Building Critical Media Literacy in the Deictic/Ambiguous Nature of Online Text

Building Critical Media Literacy in the Deictic/Ambiguous Nature of Online Text

In a previous post I discussed my planning and thoughts around a Pecha Kucha style talk that I gave while at LRA 2013. This past year at LRA 2014, I worked with colleagues to develop a session in which we gathered a series of literacy researchers to each define our versions of “text.” Each of us would present a pecha kucha style talk that would define our framing of text, and identify possible venues for future research.

The videos for this session are all available on the LRA YouTube channel interspersed through the LRA R2P shows. We’ve put together a draft for publication to discuss these presentations, and the relevant perspectives. You can review the doc here as we find a potential home for publication.

My framing of text

In my thinking about text, I’m motivated by the reader/writer nature of online text. In this, I think we have opportunities to move learners from consumers to producers of digital content (Alexander, 2008; Anstey & Bull, 2006). I think that to prepare for this change we need a broadened, expanded view of “text” to include visual, digital, and other multimodal formats (New London Group, 2000; Alvermann, 2002). We also must recognize text that is not only deictic (Leu, 2000), but ambiguous in nature (Belshaw, 2012).

As we consider the online and offline literacy practices that our students will need as future events warrant, the one constant is change (Leu, Kinzer, Coiro, & Cammack, 2004).  This framing of text provides an opportunity to examine text that is not only contextual, but also with a certain amount vagueness allows for a certain amount of flexibility or inexactness as future literacies and technologies warrant (Brooks, 2004). This requires a continual re-defining, and re-examination of our notions of text and the knowledge, skills, and dispositions utilized as we read and write (Sernak, 2008).

My Pecha Kucha presentation on this framing

Down below I shared the video of my presentation. You can review the slides here. This time I moved to using more large images and less text than before. I also used Microsoft PPT as opposed to Google Presentation. The main reason for this was that we were trying to run all of the PPTs on one machine.

In future talks (I’m giving one in two weeks) I’ll follow the same format. This time I’ll focus more on standing still and not pacing. I’ll also focus on timing, and silence in the talk. It’s okay to stop talking for a minute and allow the audience to catch up.


Cover photo darkmatter shared under a CC BY-NC-ND license

Also published on Medium.

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