Tutorial Week 1- Task

Write a solid two to three paragraph definition of the term ‘new literacies”

New Literacies defined

The term New Literacies can be understood to include all old and new forms of communication that are to be interpreted, digested or understood by the individual seeking information on a particular topic. What we define as literacy is a constantly changing and therefore will be continually evolving to include new forms of communication and interpretations of such information such as ‘the greater use of multimodal forms of expression that include images, video, and sound with written text’ (Houtman, 2013, p.7).

The term New Literacies incorporates a large spectrum of sources such as digital media along with the traditional literacies of reading, writing and arithmetic. We must reframe our thinking of the traditional literacies and how we use them across a plethora of platforms. The accessibility of such information and the ability to which one can understand such information relies heavily on our socio cultural context which now extends beyond our own personal experiences. Our understanding of such literacies depend on how we see the world ‘depending on which discourse we are ‘in’ or ‘operating out of’ within a particular situation or context (Lankshear and Knobel, 2012, p.49). The advent of technology has been transformative to the way we access and ingest new information and also influences how and where we can access such information.

As educators we must continue to teach students how to decipher  what information comes from a reliable source and to question the credibility ad authenticity of a source. In addition we must also teach them where to access the most appropriate forms of literacy and what is the most appropriate mode of communication for different purposes. The discussion will indeed be ongoing as we continue to reframe our thinking around the term New Literacies and question our process of meaning making through our literary practices.


Houtman, E. (2013). New literacies, learning, and libraries: How can frameworks from other fields help us think about the issues? In the Library with the Lead Pipe.  Retrieved fromhttp://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2013/new-literacies-learning-and-libraries-how-can-frameworks-from-other-fields-help-us-think-about-the-issues/ Accessed February 14th, 2014

Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2012). ‘New’literacies: technologies and values. Teknokultura. Revista de Cultura Digital y Movimientos Sociales, 9(1), 45-71.  Retrieved from http://everydayliteracies.net/files/RemixTeknokulturaEnglish.pdf Accessed February, 2014

Greenwashing and the media Youtube Clip:


Write a brief description/ review of the show and comment on what this means for teaching kids about internet and media content at school.

The video clip ‘Greenwashing’ by The Media Group is a short clip narrated by 2 puppets discussing the media concept of Greenwashing. Greenwashing  is when a company structures their advertising and branding to appear or give the perception of being more environmentally friendly without any sound evidence to indicate they are in fact taking measures to implement environmentally friendly policies and procedures.

The puppets have a great dialogue about what it means to Greewash and ways companies try to appear more environmentally friendly through various marketing schemes . The puppets lead the viewer to an informed website which looks at the ‘Seven Sins of Greenwashing’ and then perform a sketch to demonstrate the various strategies a company may use to appear more environmentally friendly when in fact their is no proof or foundation on which the facts are based.

This video is an excellent resource to help teach students the importance of critically reviewing information they receive from different sources. Students must understand motives behind the branding and marketing of certain companies and be reflective of the methods chosen so as to be discerning consumers making smarter choices. Students need to understand that advertising can be manipulative and play on peoples emotions and currently the environment and environmentally friendly products and services are of great relevance to many people so companies may use this angle to gain popularity without in fact doing anything to improve the situation. The commercial that was shown in the clip by BP Fuel was case in point.



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