TASK – Thinking Hard

Literacy is a complex topic area and there is no single definition. New literacies further complicate the issue, especially as this is an ever developing term. New literacies build upon old technologies and flow on from new technologies. Due to the changes in literacies, we (the people) now need the skills to understand and read multiple literacies.

In order to address these needs, many theorists, educators and researchers have “responded to the challenges of the 21st century learners by identifying skills, competencies, fluencies and literacies to be taught…” (Houtman, 2013). Multiple frameworks have been developed although none successfully address all aspects of ‘new literacies’.

‘New Literacies’ is a term often associated with education, although there are various terms to describe the same thing. A key concept of new literacies is that they are ever evolving and no longer stable. As such, literacies that are new today may not be new tomorrow. As a result, some researchers now believe that it will be impossible for one single person to keep up to speed with all literacies and therefore students may sometimes take the lead. Nonetheless, the focus for education should be what to do with these transforming literacies and how to use them in the classroom (Houtman, 2013).


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 from http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2013/new-literacies-learning-and-libraries-how-can-frameworks-from-other-fields-help-us-think-about-the-issues/


One thought on “TASK – Thinking Hard

  1. Thanks Rachel. A solid definition. With the Greenwashing clip, think about collecting a series of resources you could use in the classroom to help kids be discerning media users. Cheers, Jon

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