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Digital Literacy Webinar: Textual Practices in the New Media Digital Landscape - Messing with Digital Literacies

Date: 5 December 2013 Time: 11.00-13.00

Venue: Webinar

This webinar is based on a paper due to appear in a special issue of the Journal of Research in Learning Technology, arising from the significant, exhilarating but sometimes also uneasy and difficult conversations across disciplinary areas that are provoked when scholars researching digital learning technologies meet those working from a literacy studies tradition. These conversations are part of the effort to understand the significant shifts in practices of communication, learning and meaning-making that are currently taking place.

In the session, Mary Hamilton and Mary Lea will review some key differences, tensions, problematics and debates between the two traditions of literacies and learning technologies research. They will marshal arguments about the importance of looking carefully at how these two traditions intersect and what each brings to our understanding of learning and meaning-making. They will suggest that the key elements from the critical theoretical tradition of literacy studies should be integral to discussions of new media and new learning. Further, the terms "literacy" (and "literacies") need to be carefully reconsidered in relation to these discussions since it is constantly being parted from its root meanings and used in multiple, confusing ways.

Mary Hamilton is Professor of Adult Learning and Literacy in the Department of Educational Research, Lancaster University, UK and teaches there on a Doctoral Programme in E-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning. Her research explores communication and interaction in the everyday textually-mediated social world and involves close analysis of how texts, both print and digital, are used within social encounters and how texts circulate within institutional settings. She is interested in informal learning across the lifespan and also in the globalisation processes of educational policy.

Mary R Lea is Reader in Academic and Digital Literacies at the Open University. Both her research and practice are concerned with writing, knowledge and meaning-making in a wide range of HE contexts, including the digital landscape. She is interested in the way that technologies have become aligned uncritically with literacy in order to promote dominant institutional agendas. She offers a counter to this in a reappraisal of academic literacies research in the digital university, exploring its potential in relation to a network perspective.

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Who can attend: Anyone


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Organising departments and research centres: Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning, Educational Research


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