MP logo MP title

Tibor Koltay: The New Media, New Literacies

This paper provides a state-of-the-art review of the new media and related literacies, information literacy and digital literacy first and foremost, but also media literacy. These literacies serve as tools for finding our way in the information world, which undoubtedly influences education as well. A main feature of the new media is the presence of Web 2.0 software, which enables mass participation in social activities. Its users, represented in mediated spaces, have become both consumers and producers of information. Literacies change over time, according to the people and tools involved as well as according to purposes and circumstances. Modern literacies have broadened in scope and become tied to both culture and technology as the information society has seen information and communication competencies incorporated into literacy. Information literacy is among the new literacies. It is embedded in traditional contexts of literacy and functional literacy and holds a strong position among librarians, while other players in the information and education arenas are less aware of it. A closely related, albeit different and more comprehensive form of literacy is digital literacy. It encompasses many literacies, including appropriately using digital tools and facilities, evaluating, analyzing and synthesizing digital resources, and constructing new knowledge. New literacies must be applied according to the circumstances of the new media, not losing sight of the fact that the discourse on their use among young people is compelling and persuasive and often based on informal observation or anecdote, instead of representative empirical studies. This is especially true if we examine the role of the new media in formal education while taking into consideration important resistance to technologies from schools and understanding the discrepancies between technological innovations and the culture of schooling. An abundance of information in itself will not create more informed citizens without equipping them with appropriate literacies, as the new media seem to impede a critical attitude towards information. New literacies foster critical thinking and reading, though there is no single literacy that would be appropriate for all people or for one person throughout his or her lifetime.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 110. Number 4. 301-309. (2010)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Koltay Tibor, Szent István Egyetem Alkalma¬zott Bölcsészeti Kar Informatikai és Könyvtártudományi Tanszék, H–5100 Jászberény, Rákóczi út 53.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia