Metaliteracy Examined in HigherEdJobs Leadership Publication

HEJ_Logo_2cTrudi Jacobson and Tom Mackey co-authored a feature article entitled Why You Should Fight for Metaliteracy on Your Campus for the HigherEdJobs leadership newsletter. This publication is sent to approximately 40,000 subscribers at the executive level, including presidents, provosts, and deans. The article was written to support all educators interested in applying metaliteracy in a wide range of disciplines and institutional contexts to advance metaliterate learning. As Jacobson and Mackey (2018) argue in this new essay:

Metaliteracy provides a model for thinking and knowing in a social media age that is fraught with misleading and downright false information from a wide range of questionable sources. Metaliterate learners are developed across many academic disciplines through teaching and learning situations that promote self-direction, collaboration, participation, and metacognitive thinking. This approach requires us to work together and innovate, applying the metaliteracy goals and learning objectives, and supporting institutional partnerships among key stakeholders such as faculty, librarians, and instructional designers.

As noted in this essay, collaborative conversations among key stakeholders at the campus level are ideal to advance metaliteracy initiatives. If you have questions about how to get these conversations started or to share innovative programs already in place, feel free to reach out directly to Trudi Jacobson at tjacobson@albany.edu or Tom Mackey at Tom.Mackey@esc.edu.

Metaliteracy Featured in Discussion about Teens and False Information

In a program sponsored by the Albany Public Library, metaliteracy was discussed in a panel about Fake News and Real Teens: Problems and Possibility on Sunday, November 4. The event celebrated the start of Media Literacy Week and featured panelists Tom Mackey, Professor of Arts and Media, SUNY Empire State College, Amanda FriesTimes Union reporter, and Heather Kovar, CBS News anchor and reporter. This conversation among journalists, educators, and members of the local community explored how to deal with and arrive at solutions for false and misleading information online. Students from Youth FX, an Albany-based media arts program that empowers young people to produce digital films and media arts, also participated in the discussion and provided excellent insights throughout the event. Metaliteracy was examined as one of the ways to address the challenges of the post-truth world, a theme consistent with the forthcoming book by Mackey & Jacobson for ALA Publishing entitled Metaliterate Learning for the Post Truth World.

 

Tea for Teaching Podcast Features Metaliteracy

Tea1In the latest Tea for Teaching podcast produced by the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) at the State University of New York at Oswego, Tom Mackey and Trudi Jacobson participate in a conversation about metaliteracy with John Kane, an economist, and Rebecca Mushtare, a graphic designer.  John and Rebecca run the Center and produce the Tea for Teaching series. As part of this podcast, Trudi and Tom define what metaliteracy is, provide illustrative examples of metaliteracy in practice, and explore the connection to the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. This conversation also goes into detail about the latest SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grant (IITG) awarded to the Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative to support a new metaliteracy MOOC Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World, currently under development in the Open EdX platform for a March 2019 launch. Tom and Trudi talk about their forthcoming book for ALA Publishing Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World and Trudi provides updates on the Metaliteracy Digital Badging System. As part of the podcast, a full transcript of the discussion is provided, along with related references. Get ready for this Tea for Teaching podcast with your favorite tea and then listen for the latest ideas about metaliteracy that will support your own teaching and learning!

SUNY IITG Awarded to Support a New Metaliteracy MOOC on Post-Truth World

SUNY IITG LogoThe Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative has been awarded a top tier $60,000 Innovative Instruction Technology Grant (IITG) to develop a new metaliteracy MOOC, Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World. This new Open EdX MOOC builds on the themes examined in the forthcoming book edited by Tom Mackey and Trudi Jacobson for ALA Publishing entitled Metaliterate Learning for the Post Truth World. This freely available learning environment will provide instructional resources for global educators and learners to explore the complex set of issues related to the post-truth world, including confirmation bias, false and misleading information in textual and visual forms, the changing understanding of expertise, as well as concerns about privacy, security, and safety in online environments. The Open EdX MOOC will be developed from a metaliteracy perspective to advance strategies for success that ultimately empower metaliterate learners to apply metacognitive reflection, promote collaboration, support active participation, and build communities of trust.

As part of this Open EdX MOOC SUNY Empire State College will offer a for-credit version of Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World that incorporates the Open EdX MOOC into the learning experience. Tom Mackey’s DIGA-3996-01 Special Topics: Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World is a 4-credit fully online course that will also be available as a face-to-face seminar-style group study at the Empire State College location at 21 British American Boulevard in Latham, New York. This special topics course will be offered in January 2019 at SUNY Empire State College and will prepare learners to successfully complete the Open EdX MOOC, which launches in March 2019.

Principal Investigators for this IITG project are Tom Mackey, Professor of Arts and Media at SUNY Empire State College and Trudi Jacobson, Distinguished Librarian and The University at Albany. Co-Principal Investigators include Kelsey O’Brien, information literacy librarian at UAlbany, Christine Paige, director of instructional design at SUNY Empire. The team also includes content developers Nicola Allain, Lisa Stephens, Thomas Palmer, Christine Fena, and Allison Hosier, as well as Videographer David Dickinson, and Instructional Designer Alena Rodick.

The new Open EdX MOOC builds on the three previous metaliteracy MOOCs developed by the Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative, and examined in the Open Praxis essay Metaliteracy as Pedagogical Framework for Learner-Centered Design in Three MOOC Platforms: Connectivist, Coursera and Canvas. Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World will feature videos, multimedia, and interactive learning activities that support reflection, collaboration, and participation while applying the metaliteracy learning characteristics and advancing the metaliteracy learner roles to address the challenges of the post-truth society. This project will also expand the metaliteracy digital badging system to apply similar themes.

 

 

 

Reconstructing Scientific Literacy through Metaliteracy: Implications for Learning in a Post Truth World

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Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World

Allison Brungard and Kristin Klucevsek offer the following preview of their chapter, “Reconstructing Scientific Literacy through Metaliteracy: Implications for Learning in a Post Truth World,” appearing in the forthcoming book, Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World, edited by Thomas Mackey and Trudi Jacobson.

Science now exists in a wide range of digital contexts. Scientific information can be shared through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and user-generated communities such as YouTube, Flickr, Blogger, and Wikipedia. These platforms can help disseminate scientific information to the wider public, but they also can spread misconceptions and distortions. In our post-truth world, this has a strong impact on scientific literacy, with downstream implications for health, politics, and the environment. We also encounter effects of this post-truth world in our classrooms as we work to build stronger literacy skills with our students. The need for learners to critically examine and reflect on what they encounter in these participatory online environments is crucial. To improve scientific literacy, learners must develop the metacognitive processes necessary to discern fact from fiction. As teachers, we must re-examine competencies for scientific literacy in this post-truth, digital world.

In this chapter, we address the challenges of scientific literacy within the larger framework of metaliteracy. With an emphasis on the four domains of metaliterate learning, we align scientific process with metaliteracy competencies to enhance scientific literacy. We explore the impacts of current events and education on scientific literacy, as well as the relationship between social media and personal biases through which scientific facts can be misconstrued. We also focus on strategies for academic librarians and disciplinary faculty to infuse metaliterate objectives in their teaching, curriculum, and research. Reflective and participatory learning can move learners beyond the consumption of information and towards critical thinking, research, and writing. This encourages learners to also be content producers, with the ability to understand the most effective ways to use science in their daily lives

When Stories and Pictures Lie Together — And You Don’t Even Know It.

metaliterateLearning_fullsize_RGBThomas Palmer, M.S., Digital Media Lecturer from the Journalism Program at the University at Albany, SUNY, and Editorial Design Director / News Editor at the Times Union newspaper introduces you to his chapter in Metaliterate Learning in the Post-Truth World: When Stories and Pictures Lie Together — And You Don’t Even Know It.

The photo in the tweet triggers your path to deception in as little as 13 milliseconds. Your brain dedicates about 85% of its processing to make sense of this picture. Your comprehension of its text finally catches up, but you’ll likely believe the false claim merely because the image is present. Confirmation bias settles in. You have just fallen prey within seconds to the intersemiotic contextual misrepresentation of photojournalism — and you weren’t even aware. This targeted disinformation to manipulate you is a success. In this post-truth era, the weaponizing of legitimate photojournalism for political and social propaganda is easy and low tech. However, in this chapter metaliterate learners can develop judgment for identifying and exposing this malpractice to protect themselves and the public.

The relationship between text and image is dynamic and complementary, while also leading to misrepresentations. This chapter analyzes the synergistic association of several visual-textual examples from photojournalism to illustrate how images are easily manipulated and misunderstood.  Metaliteracy is discussed as an empowering pedagogical response to these concerns that supports learners in developing detection and prevention strategies.

Poetic Ethnography and Metaliteracy: Empowering Voices in A Hybrid Theater Arts Course

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Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World

Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon, an Associate Professor at Temple University offers the following preview of her chapter: “Poetic Ethnography and Metaliteracy: Empowering Voices in a Hybrid Theater Arts Course’ appearing in the forthcoming book, Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World.

When is a Theater arts course more than a theater arts course? How do we encourage students to “have voice”? In an age when “alternative facts” have become the new norm, how can theater and the theater studies curriculum give students agency to contribute to the discourse? Well… at Temple University, these days, its when faculty consciously use a metaliteracy lens to develop or improve their courses so as to encourage students to not just consume new knowledge but also to produce it and to distribute it through multiple modalities and across multiple platforms.

At Temple University in Philadelphia, the Theater Studies curriculum exemplifies the metacognitive domain of metaliteracy teaching students to effectively consume and produce new information in the form of devised theater productions, displays, press releases, exhibitions, community performances and critiques. One such course that goes a long way to introduce metaliteracy concepts into the theater curriculum is THTR 2008 Poetic Ethnography.

The course, THTR 2008 Poetic Ethnography operates as both ethno-drama and as a theater hybrid that incorporates several tightly structured field site audio and video digital storytelling projects into its 13-week curriculum. These projects encourage students to expand their knowledge base, investigate multiple forms of information gathering methodologies and to develop performative and distributive content across multiple cultural and social platforms.

Through the process of research and new knowledge production, students gain life-long learning skills about how to develop more nuanced, personal narratives that tell a more complete and factual story about communities, individuals and contemporary events. This chapter, then, looks at how Poetic Ethnography teaches students how to develop ethnographic and personal narratives set to poetry about Philadelphia neighborhoods and its people—giving voice to the sometimes voiceless in our communities, while simultaneously learning metaliteracy and metacognitive learning strategies.

Dr. Kimmika L. H. Williams-Witherspoon, Associate Professor

Department of Theater

Temple University