Meta or MEGA literacy!

Metaliteracy has been featured recently in two new publications.  A new UNESCO document entitled Media and Information Literacy for Knowledge Societies (2013) provides a brief definition of metaliteracy and makes it central to the conclusion.  According to this new publication:

As an umbrella term, it covers many of the other literacies. It also seems to overlap with new literacies such as multiliteracies and global literacy. It is a metaliteracy. It is transversal in its nature and can be seen as an iceberg concept which is much bigger than what it is seen at first sight. Information literacy can be easily called a megaliteracy which is composed of many other skills and literacies (p. 85).

As a comprehensive and unifying metaliteracy, the idea of a megaliteracy is not needed, since the the meta already encompasses this idea.  But this is an intriguing way to look at it and certainly addresses the interconnected nature of emerging literacies.  Great to see metaliteracy brought into the conversation.

We also note another new publication from Betty Hurley-Dasgupta, Carol Yeager, and Catherine Bliss from SUNY Empire State College about the first MOOC they offered in the SUNY System entitled Creativity and Multicultural Communication.  The authors make several references to metaliteracy in their article cMOOC and Global Learning: An Authentic Alternative in The Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks (JALN).  According to the authors,

Clearly, we need to scaffold the development of metaliteracy skills for learning through cMOOCs. Some scaffolding could be accomplished by incorporating more self-assessment into the MOOC. For future MOOCs, we plan to incorporate shared rubrics to help participants assess their own metaliteracy skills, (Yeager, et.al, 2013, p. 144).

This is an important point that demonstrates the potential impact of a metaliteracy perspective on the cMOOC learning experience, and how learners could gain new insights and knowledge in these open and collaborative spaces.  We definitely need metaliteracy rubrics for MOOCs to enhance the experience for independent and collaborative learners.

UNESCO Papers Cite Metaliteracy

Two new essays in a series of research papers published by UNESCO cite metaliteracy and promote the framework.  The series is entitled Conceptual Relationship of Information Literacy and Media Literacy in Knowledge Societies and includes an essay authored by Dr. Alice Y. L. Lee, Associate Professor at the Department of Journalism from the Hong Kong Baptist University in China entitled “Literacy and Competencies Required to Participate in Knowledge Societies: WSIS+10: Overview and Analysis of WSIS Action Lines C3 Access to Knowledge and C9 Media.”  Lee references our article “Reframing Information Literacy as a Metaliteracy” and summarizes several key points reinforcing that “metaliteracies are critical thinking and collaboration abilities in a digital age that provide a comprehensive framework from which to effectively participate in social media and online communities” (25).  In a second essay entitled “Conceptual Relationship of Information Literacy and Media Literacy: Consideration within the broader Mediacy and Metaliteracy Framework” Dr. Toni Carbo, Teaching Professor at Drexel University’s College of Information Science and Technology (The iSchool) states that “Metaliteracy comes full circle to the concepts introduced originally by Zurkowski and in ‘Mediacy’ in 1997 and expands the context into social media and the civil society” (99).  Carbo concludes her essay by stating: “This suggests an important role for UNESCO in bringing together both experts and other individuals from different cultures, age groups and disciplines to shape a true Metaliteracy program to improve the quality of life for all” (99).  We appreciate this recent attention to the metaliteracy framework and agree that it has broader implications for how we understand literacy in larger global contexts.  Perhaps our new learning objectives could advance this idea further.

3T’s Presentation: Metaliteracy in Practice

Last week’s 3T’s 2013 Conference at Empire State College was an inspiration for everyone who attended.  Sue Thomas was outstanding and provided us with an engaging and compelling keynote address.  In the afternoon session Trudi Jacobson, Tom Mackey, and Greg Bobish presented on metaliteracy with a presentation entitled “Metaliteracy in Practice: Metaliteracy sounds great but how do I teach it?”  This presentation includes reference to our article on this topic Reframing Information Literacy as a Metaliteracy as well as a preview of the book manuscript currently under development Metaliteracy for the Open Age of Social Media for ALA Books.