I suppose the first place to start would be to explain my initial thoughts on the term ‘literacy’. Personally, I think of literacy or being literate as being able to read and write. Taking this into consideration, perhaps new literacies involves those same abilities but with the addition of a shift in focus to new technology. Houtman (2013) explains that new literacies involve having the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing, speaking, handwriting, print, tv, radio and films to digital social networks. A statement I came across while reading; new literacy “what it means to be literate in the 21st century”, in my opinion, explains it quite accurately (Houtman 2013).
What we consider literacy to be nowadays appears to change on a daily basis, as we experience the rapid transformations technology goes through on a daily basis. Houtman (2013) explores the idea that new literacies are continuously transforming with technology. In saying that, Lankshear & Knobel (2012,p.45) explain that it is much more than just a focus on literacy forms in regards to technology but that it should be acknowledged as an “historical period of social, cultural, institutional, economic and intellectual change that is likely to span many decades”. Their idea of new literacies still involves a transformation, however, more specially, new literacies will cease to be “new” once the social ways characterizing the ascending paradigm are considered “conventional” (Lankshear & Knobel, 2012,p.46)
What I can take away from what I have read, is that it is considerably difficult to pin point exactly what new literacies are, but that it involves changes in social and cultural practices, and ultimately once something is considered ‘conventional’ it is no longer new and potentially replaced with something else. Is facebook is no longer considered a new literacy? And twitter?
Houtman, E. (2013). New literacies, learning, and libraries: How can frameworks from other fields help us think about the issues? In the Library with the Lead Pipe. Retrieved from http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2013/new-literacies-learning-and-libraries-how-can-frameworks-from-other-fields-help-us-think-about-the-issues/ Accessed March 20th, 2014
Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2012). ‘New’literacies: technologies and values. Teknokultura. Revista de Cultura Digital y Movimientos Sociales, 9(1), 45-71. Retrieved from http://everydayliteracies.net/files/RemixTeknokulturaEnglish.pdf Accessed March 20th, 2014