. Older teenagers in particular are wedded to the world of Wikipedia, email and social networking, with 75 per cent of those aged 15 to 17 going online daily for study and to chat with friends. The findings were issued as part of Neilsen/NetRatings' 2007 Australian eGeneration Report, which uncovered shifts in the way families manage internet usage at home.The report finds that internet experience is now so prevalent among young Australians that the number aged six to 17 who are using the internet for the first time has plateaued. Almost 3 million young Australians have logged on to the web, representing 92 per cent of this age group. According to the report, most children go online for the first time between the ages of five and 10 and many quickly become regular internet users, with two thirds of children logging on from home at least twice a week and 43 per cent doing so daily.85 per cent of family homes have high-speed internet access,

  • p.48

  • New Literacies in a Digital Multimedia AgeA study (Coiro, 2007) found that while offline reading comprehension and prior knowledge contributed a significant amount of variance to the prediction of online reading comprehension, additional, significant variance was contributed by knowing students online reading comprehension ability. Again, students were evaluated in terms of their ability to locate, evaluate, synthesize, and communicate information. The results of this study are also consistent with the conclusion that new skills and strategies are required during online reading comprehension.Coiro, J. (2007). Exploring changes to reading comprehension on the Internet: Paradoxes and possibilities for diverse adolescent readers. Dissertation, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT.Leu, D. (2007) Expanding the Reading Literacy Framework of PISA 2009 To Include Online ReadingComprehension. A working paper commissioned by the PISA 2009 Reading Expert GroupErixon, P.O. (2007). The Teaching of Writing in the Upper Secondary School in the Age of the Internet and Mass Media Culture. L1 Educational Studies in Language and Literature , 7(4), p. 7-21. students are seen to develop new media practices involving several media-specific competences (Mackey, 2002) which gives them access to new ways of meaning-making in their acts of reading or writing. It is tentatively claimed that students may thus develop alternative notions of authors as well as texts, which affect their own view of text production in school.

  • Constantly evolving new literaciesDon Leu and his colleagues (Leu et al., 2004), drew attention to three main sources of the ongoing emergence (deictic nature) of New Literacies: transformations of literacy because of technological change envisionments of new literacy potentials within new technologies the use of increasingly efficient technologies of communication that rapidly spread new literacies

    They further emphasized the following:

    As literacy increasingly becomes deictic, the changing constructions of literacy within new technologies will require all of us to keep up with these changes and to prepare students for a vastly different conception of what it means to become literate (Leu et al., 2004, p. 1591).Leu, D., Kinzer, C., Coiro, J., & Cammack, D. (2004). Toward a Theory of New Literacies Emerging From the Internet and Other Information and Communication Technologies. In R. Ruddell & N. Unrau (Eds.), Theoretical Models and Processes of Reading (Vol. 5, pp. 1570-1613). Newark, DE: international Reading Association.

  • Challenges of New LiteraciesStudents fascination with the digital multimedia world and the ease with which they can access and contribute to it. The almost universal and constant access of young people to online and digital multimedia communication.The greater experience and expertise of many students with digital multimedia relative to their teachers.The disjunction between students out-of-school literacies and those they experience in school.The need to reconceptualize literacy and literacy pedagogy to account for multimodality and the affordances of digital technology.

  • Challenges of New LiteraciesStudents fascination with the digital multimedia world and the ease with which they can access and contribute to it. The almost universal and constant access of young people to online and digital multimedia communication.The greater experience and expertise of many students with digital multimedia relative to their teachers.The disjunction between students out-of-school literacies and those they experience in school.The need to reconceptualize literacy and literacy pedagogy to account for multimodality and the affordances of digital technology.

  • An agenda for discussionNegotiating New Literacies Negotiating engagement with new literacies in school contextsNegotiating the leadership/mentorship role of teachersNegotiating an interface between an ongoing research agenda and practical new literacies pedagogies

  • Negotiating engagement with new literacies in school contextsA viable framework is needed that addresses the integration of constantly evolving New Literacies into educational practice. Drawing on Reinking and colleagues developmental perspective on how teachers might conceptualize and implement new digital technologies in their work, which adapted Piagets concepts of assimilation and accommodation.[Reinking, D., Labbo, L., & McKenna, M. (2000). From assimilation to accommodation: a developmental framework for integrating digitial technologies into literacy research and instruction. Journal of Research in Reading, 23(2), 110-122.]

  • A rationale for negotiatingNew Literacies are assimilated when they are conceptualised in relation to conventional literacy, and implemented in conformity with existing curricula and pedagogic practice.Accommodation implies that the understandings and experiences of New Literacies have led to a fundamental restructuring of thinking, entertaining the idea that the very nature of literacy may well be changing. It means understanding that these New Literacies need to be negotiated in their own terms rather than being seen as extensions of established literacies.Lemke, J. (1998). Metamedia literacy: Transforming meanings and media. In D. Reinking, M. McKenna, L. Labbo & R. Kieffer (Eds.), Handbook of literacy and technology: Transformations in a post-typographic world (pp. 283-302). New Jersey: Erlbaum. Leu, D., & Kinzer, C. (2000). The convergence of literacy instruction with networked technologies for information and communication. Reading Research Quarterly, 35(1), 108-127.

  • Negotiating on-going changeReinking et al (2000) point out that accommodation does not mean abandoning research on ways in which electronic texts interface with conventional literacy practices.

    What is suggested here is that assimilation and accommodation will be required as complementary and iterative processes as school systems negotiate the ongoing emergence of New Literacies.

  • Exemplifying assimilation and accommodation: e-literature and literacy pedagogyUnsworth, L. (2006) E-literature for children: Enhancing digital literacy learning. London: RoutledgeUnsworth, L., Thomas, A., Simpson, A. and Asha, J. (2005) Childrens literature and computer based teaching. London: McGraw-Hill/Open University Press

  • Co-existence of linear book and digital hypertext narrativesThe most likely scenario, given the massive inertia built into social and educational systems, is that linear and hypertext models of narrative will exist in parallel ...

    Fundamentally, for the foreseeable future, two quite different mindsets will be operating at the same time in our education system, and what we now think of as children's literature - narrative for children - will be at the centre of it Hunt, P. (2000). Futures for Children's Literature: evolution or radical break. Cambridge Journal of Education, 30(1), 111-119.This book does not lament the digital world but celebrates it. It does not suggest competition between books and digital media but partnership. Dresang, E. (1999). Radical Change: Books for youth in a digital age. New York: Wilson.

  • Relating literary texts in book and digital media digitally re-contextualized literary text digital media augmented literary texts digitally originated literary text.

  • digital media augmented literary texts

  • digitally re-contextualized literary text

    *********************Phillip Pullmans His Dark Materials *


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