Friday, June 10, 2016

Week 1 Reading Reflection: New Literacies

I read this chapter through a different lens than many of my colleagues in ILT5340 I think. For the past six months I have marinated in a stew of how digital storytelling fundamentally has changed the way we are exploring relationships one to another and how they can contribute deeply to our ability to understand and use empathy to create powerful change in human behavior.  This has tied together a number of different disciplines including psychology, sociology, education, literacy and story telling. It has been a wild and crazy ride to understand how this all fits together.

Brene Brown comes close to explaining it in this short video:

 So as I read this week's required reading, it really occurred to me that new literacy really is not so much different from old literacy in that it is about connecting. Humankind has been sharing stories since they congregated in caves and told tales of the day's hunt while illustrating these events on the walls of caves. I can only imagine the scene--but I am certain it created community and had a purpose.  It built relationships and must to some extent have established a type of pecking order among those in attendance.  The digitization of the process may not have changed much of that at all other than to allow us to create something digitally which may fill a fundamental need to situate ourselves within a larger community.

This leaves me wondering about the idea of a new literacy versus thinking about it as not so much a new literacy but a new modality for an ancient literacy.  This is yet another area for me to explore as we move forward in the coming weeks.


  1. Interesting and intriguing perspectives that connect empathy with telling stories (via digital). I was struck in the video (thank you) about how empathy connects, and sympathy disconnects. I wonder, too, about how making digital stories might connect us, even as the way the digital world is being constructed can sometimes disconnect us from human contact experiences. Is the digital story a way to retie those lines?

  2. Kevin, Your comment is essentially a summation of the research path my dissertation is taking. Can engaging in digital storytelling enhance our emotional intelligence? It is highly exploratory and indeed, very intriguing.