MIT New Media Literacies for the 21st Century

MIT New Media Literacies for the 21st Century

Here is my version of the MIT New Media Literacies list, which is part of the Project New Media Literaies: Learning in a Participatory Culture which is sponsored by the McArthur Foundation. Unfortunately, the original documentary seems to identify interesting skills, however it seems to place no priority on particular skills which will have the most use for workers and citizens of the 21st century. As such, I’ve created a list which reflects popular scholarship and insight on these issues. The new skills for navigating the communication challenges of the 21st century include:

1) Play: the capacity to experiment with one’s surroundings as a form of problem-solving.
2) Negotiation: the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms.
3) Judgment: the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources.
4) Collective intelligence: the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others toward a common goal.
5) Networking: the ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information.
6) Appropriation: the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content.
7) Responsibility & Awareness: (this is not included in the original and is critical to wise decision making and privacy. Also ethics, responsibility, citizenship, along with issues of copywrite and plagerism)
8] Design & Design Thinking (this is not included in the original and is fundamental to 50%+ of communication online)

To me, the failure of the MIT New media literacy list to include the above two is truly re-miss. Howard Garners 5 New Minds for the Future would suggest that at a minimum that Responsibility and Awareness belongs on the list–and given his passion for creativity and different modes of learning and thinking would include #8 as well (it could be the MIT project has a page which contextualizes these two issues–however the failure to prioritize them is a striking omission).

A suggested list of ways our thinking and learning are being transformed via the interaction with media and tech.

It makes me think of the things that my son will be picking up without even trying and how some skills he will have to be taught to be able to better navigate all the streams of information that will probably be part of his normal learning and social environment. Who is it that should be teaching these skills? School? Teachers? us at home?

We at home will have a large part to do with it, because of the presence of the internet in our house, and thus, there is some responsibility on our part to be aware of the things Theo should learn and to also be taught, ourselves, so that we can in turn teach him.

There is a lot of teaching and learning to be done, for ALL of us.