New Media Literacies OpenCourseWare: A Free Undergraduate Literacy Theory Course by MIT

Published Feb 18, 2009

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'New Media Literacies' examines literacy theory from it genesis in Greece through the technological media of today. This free course is provided by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as part of their OpenCourseWare project. Students who have an interest in humanities or those completing course work toward degree programs, such as the Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Media Studies, will benefit from the themes discussed in this free course.

New Media Literacies: Course Specifics

Degree Level Free Audio Video Downloads
Undergraduate Yes No No Yes

Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
Yes Yes No

New Media Literacies: Course Description

Up until the global proliferation of digital media, including cellphones, compact disc, digital video, digital television, eBooks, video games, and the Internet, literacy theories were generally based on the traditional media of reading, writing and speaking. This digital age of new media and information technologies have an even greater effect on how we live, learn, work and govern ourselves. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Department of Comparative Media Studies provides this OpenCourseware entitled 'New Media Literacies.' This free course looks at literacy theory in the various forms of media, beginning with its Western origins and continuing through present-day. The lecturer, Dr. Alice Robison, trains students to develop their an understanding of literacy theory by reviewing a variety of topics, such as new media literacy, origins of literacy in the West, literacy and the media, multimodality and games. There will be an emphasis on the process of identifying literacy as a set of meaningful activities in certain social situations as opposed to the traditional interpretation of the ability to read and write. There is also a review of new media formats, including blogging, podcasting, video blogging, mashups and remixes, social networking, tagging, file sharing, memes, fan fiction writing and video games.

The materials for 'New Media Literacies' consist of downloadable lecture notes and assignments. There is also a reading list and a compilation of related resources. If you are interested in taking this free course, visit the literacy theory course page.

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