Mar 19 2012
The Way the New Transliteracy Era Works
1. YOU are in charge of your learning.
What does that mean? In the old hierarchy mode, an authority figure was in charge (the teacher, the press, the library, the institution). Today, crowd-sourced content is top dog and the media news broadcast is a talk show over coffee. Which means, you must critically evaluate all the information that is bombarding you on the web each day.
2. You must participate.
This can be problematic. Most of the experts (whom I respect greatly- see my recommended reading list) warn of the “dumbing down” of our youth through convenient internet browsing for answers and through narcissistic social media participation. Like it or not, however, there is no going back to the old hierarchy where accuracy and authority were more important than popularity and personal interest. Barlow and Leston end their book, Beyond the Blogsphere (2012), by stating, “When a collective force as ubiquitous as the internet continues to grow at alarming speeds and when most of its energy is wasted, some sketches of understanding need to be made so that we can begin to better understand this growing, pulsing, emerging organism called the internet.”
3. You MUST credit.
Surprise! Plagiarism still applies! Amazingly, I see both students and teachers who do not understand that you cannot simply take a picture off a website and use it in whatever manner you choose. The common misconception is that if someone posted it online…it’s mine! Perhaps the rapid evolution from print to electronic media created confusion about intellectual property. But, in my opinion, the blurry line between professional life and personal life is more likely the culprit.
That’s another topic- one which I imagine others are currently contemplating. Social media encourages the “fuzzy line” between professional and personal communication. For the past year or so, I have been thinking that entertainment and triviality make up about 98% of social media, leaving only 2% for educational use. In other words, you really don’t have to give credit when the communication is just about the pizza you are eating! (Why does eveyone love to post pictures of food? I guess it is just part of being human. And, by the way, you must credit even the pizza picture unless you took it yourself or it is copyright free.) That 98% I mentioned is, metaphorically, a giant pizza.
Photo retrieved from http://www.public-domain-image.com/food-and-drink/pizza/slides/pepperoni-pizzas.html