The videos depict metaliterate learning in action: a learner considers the impact of the affective domain when seeking information on a topic about which they are particularly passionate (and perhaps biased); a metaliterate author creates a digital story that ethically incorporates repurposed content; and civic-minded citizens work together to create trusting online spaces by developing and enacting community guidelines. The examples in the videos, by no means exhaustive, encourage self-reflection as viewers contemplate the roles, characteristics, and domains they employ as metaliterate learners. The videos also emphasize that metaliterate learning is a continual, reflective process and prompt learners to consider the aspects with which they identify as well as those toward which they aspire.
Do you have ideas for how you might incorporate these resources into your teaching? Please feel free to embed the videos into your lessons and tell us about it in the comments! We’d love to know more about your ideas and practices.
Profs. Trudi Jacobson and Tom Mackey have been invited to provide a keynote address on metaliteracy at a virtual event hosted by the University of Puerto Rico on February 11, 2021. This new presentation, entitled Metaliteracy: Engaging Students through Assessment as Learning, will occur during the Second Virtual Training Session 4th National Meeting of Information Literacy Competencies. Registration for this event is open at: https://lnkd.in/eeyEtjt. We look forward to seeing you virtually! – Trudi & Tom
This new presentation addresses today’s fractured information environment and how metaliteracy can be applied in these challenging times. Trudi and Tom talk about ways to rebuild trust in these environments through metaliteracy and to share ideas about how to design open learning initiatives with this model.
With this post, Tom and Trudi would like to welcome Kelsey O’Brien, a key member of the Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative, as a regular contributor of blog posts with us. Kelsey’s contributions to metaliteracy have involved the creation of a number of videos, the enhancement of visual models as evidenced by the one featured in this post, participation in creating metaliteracy learning resources including the iSucceed module (#11) and collaborating with us on the MOOCs Metaliteracy: Empowering Yourself in a Connected World and Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World, and her expert oversight of the digital badging content. Kelsey is an Information Literacy Librarian at the University at Albany, SUNY.
A new integrated metaliteracy figure combines three core metaliteracy components: the four learning domains, the learner characteristics, and the learner roles. Each of the components in this interactive resource features a set of guiding questions that help learners reflect on their own developing characteristics and roles. The questions are designated with their associated learning domains, highlighting the multi-faceted nature of metaliterate learning and encouraging learners to consider how they embody the domains and characteristics in their roles as participants, producers, collaborators, and teachers.
Consider the rings of the diagram as able to spin, so that the combinations of domains, roles and characteristics are changeable, as they are in real life. These essential elements are reinforced by the goals and learning objectives that constitute the fourth component of the metaliteracy framework. Click on the elements in the figure for guiding questions connected to each learning domain, characteristic, and learner role (or download the Integrated Metaliterate Learner Figure with Guiding Questions as a PDF).
This figure will appear in the book, Metaliteracy in a Connected World: Developing Learners as Producers, co-authored by Tom and Trudi, due out from Neal-Schuman/ALA Editions in later 2021.
The metaliteracy model supports the design of open learning initiatives by reinforcing the value of ethical and responsible information production and sharing, and by scaffolding learners as they step into new roles that accompany open learning opportunities. These scenarios often include the opportunity to design and contribute to the communal learning environment. This presentation will describe the metaliteracy model and its intersections with open learning, and conclude by showcasing two initiatives that embody this approach.
There are a number of components in Wikipedia that align with the Framework, suggesting that an analysis of Wikipedia might serve as a contained but rich case study of how the Framework can serve as a construct whose utility extends beyond individuals’ information literacy understanding and progress. Individual frames shed light on this resource, and metaliteracy, which influenced the Framework, highlights additional elements of Wikipedia, particularly as an immersive teaching tool.
This descriptive analysis of the Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World MOOC shows how metaliteracy is embedded in the course to prepare learners as informed consumers and ethical producers of information. Participants gain insights about their affective responses to information by reflecting on their preconceptions and conducting research to create a digital artifact. The course-specific learning outcomes in each module are based on the metaliteracy goals and learning objectives and associated components such as the learner roles, learning domains, and characteristics.
(Mackey, p. 357)
We welcome your feedback about these new metaliteracy articles and look forward to being in dialogue with you in 2021!
Tom Mackey’s presentation Advancing Metaliteracy to Rebuild Trust launched the Reason & Respect initiative at SUNY Empire State College. This series of online conversations “provides a forum for students, faculty, staff, and our broader communities to explore and discuss topics related to the election and learn about critical issues” (SUNY Empire). Tom’s presentation examines metaliteracy as a pedagogical strategy to address the challenges of misinformation and disinformation during this election cycle and a global pandemic. According to the World Health Organization, the COVID-19 pandemic is also an “infodemic” that is defined by the spread of false and misleading information. The sharing of deceptive and untruthful information during a global pandemic is especially problematic when accurate and reliable communication is essential for saving lives. Misinformation and disinformation are amplified by echo chambers, tribalism, and contentious partisan environments that reinforce mistrust and division. How do we rebuild trust based on reason and respect? How do we engage in difficult conversations about critical issues while reexamining fixed mindsets and understanding multiple perspectives?
During an age of misinformation and well-orchestrated disinformation campaigns, it is especially vital to make informed decisions based on accurate content from reliable and truthful sources. Metaliteracy is a comprehensive model that helps individuals to become both critical consumers and ethical producers of information in participatory environments (Mackey & Jacobson, 2011; Mackey & Jacobson, 2014). Metaliterate learners are reflective, well-informed, and civic-minded contributors to shared communities. They adapt to changing information technologies and work conscientiously to build communities of trust (Mackey, 2019). Metaliterate learners reflect on how they feel about information and the specific contexts of information environments (Jacobson, et. al., 2018). They develop a metaliteracy mindset and examine their own predispositions while consciously seeking information from multiple perspectives and sources (Jacobson, et. al., 2018). Metaliteracy has been applied in many different educational settings, from classrooms and libraries to online virtual environments, showing that it is possible to advance rational and reflective dialogue among engaged participants in shared spaces. This presentation explores how metaliteracy is a lifelong practice for building truthful and trusted communities based on a shared commitment to both empathy and understanding.
A recent panel presentation by the Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative supports students in a Pathways in Technology (PTECH) Early College High School who are working on a Public Service Announcement (PSA) project related to misinformation. If you are interested in applying metaliteracy to your teaching practices, check out this interactive presentation and associated breakout sessions entitled Metaliterate Learners Take a Stand Against Misinformation. This model for applying metaliteracy in a problem-based learning scenario was developed by Tom Mackey from SUNY Empire State College, in collaboration with Trudi Jacobson, and Kelsey O’Brien from the University at Albany. Sandra Barkevich, Business and Career Explorations Instructor at HFM Pathways in Technology Early College High School (PTECH) invited the Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative to develop this interactive presentation. During this session, metaliteracy was introduced to reinforce the learner as producer role that the students take on as collaborative creators of PSA’s about misinformation.
During this session, the students and teachers were introduced to the core components of metaliteracy (roles, domains, characteristics, goals and learning objectives) and were then organized into three different breakout sessions. The organization of the breakouts was based on three of the components (roles, characteristics, goals and learning objectives). Members of each group also engaged with the learning domains as they thought about next steps for their project, what would be required of them, and how awareness of these domains might be used to enhance both their learning and their work. The students applied what they learned about these metaliteracy principles during the small group activities which included interactive surveys and an interactive padlet where each group shared one big takeaway.
We really enjoyed working with the 9th graders as they engaged with these metaliteracy ideas and look forward to the development of their PSAs! If you have any questions about this presentation and how to apply it to your pre-college or higher education setting, feel free to reach out to us at any time!
This guest blog post is by Dr. Valerie Hill, Director of the Community Virtual Library (a library in virtual learning environments) and researcher of changing literacy in digital culture. Valerie believes metaliteracy aligns well to our philosophical era which many are beginning to call “metamodernism”.
Her recent book, Metamodernism and Changing Literacy: Emerging Research and Opportunities, focuses on metaliteracy for all age groups through an exploration of our metamodern moment. In the Foreword to this book, Thomas Mackey states, “Hill provides a fascinating exploration of metamodernism through the perspective of metaliteracy. This intersection between both theories is vital to our understanding of the relationship between digital culture and literacy.”
Certainly, over the past few months instructors and learners have been challenged by the need to plunge into virtual learning environments (like it or not!) due to Covid 19. Many educators have scrambled to learn new tech tools connecting to students through ZOOM and other apps. Obviously, lecturing online through a web camera has obstacles and limitations as there is little chance for interactive hands-on learning without a “shared space”. Entering virtual platforms for learning requires metaliteracy and the ability to reflect on information in multiple formats as we participate in digital spaces both consuming and producing information. We are surrounded by evidence that metaliteracy is essential, realizing that literacy is no longer defined as the ability to read and write. Options for online learning continue to evolve and a look at our philosophical era in relation to literacy helps us understand how deep learning can occur today and in the future.
The End of Postmodernism
Metaliteracy, as defined by Mackey and Jacobson (2014), is a term developed to better understand the need for digital citizens to reflect on their own literacy in globally networked culture through four domains: behavioral, cognitive, affective, and metacognitive. The ongoing process of learning through these domains takes place again and again over time. This need for metaliteracy was a perfect match to the changing era of postmodernism and the rise of networked culture; however, it is even more critical as we move beyond postmodernism. Several new concepts are emerging, such as: post-postmodernism, post-millennialism, trans-postmodernism, and the term used in this writing, metamodernism.
One of the hallmarks of postmodernism was deconstructionism and the tearing down of grand narratives and established belief systems. Postmodernism emphasized irony, engendered an abundance of dystopian literary works, and promoted a sense of the “death of history”. Metamodernism, in contrast, allows room for hope. Vermeulen and van den Akker (2010, p. 2) suggest, “History, it seems, is moving rapidly beyond its all too hastily proclaimed end.” Understanding changes in literacy may be better understood by exploring metamodernism and embracing metaliteracy.
Metaliteracy in Virtual Spaces
Literacy, we all know, has been revolutionized by digital culture bringing opportunities to access, create and curate content through a plethora of apps and digital platforms. Rapidly expanding digital tools have disrupted education, leading to the need for new nomenclature and a new look at literacy. As information landscapes continue to evolve, metaliteracy addresses goals and learning objectives for digital citizens which include 1) Evaluation of content and bias; 2) Advocating respect for intellectual property; 3) Producing and sharing through collaboration; and 4) Adapting to change through lifelong personal and professional goals.
While innovative learning spaces can be new and exciting, the metamodern individual seeks a balance of innovation with respect for history and tradition. Much can be gained by studying the past and reflecting on the learning journey of those who lived before us. These oscillations between the past and the present, between the physical and the virtual (or digital), and between numerous opposing concepts (the concrete and the abstract) surround us in our metamodern world and impact literacy as we juggle and swing between them in our minds. This juggling between modes of literacy and thinking influences our behavior, our knowledge and understanding, our feelings toward information, and our reflection on how we learn (notice the four domains of metaliteracy).
Choosing the best learning environment is challenging for educators and for learners as online classroom management platforms compete to provide educational applications and virtual spaces (even VR headsets) continue to rapidly expand. Many online spaces offer little interaction beyond observation through a webcam or interactive chat. Evaluating the criteria necessary for specific learning objectives is critical and a shared sense of place and presence can be of tremendous value.
3D virtual environments may play a greater role in simulating a shared learning experience using avatars, a simulated space across distance with the ability to learn in collaboration in a persistent environment (a space that remains over time rather than a one-time disposable experience). Research has documented the potential for high quality educational simulations for over fifteen years. Virtual worlds, such as Second Life or Kitely, offer learners tools to build alone or in collaboration with others. These virtual learning spaces require metaliteracy as users employ various new skills such as embedding online media, coding and scripting, using voice or text, collaborative building, applying the laws of physics, or back channeling through other platforms to communicate.
Great potential for learning and creating in virtual environments is evident; yet, so too is the need for a balance between the virtual world and the physical world. Metamodernism calls for a balance of both worlds and an appreciation of both. The process of becoming metaliterate is lifelong and the metamodern individual must be aware of the personal responsibilities we each hold as digital citizens. As XR (Extended Reality), VR (Virtual Reality), AR (Augmented Reality) and MR (Mixed Reality) continue to evolve, metaliteracy will become essential to education and daily life. Certainly, the unprecedented shutdowns caused by Covid 19 have brought a new appreciation of our physical world and our social interactions. A deep appreciation for the physical world alongside multiple “realities” is a metamodern concept.
Metaliteracy for all Age Groups in Digital Culture
From infancy through old age, we are all called upon to become digital citizens in today’s globally connected culture. Tiny tots see digital devices around them from birth and elderly people are often expected to utilize digital modes of communication from email and online shopping to texting and social media. Much of our online interaction takes place through social media and networked communities. “Metaliteracy promotes critical thinking and collaboration in a digital age, providing a comprehensive framework to effectively participate in social media and online communities” (Mackey and Jacobson, 2011, p. 62).
Becoming metaliterate is a process that begins at birth with the modeling of literacy (print books preferred for infants and toddlers!) imperative to development. Parents, children, educators, students, and lifelong learners are challenged to develop a personal awareness of metaliteracy and to “apply metaliterate learning as a lifelong value and practice” (Metaliteracy Goal 4:9) (Jacobson, et. al., 2019).
Hill, V. J. (2020). Metamodernism and Changing Literacy: Emerging Research and Opportunities. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
An English translation of the metaliteracy interview for the RSG Radio Program has been prepared by Jako Olivier, UNESCO Chair on Multimodal Learning and OER at North West University (NWU), South Africa.
Trudi Jacobson Tom Mackey and Jako Olivier (pictured to the right in 2019 at NWU in South Africa) discuss metaliteracy on Sunday August 2, 2020 at 9:30am EST (15:30 South African time).
Download the English translation of the interview here:
The discussion is moderated by Johannes Van Lill, for the RSG radio show, Ons en die onderwys (‘We and Education’). While Tom’s and Trudi’s responses are in English, the program is in Afrikaans. Jako’s translation of the program will allow you to read along with the initial interview on Sunday at http://www.rsg.co.za/ or if you download the podcast after the event at https://lnkd.in/d-hCeDN.
Our first blog post about the interview featured two audio previews, and here are two additional responses from Tom and Trudi based on the questions posed by Johannes Van Lill:
Which characteristics should a metaliterate learner have?
What implications does metaliteracy have for teachers and parents in the school context?
We hope that you join us for this opportunity to engage with an international audience about metaliteracy and welcome any feedback and insights you have based on the conversation!