Pierre Levy: New Media Literacies (12 of Them)

04 Education, 11 Society, Academia, Advanced Cyber/IO, Blog Wisdom, Civil Society, Collective Intelligence
Pierre Levy

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The New Media Literacies

EXTRACT (12 Literacies)

01 Play: the capacity to experiment with one's surroundings as a form of problem-solving. Having a strong sense of play can be helpful when you pick up a new piece of technology that you've never used before, when you're trying to write an essay and your outline isn't functioning as you'd hoped, and when you're designing anything at all, from a dress to a web page to a concert's program.

02 Performance: the ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery. Being able to move fluidly and effectively between roles can help you when you're exploring online communities, when you're trying to decide what actions are ethical, and when you're shuffling between home, work and school.

03 Simulation: the ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world processes. Being able to interpret, manipulate and create simulations can help you understand innumerable complex systems, like ecologies and computer networks – and make you better at playing video games!

04 Appropriation: the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content. Being able to remix media content (and knowing when doing so is appropriate) can help you understand literary works, music, and art; it can also help lead you to a deeper understanding of copyright and cultural clashes.

05 Multitasking: the ability to scan one's environment and shift focus as needed to salient details. Being a good multitasker is required in our new media landscape – and that includes learning when it isn't good to multitask.

06 Distributed Cognition: the ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities. That can mean something as simple as using a ruler or calculator, or something as complex as efficiently using Wikipedia on your iPhone to access information on the fly.

07 Collective Intelligence: the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others toward a common goal. This ability is key to open source projects. Being able to pool knowledge with others can allow us to solve challenges far more complex than the individual mind can process.

08 Judgment: the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources. If you're worried about your students using Wikipedia at inappropriate times and taking everything they read on the internet as gospel truth, you're worried that they aren't exercising good judgment. But judgment also includes knowing when sources are appropriate for your use: for instance, sometimes Wikipedia might be the appropriate resource to use.

09 Transmedia Navigation: the ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple media. Anyone who needs to do research needs a good understanding of transmedia navigation – how to follow threads through video, still photography, written work, music, online sources etc.

10 Networking — the ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information. Writing something isn't enough without the ability to circulate it to the communities where it will matter.

11 Negotiation — the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms. We now need to know how to live in multiple communities – from the hyperlocal to the global and from those composed of people like us to those consisting of people very different from us.

12 Visualization – the ability to translate information into visual models and understand the information visual models are communicating. VIsualization has become a key way we cope with large data sets and make sense of the complexity of our environment.

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