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A New Literacies Reader

Educational Perspectives


Edited By Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel

A New Literacies Reader is an introduction to social and cultural studies of new literacies from the perspectives of educators, education researchers and learners. It focuses on how participating in social practices of new literacies can be seen and understood in terms of people becoming insiders to ways of «doing» and «being» that are today considered desirable or worthwhile, and how this can usefully inform how we think about formal schooling and learning. The book’s 18 chapters cover a variety of topics, including:
ߦ studies of new literacies within classroom contexts
ߦ semi-formal learning spaces beyond the classroom
ߦ teacher learning and professional development
ߦ spaces of popular cultural affinities
ߦ practices viewed from different research perspectives
The diverse topics addressed range from multimodal pedagogies, remix, performance poetry, and digital storytelling to issues associated with wireless environments, assessment, identity, and teachers’ ways of taking up new technologies. Chapters explore how young people participate and collaborate within the spaces of popular cultural interests and the various approaches to researching gaming. The book speaks to teachers and teacher educators, education administrators, curriculum developers, education policy makers, professional development specialists, postgraduate research students, and other literacy and new media researchers. A New Literacies Reader is an essential volume for undergraduates, grad students, and faculty interested in refining their knowledge of the vast new horizons created by the world of new literacies.
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Introduction: Social and Cultural Studies of New Literacies from an Educational Perspective


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Social and Cultural Studies of New Literacies from an Educational Perspective


This volume aims to provide a Reader—in the sense of a general introduction and overview— for a field of inquiry we think of as social and cultural studies of new literacies from the perspective of an interest in education. Its publication coincides with the 20th anniversary of a symposium published in The English and Media Magazine titled “Towards new literacies, information technology, English and media education” (1993) and the 10th anniversary of the New Literacies book series being launched by Peter Lang Publishing (USA).

New Literacies: Early Statements

Throughout the 1990s talk of new literacies remained quite marginal as a formal academic concept, at a time when terms like “digital literacy,” “computer literacy,” and “information literacy” were more prominent as names for reading and writing mediated by digital technologies—particularly in published work. In everyday conversation among education academics, “new literacies” seemed mainly to serve as a convenient shorthand for recognizing that new “species” of written language were emerging in daily life with the increasing uptake of myriad software applications and mobile and online communication services and practices.

A Starting Point

There were significant exceptions, however. In 1993, David Buckingham, in collaboration with Chris Abbott and Julian Sefton-Green, made the first formal recognition we can find within professional literature of “new literacies” as...

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