Blog Post

Welcome to the New Media Literacy Group -- Collaborators Wanted...

Hi all.  New to HASTAC.  Doing some academic work out of NYU on New Media Literarcy and looking for collaborators.  Tossed together quick post on the area of research below.  If interested, please let me know!

If you'd like to keep up with the conversation... definitely join the group.  Can update any progress and any additional posts/thoughts/inquiries welcome!  Best, -Ben 


As new communication tools make collaboration easier, trying to do things by and for yourself becomes less and less efficient.  Why try to do everything on your own if you can easily get the best resources possible, exactly when you want them from people who specialize in providing them?  Connectivity in the digital age is shifting us from a world of fixed, individual investments in assets to one of collaboration and on-demand access.  

This dynamic I believe is redefining our world, from the way companies produce goods, to the way individuals consume them, to the way we interact with one another socially.  Perhaps nowhere though is the trend more apparent than in learning and literacy. 

Fifty years ago, if you wanted to know some fact -- say, George Washington’s birthday -- it made sense to memorize it.  Were you not to do so, accessing the fact later on would be a major pain... you’d have to hike to the local library, thumb through the card catalogue, find the relevant book, find the right page, skim through it, and only then would you finally have your desired data.  Gross. 

Today, the situation is different -- information is at our fingertips, easily and instantaneously accessible via the Internet.  As a result, the benefits of internalizing information decline, traditional knowledge stocks becoming less valuable as compared to the ability to work with knowledge flows.  Just as calculators allowed students to offload arithmetic and move on to more complex questions of trigonometry and calculus, ubiquitous access to external knowledge pushes the focus of education away from internalizing information and toward competence with the tools that help us acquire, manipulate, and share knowledge on demand.  

This definition of new media literacy (in line with the ideas put forward in MIT's 2007 New Media Literacy whitepaper -- is something I'm exploring in academic work out of NYU (and to a lesser extent, as part of  my day job in corporate strategy at NBCU).  In the name of collaborative production and an effort to harness the immense expertise distributed within this community, I'm looking for a few folks to work with on the project -- to brainstorm, share insights, perhaps even do some joint writing.  Anyone involved in or with passion for the space welcome.

If you'd be interested in more information, please let me know!





It looks like this group is rapidly gaining momentum.  Fantastic.   All success!  



hi ben! i'm a doc student at NYU in the ed tech program... would love to meet up for coffee one of these days and see what we can cook up! best, dixie :)


Hi Ben, I'm also a doctoral student in the ECT program at NYU.  I'm interested in finding out more.


i'm not a doctoral student, but almost as good as one--i'm a phd who teaches

at a community college, and am interested in digitial fluencies/literacies etc. because

of my interest in bridging the digital divide in C21 for adult learners, first-generation students, etc.

i like the optimism about information flows in your post, ben, but also interested in "filter bubbles" and

other unpredictable effects....



Everyware i think provides an important exploration in the idea of calm computing.    

How We Know What Isn't So, Thomas Gilovich talks about various human psychological biases, including the tendency to seek out people that agree with us, creating filter bubbles.  A critical different is historically, we had a mass culture... when there were only four channels, they had to create some middle ground between everyone's interest, and since everyone watched them, everyone was exposed to at least this middle ground.  When there are linear channels on television, we have to at least flip through BET, and ESPN, and Oxygen, and whatever other targeted channels en route to the niche we're most interested in.

Where Good Ideas Come From I think presents an incredible and articulate interdisciplinary analysis of the idea.  


Definitely interested! As usual in these cases, not sure how much time I'd have to contribute, but I'm definitely willing to make an effort. Great idea. 


I'm not a doctoral student, but I did a lot of work on digital literature and new media ilteracy while in undergrad, and more importantly, am working on a few projects in this exact area right now. I'd really like to hear more about what you have in mind!


i'm referencing eli piriser's TED talk on filter bubbles, which i just uncovered a few weeks ago and am planning to teach in a problem-based learning class next month--it's a workshop where i'll show the TED talk (he's got a book too, but haven't read it yet!) and ask faculty to come up with a problem-based learning module based on what piriser is saying.

i remember having a conversation in the days of print media with my sister, and she said that she never wanted to read TIME magazine or newsweek; rather she preferred to read The Nation and National Review by herself. this i think is the problem with the filter bubble--it creates mini-time magazine predigested paths so that we don't get left or right or anything, really. knowing what you dont' know is such a key literacy, and the algorithms that google is mastering makes it harder for students to know what they don't know. i'll let you know what kinds of problem statements our interdisciplinary group of faculty come up with--i'm interested to see, for example, how a math instructor would see this problem, or if s/he would at all.....

meanwhile i want to read cathy davidson's optimistic book as a counterbalance to the scary bubble.....


Hi Ben--all of us at The LAMP (Learning About Multimedia Project) are happy to help, but you should definitely speak with our Education Director, Katherine Fry. She has a great deal of experience both on the ground teaching media literacy to youth, and within the world of academia as a professor at Brooklyn College. Let me know if you're interested and I can get (at least) the two of you together.