When I started the master’s program at San Francisco State, a friend introduced me — against my will — to Google docs. Now listen, he insisted, this will make it easier to write and print out your work. I now use Google docs for almost all of my writing, including creative writing.
Zawilinski’s article “HOT Blogging: A Framework for Blogging to Promote Higher Order Thinking” gives an excellent overview of the potential benefits of blogs in the classroom for teaching Higher Order Thinking (HOT). She claims that the Internet is this generation’s defining technology for literacy and that this population is both self-guided and in need of guidance.
Recently a professor told me to consider my audience. She said that my style was far too informal for a grad paper. I needed to consider what writing was appropriate for academic discourse. Academic discourse? Who did she think I was writing to? She was my only reader. I felt, then, that I could play around a bit with the essay form, experiment a little. I even included a couple of allusions that only she would understand. It did not work. She wanted me, I realized, to speak into an imaginary space where scholars speak, not to each other, but into an imaginary library.
What are new literacies? How do new literacies differ from old ones? How does this affect how we write and how we teach writing? To address these questions, I will look at three articles: “‘New’ Literacies: Research and Social Practice” by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel, “Sampling ‘the New’ in New Literacies” by the same authors and “Looking from the Inside Out: Academic Blogging as New Literacy” by Julia Davies and Guy Merchan from the New Literacies Sampler.