Posts Tagged ‘Adult Literacy seminar’

New Media and literacy was a topic that was discussed (in-depth) tonight in the Studies in Adult Literacy seminar I’m taking this semester, though we discussed a relatively limited scope of New Media such as videogames, social sites, and instant messaging.

I had to lead a discussion about an article of my choice that related to the subject, so I chose Gonzalo Frasca’s “Videogames of the Oppressed” in First Person. Frasca seems to be making the claim that videogames are not viable modes for social discourse, nor do they have the power to institute change in people. Of course, the article was written nearly ten years ago, but I think videogames are extremely effective at getting people to think about the current social and political atmosphere. And as far as literacy is concerned, they can help with problem-solving and critical thinking. And they can make us look at both our world and ourselves from a different perspective.

The same thing goes with social media. I would argue that sites like Twitter and Facebook are great platforms for getting students to interact with one another, which has the potential to help improve literacy, especially if the students know that a particular group has higher expectations of their writing skills. They can also be used as a form of more immediate contact with the teacher or other students. Students can post questions, ideas, and connections that have the potential to enhance their knowledge of the material being presented in classes. Plus, on a more practical note, many businesses are looking for employees that are familiar with all different types of social media and web design experience.

Sadly, many educators and schools don’t really see the need for New Media in the classroom; in fact, some schools will fire educators who use them for class. I think that’s really sad because they have such potential! They aren’t without their cons, but if you think about it, as one of my classmates put it, it’s kind of the same as when the printing press came out in the sixteenth century.

What do you think about New Media and their potential as educational tools?