New literacies as a mathetic tool

Are you just literate or already a new lit?

So far literacy was defined as:
“The ability to read, write, speak, and understand words. “
Using ICT, multimedia and other devices makes clear that we use no longer just words.
Growing up with Internet and being literate means being confronted with movies, sounds, pictures, words and sometimes even moving objects and smell. All working together to explain something, but also make the learner eager to read.

This new situation of literacy is called “ new literacies”. It is defined as:

The new literacies if the Internet and other information and communication
technologies include the skills, strategies, and dispositions necessary to successfully use and adapt to the rapidly changing information and communication technologies and contexts that continuously emerge in our world and influence all areas of our personal and professional lives. These new literacies allow us to use the Internet and other ICT’s to
identify important questions, locate information, critically evaluate the usefulness of the information, synthesize
information to answer those questions, and then communicate the answers to

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.B. Ruddell & N. Unrau (Eds.), Theoretical models and processes of reading, fifth edition. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Gradually it becomes clear that most learning takes place outside schools, under teacher independent conditions. That's what mathetics tries to investigate. In learning that way students encounter new literacy elements and learn to use them for their own benefit.

It is, according to Leu e.a., clear that there are some basic elements to keep in mind:

1. Internet and other ICT's are an important context for literacy and learning.

2. It requires new skills, strategies and dispositions to fully exploit its learning potential

3. it provides special opportunities for multilingual learners and schools in an increasingly globalized world.

Mathetical learning has been designed and researched in the European project "Eisweb". In the project "Viseus", development and research is going one step further, including multilinguality as a key point in vocabulary and language learning.

The projects also finds his grounding in research regarding language acquisiton, cooperative learning, practice proof concepts like some ideas from Freinet, evidence from neuropsychology and cognitive load theory. A special dictionary has been constructed, where children can, using all tools of new literacies, define concepts and relationships themselves, by actively exchanging with others. They do not consume but define their own words. This process emphasizes highly on higher order thinking skills, in his latest revision, as well as critical thinking and handling information.

Several European countries are working at this project. During 2009 the first research results will be available. The language environment, including the dictionary, will be available in 2009 for European schools.

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2 reacties:

Anonymous Anoniem zei...

Have been following the blog for a while. Putting aal these things together in this framework is very revealing to me. Gradually i saw things fit together. New literacies are really an eye opener for me.

Frances McConnor, Edinburgh

9:40 p.m.  
Anonymous Anoniem zei...

History showed us that there are always new literacies. For ancient Greek people it was thrilling to use language in a written form. Later, when bookprinting was invented, in the Christian world, reading became the dominant tool, instead of oral language and visual aspects, such as looking at the stained glass.

Hildegard, Uni München

9:04 p.m.  

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