Making School Relevant: Adding New Literacies to the Policy Agenda

Cheryl McLean*, Jennifer Rowsell, Diane Lapp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


Updating online profiles, texting, posting selfies, downloading music, surfing the web, and tweeting while walking along the street or sitting in class are all continual reminders that youth live multimodal lives. Less and less are communication, learning, and comprehension limited to traditional modes of the printed word or text and to more traditional media (although all of these text genres have been multimodal); instead, words are usually nested with visual images/graphics, aural/oral modes, animation, etc. and digital technologies. Indeed, in the popular culture landscape, adults appear to take note of youth’s multimodal literacies and multiple ways of knowing—from video games to websites that purposefully embed three key features of ‘new literacies’ (1) social/interactive (2) multiple modal (e.g. audio, video, print/text), and (3) creative license and expression (e.g. blogs, posts, links, fan fiction/sites). These new skills that transmediated, multimodal texts bring afford young people the opportunity to become active consumers-producers-composers of knowledge and information in a way that can directly and immediately affect and reach others everywhere, everyday.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCultural Studies and Transdisciplinarity in Education
EditorsK Sandford, T Rogers, M Kendrick
PublisherSpringer Nature Switzerland AG
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series

NameCultural Studies and Transdisciplinarity in Education
ISSN (Print)2345-7708


  • Blended learning
  • Digital literacy
  • Literacy practice
  • Oral reading
  • Popular culture


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