Media Literacy: New Agendas in Communication

Media Literacy: New Agendas in Communication

Media Literacy: New Agendas in Communication

Media Literacy: New Agendas in Communication


This volume explores how educators can leverage student proficiency with new literacies for learning in formal and informal educational environments. It also investigates critical literacy practices that can best respond to the proliferation of new media in society. What sorts of media education are needed to deal with the rapid influx of intellectual and communication resources and how are media professionals, educational theorists, and literacy scholars helping youth understand the possibilities inherent in such an era?

Offering contributions from scholars on the forefront of media literacy scholarhip, this volume provides valuable insights into the issues of literacy and the new forms of digital communication now being utilized in schools. It is required reading for media literacy scholars and students in communication, education, and media.


Kathleen Tyner

In June 2008, scholars from across the United States came together with experts in gaming, simulations, virtual worlds, journalism, media production, and education to explore the potential of new media for learning at the New Agendas for Media Literacy conference on the University of Texas-Austin campus. Hosted by the College of Communication, the two-day conference was designed to advance the emerging field of media education by fostering intensive dialogue, discovery, and connections between traditional concepts of media literacy and the innovative outlooks from next-generation thinkers. Through presentations of new work from media literacy scholars, academics, educators, community-media practitioners, and media industry professionals, New Agendas participants explored topics related to the definitions, purposes, impact, and iterations of media literacy theory and practice found in formal and informal educational settings.

In his keynote address, Digital Media and the Future of Learning (If There is a Future), noted literacy scholar James Paul Gee kicked off the discussion with a provocative view of the disconnect between the burgeoning media literacy skills in contemporary society and their diminished and restricted role in formal learning environments (Gee, 2008). Throughout the conference, discussions addressed this educational gap and its impact on the way that critical media analysis, play, production, and participatory networks accrue social benefits for individuals and societies.

Rodney Gibbs, executive studio director of Amaze Entertainment and chairman of the Digital Media Council of Austin, addressed this gap from an industry perspective in The Intersection of Digital Media and Learning, a cogent analysis of the way that games, simulations, and virtual worlds can be used to bridge formal and informal learning. (Gibbs, 2008). This volume in the New Agendas series is intended to reflect the conference dialogue and to showcase emerging scholarly work from the diverse field of media literacy.

Literacy theorist Harvey Graff likens literacy to a series of labyrinths, and the metaphor resonates throughout the history of media literacy . . .

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