New Literacies

New Literacies build upon old literacies (that is, print literacy).  See Jon Callow Prezi

The term is used synonymously with various types of literacies:  information, digital, digital media, critical, and visual literacies.  In education, the term is often linked to advances in technology, and can be heralded as changing the way teachers teach and students learn.   This view appears to be mistaken as the key is how to use technology appropriately rather than technology being the key to great teaching.

New literacies is a term often used in the field of education, particularly in literacy studies, for various digital literacy practices. A key concept here is that literacy is no longer a stable entity, but rather something that is continuously transforming.  See Houtman, E. (2013), cited below.

So what was considered a new literacy yesterday may not be new today – what’s new today may not be so new tomorrow – Lankshear and Knobel (2011) interpret this to mean a combination of “new technical stuff” and “new ethos stuff”, new mindset and new values (more collaborative and less individual) (p.28) rather than in the context of the latest fad.

New “ethos stuff” also encompasses new skills or fluencies, such as Henry Jenkins’  (2006)  (cited by Houtman, E. (2013)) list of the social skills needed within a participatory culture, which are developed through collaboration and networking.

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 Accessed February 14th, 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 Accessed February, 2014


About jmic1705

Hello, G'Day, Aloha, Bonjour, Guten Tag, How is it going?

2 responses to “New Literacies

  1. joncallow

    THanks Janet. Really liked that you included the following – “So what was considered a new literacy yesterday may not be new today – what’s new today may not be so new tomorrow” Lankshear and Knobel like to make this point. Now, you’ll need to add commentary to the Greenwashing video post as it is just the video link at present. Cheers, Jon

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