Mapping My Learning. What is New Literacy? The best definition from New Literacy 3rd edition states, “new literacies’ are best understood in terms of a historical period of social, cultural, institutional, economic, and intellectual change that is likely to span many decades” (51). Lets talk about what media literacy is. David Sholle and San Denski observed, “that television can be seen as a pedagogical machine that operates to construct discourses that function primarily in the locus of a mode of transmission where culture becomes defined solely by markets for culture”(22). Now what about discourse? It is defined as, “a way of being together in the world for humans, their ways of thinking and feeling. For non-human things such as coordination’s of elements, and elements themselves, take on recognizable identities” (44). Next, participatory cultures consists of a combination of engagement, collaboration, sharing, and distributed expertise and authorship (86). Lastly, learning ecology. It consists of every single aspect above that was mentioned. You need all of these to fully understand what learning ecology is. It is the participation, seeking out, learning from media, having close ties and loose ties with people through connections and of the same interests.

For me, my learning journey started with my family. My mom and dad helped get me started in my learning process by teaching me things such as how to walk, talk, read, and write. My grandparents from both sides of my family helped teach me what is considered right and wrong during specific situations. Such as how I’m not supposed to use lipstick on the walls inside the house or to not talk to strangers when they aren’t around. They taught me skills such as the proper way to ride a bike and swim.

When I was younger, a form of new literacy for me consisted of television shows and electronic learning games like Reader Rabbit (computer disc), Leap Pad, The Magic School Bus, Zoboomafoo, Hey Arnold, The Big Comfy Couch, and Barnie. These learning programs were also considered to be media literacies because they come from a media form being on T.V or a computer game. These were the rage at the time for children of my age.

Next, teachers in school taught me the proper way to write a sentence, how to read effectively, how to do research with books and the internet (not to use Wikipedia, look for the .com/.gov websites, videos like YouTube and Vimeo, use the online library website, etc.) and so on with math (x=1), social studies (politics/history) , history (the order of presidencies), art (how to draw), and playing an instrument (violin). My art teachers and music instructors were always my favorite teachers to learn something new. I learned how to make my pinky stronger to ensure that I was able to hit those high notes properly and to do vibrato on my violin. I learned how to play new songs on my violin such as the theme song from pirates of the Caribbean sound track. These experiences are all participatory cultures that I took part in. They would “push” information to me as I would “pull” on my own by creating contemporary music with my violin, painting with acrylic paint instead of just drawing a design, creating my own math problems to practice from, and creating a mnemonic to remember all presidents.

Next, my friends and peers enforced my learning. I moved from New York, to Indiana, to Colorado. From these experiences, I have learned from various diverse cultures. They helped me get out of my comfort zone by challenging me to take a chance whether it be riding a bike without training wheels for the first time, watching a new YouTube video or podcast explaining what is going on in the world, trying a new makeup pallet, or particular outfits before an event. I learned essential information that I never knew until brought up by a peer like learning why our body reacts to a pinch or headache, what a neuron is, how to apply makeup properly, and how to create or put together a business. My friends and peers were a part of my discourse by being there to teach me new things but learning together as a close tie. These close ties also introduced me to social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Finally, I learned on my own such as how to draw, illustrate, sing, play the piano, and use YouTube videos to learn about how to do something new, or learn what is going on in the world. For example, social media outlets such as The Young Turks, The Late Nigh Show (Stephan Colbert, James Corden, Jimmy Fallon), Buzz Feed, LadyLike, tutorials all provide information on various topics. These online broadcasts were helpful discourses in my learning.

Work cited (images)

Ali, Rasha. “9 Favorite Memes From ‘Arthur,’ the Classic PBS Kids Show (Photos).” TheWrap, TheWrap, 28 July 2016, www.thewrap.com/9-favorite-memes-from-arthur-the-classic-pbs-kids-show/.

“LeapFrog Original LeapPad Learning System from 2004: Toys & Games.” Amazon.com: LeapFrog Original LeapPad Learning System from 2004: Toys & Games, www.amazon.com/LeapFrog-Original-LeapPad-Learning-System/dp/B00003GPTI.

“Reader Rabbit Thinking Adventures Ages 4–6.” Amazon.com, www.amazon.com/Reader-Rabbit-Thinking-Adventures-Ages/dp/B00002DHA2.

All other images were either illustrated by me or were labeled for reuse.