In the Digital Age, new literacies are popping up like mushrooms after a spring rain.
New digital tools and applications are causing new literacies to emerge the way the first spoken words required the development of syntax and the first writing implements led to reading.
The advent of the cell phone and the smartphone, for example, spawned the new literacies of texting and tweeting. Digital cameras gave birth to the need for image editing skills. The Internet and browsers required us to develop new forms of information literacy. Facebook exploded on the scene with a suite of new literacies for connecting and interacting online. Videogames begat new literacies for puzzle solving and navigation in virtual spaces. The list goes on.
The emergence of new literacies is not unusual in human history, but the pace at which they are arriving is. Our electronic creations are morphing at the speed of light and with them the literacies we need to survive and thrive. Many of the new literacies are learned formally. Many more are acquired in a kind of osmosis that occurs as we engage in the everyday world using our new hardware and software.
Our ability to flex, adapt and respond to the changing realities of the Digital Era–or any era–depends on our ability to acquire new literacies as they arise. It is an ongoing and never-ending process.
Literacy 2.0 is not digital literacy on steroids, as some would define it. And it is not merely the next step after traditional literacy (Literacy 1.0). It is the basket that holds all the skills, attributes and attitudes we need for living in the Digital World. It’s the whole package of new and emerging literacies.
Keeping track of the new literacies is a literacy itself. So, in this post, let’s see how many literacies we can identify. Anyone is invited to add to the list, insert a definition, or argue against any of the entries.
You’ll see that some of the literacies in the list existed long before the Digital Era, but they are included because they have acquired new meaning and new importance in a Literacy 2.0 context.
THE NEW LITERACIES
social media literacy
cyber security literacy
digital policy literacy