The value of Literacy (alongside numeracy) has dominated the forefront of education for some time. Literacy is largely categorized as the ability to read, view, speak and write (ACARA, 2013). Literacy does not occur in a social vacuum it is affected by the socio-cultural influences that it exists within.
The concept of ‘new literacies’ does not mean out with the old and in with the new or that traditional modes of literacy become redundant, quite the opposite. New literacies build on traditional modes of literacy; they are ever-changing and transforming becoming relevant to modern day society.
‘New Literacies’ can be seen as a response to the demands of the modern world. In the world of education ‘new literacies’ often refers to “digital literacy practices” (Houtmam, 2013). In order to respond to and fully engage with the changing technology of the 21st Century, students’ literary skills must adapt, develop and evolve to reflect the changing demands of the technological society that they live in.
Students’ skills must expand and move beyond the traditional understanding of literacy to encompass the skills required to navigate throughout a range of modes that are relevant today.
ACARA. (2013). General capabilities in the Australian Curriculum. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/GeneralCapabilities/Pdf/Literacy. Accessed March 17th, 2014.
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/ Accessed February 14th, 2014