How do multimedia, texting, chat, status updates, and hypertext change the way we read and interpret texts? Students study various theories of literacy and how it changes with the introduction of digital technologies. Readings will include selections on new media, new literacy, multiliteracies, multimedia cognition, and visual semantics.
Two overarching goals drive this course. First, students should understand the literacy skills required to critically interpret digital texts. Second, they should learn how to communicate effectively using the tools and techniques of digital media. More specifically, students will:
- develop a conception of “digital literacy” as a multifaceted, social process of decoding audio and visual symbols and signals;
- gain a familiarity with a range of research perspectives which engage with digital literacy;
- refine their understanding of the affordances of a range of media, and these features’ implications for literacy;
- confront and assess their own preconceived ideas about literacy and technology skills and how learners acquire them;
- be able to create a variety of digital texts to communicate in different genres and for multiple purposes;
- articulate the cultural and political implications of communication, with attention to concerns of power and equity online and in classrooms.