h1

Class 9: Digital Citizenship

April 15, 2021
Valibrarian (aka Valerie Hill) shared her insights on metamodernism, metaliteracy and digital citizenship.

We gathered at the beautiful Study Beach in Library Land for this week’s class to meet Valibrarian (aka Dr Valerie Hill) who introduced her latest book Metamodernism and Changing Literacy: Emerging Research and Opportunities, 2020. Val is the director of the Community Virtual Library in SL and has been researching virtual environments for 14 years with a particular focus on changing literacy. She believes this impacts on all of us suggesting that we need to reconsider literacy in the 21st century. In this digital age we really need to consider metaliteracy because it requires juggling physical and digital formats.

She referred to the renowned futurist Alvin Tofler who coined the term prosumer to describe those who share content, particularly on the web, and produce what we now call user-generated content. The word comes form the fact that we are both consumers and producers of media. He is also remembered for saying:

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.

Alvin Tofler

Val suggests that in the past acquiring knowledge was a fairly linear journey towards mastery but now we need to learn new tools and apps constantly while also evaluating live information and adapting to new devices and software. The unending stream of incoming information means we are not just living a postmodern world but a metamodern culture. This means it is important that we each understand our personal responsibility as digital citizens.

Metaliteracy is an essential part of digital citizenship. Mackey and Jacobson (2014) coined the term to help us better understand how we can be literate in digital culture as prosumers. You can read more at melatiteracy.org where Val shared a guest blogpost, Metaliteracy and our metamodern times.

As a school librarian, Val witnessed the end of the Gutenberg Parentheses – when print lost its place as the most important source of information as books gave way to ebooks, websites, databases, videos, podcasts, blogs, apps and more. Juggling all these tools is changing the human brain and this ability to juggle is a metaliteracy skill. But, in addition to juggling tools we now also juggle between worlds: physical, virtual, augmented: choosing the most appropriate for different activities (work, learning, gaming, social interaction etc).

An important part of digital metamodern culture and metaliteracy is the preservation of literacy formats. With most content now being produced in digital format the question of archiving has come to the fore. Paper and other physical products are easily accessible and remain so but digital information requires an intermediary to access: hardware and software. What happens if you do not have the tools any longer? Is the content lost?

Val closed by asking us to think about metamodernism as our cultural moment and metaliteracy as promoting critical thinking and collaboration in the digital age.

John thanked Valibrarian for a fascinating presentation with exceptional slides to accompany her talk, in a beautiful (virtual) environment.

Reference

Mackey, T. & Jacobson, T. (2014). Metaliteracy: Reinventing information literacy to empower learners. Chicago: ALA Neal-Schuman.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: