Being the first reading of INTE 5340, this chapter provided me with many new insights and really challenged my thinking. First of all, it made me look at literacy and literacy practices in a way that I have never thought about before. My view of literacy has always just been the ability to read and write text. It was suggested in this chapter that this understanding alone will not allow us to make sense of our literacy experiences. As I began to understand it, I learned that literacy is more than just being able to read or write, but a way of thinking about text and making sense of it. This alone, was already a lot for me to take in.
Continuing this chapter then introduced me to the notion of “new” literacies, which I never even thought existed before. This is where I ran into some concepts that I was unfamiliar with. One of these new concepts introduced was the idea of paradigm cases of new literacies, which contain both new “technical stuff” and new “ethos stuff.” I understood the “technical stuff” just fine, but was having difficultly wrapping my head around what this “ethos stuff” is. This section required me to read through it several times. Table 1.1 in this chapter, illustrating two mindsets, really helped make sense of this by drawing a difference between “old” ethos and “new” ethos.
The idea of primary and secondary Discourses was also fairly new to me, but made perfect sense. Primary Discourses, which comprise of our values and how we see other “people like us,” had me thinking about how I actually view my own primary Discourse. It made me think about how the way I was raised most-likely played an important roll in the development of this Discourse. Secondary Discourses, which are things we’re often recruited into (such as those listed on my Twitter profile), were are lot easier to for me to determine. I also wondered how my primary Discourse shaped many of my secondary Discourses. I feel like it did influence at least a few of them.
One aspect of this reading that actually helped me make sense of many of these new concepts were all of the great examples given. I enjoy playing video games and this is probably one of the only texts I’ve ever read for a class that gave me interesting examples that I could absolutely relate to. Video game modding was a fantastic example of a new ethos for me! This helped me better understand some of the key concepts and is something I will keep in mind for my own digital stories.
Valve Releases A Tool to Create Your Own VR Worlds (Interest-driven Reading)
Although it’s not my focal theme, one of my side interest recently has been virtual reality. This article shared on Popular Science discusses a new tool called VR Destinations that is available on Steam, an online gaming distribution channel. This tool works with both the HTC and Oculus VR headsets and allows anyone to create immersive virtual worlds. Currently, you can’t move throughout the environments, as they are just static images, but this tool has a ton of potential from a digital story standpoint. It gives anyone the ability to travel the world and experience or share their digital stories in the most engaging ways I can think of. I believe it’s only a matter of time before more tool sets that allow anyone to create full 3d virtual environments become available. If I understand it correctly, that would make VR a new literacy.
Why a Course Hashtag (Optional Reading)
I wouldn’t say I’m new to Twitter by any means (as I’ve been using it since 2007) and I am familiar with hashtags, but I haven’t really used them a lot in the past and was interested in seeing what the author of this article had to say. While I agree with many of the bullet points for why it is important to put the course hashtag in a tweet, I also see hashtags as often over used. I personally believe two hashtag is a good limit to use, especially when there are only 140 characters available for a tweet. I would have liked to see the author address this issue in her article to see what her opinion is.