Sunday, March 20, 2016

Building New Literacy in a New Age: Proposed Format

In periods of transition, many people naturally try to solve new problems in old ways.

They usually fail.

Literacy, in its traditional sense, is viewed as an important indicator of how well someone can function in society. Likewise, in the Age of Information, new literacy skills need to be developed. 

In our section of a larger class project, not only do we wish to show the need for these skills, but we also want to further develop them in ourselves. Multi-media platforms are an excellent way to spread information.

Consider the above video from YouTube channel SciShow.  
The video takes the basic "talking head" concept, but makes it both enjoyable and informative. They do so by including links to other videos and papers, cutting to visuals and diagrams, and by keeping a brisk, comfortable pace. It allows the enthusiast to learn something new, while also leaving the door open to newcomers who may have only passing knowledge of the subject.

We have prepared a rough script for the opening segment of our presentation, and have included it below. The bolded sections show ideas for cutaways and links.

An example of a cutaway shot to enhance information. 
Adding links to separate papers provides
easy additional information
Since pre-historic times, societies have communicated with each other. Strong communication skills were necessary for individuals, businesses, and governments to form and prosper [slide down, screen left: “with writing system” and show some ancient chinese kanji; screen right: “no writing system”].

From the advent of written language to the printing press, each system of communication has had both its advantages and challenges. 
[Picture of scale with "Advantages" on one side, "Challenges" on the other.]
In our current age of information, individuals, companies, and governments must learn to effectively navigate and make use of the immense amount of information available to them.

We will address problems, such as [slide in link to Eli] confirmation bias and [slide in link to Sarah] ill-equipped education systems, as well as solutions like [slide in link to Jason post] dialectical thinking, information triangulation, and [slide in link to Jordan’s] even a potential new tool to assist in understanding and utilizing the information available to us. We hope to show how embracing this new medium can lead to unprecedented progress.

Overlaying and resizing text emphasizes important points.
The final goal of this project is to form a strong central argument that can be linked to each of our sub arguments in both a linear and central way. As of the writing of this post, we are preparing a mock-up animation, and hope to start filming within the next week.


  1. I look forward to seeing the prototype of this video. Be sure to make it accessible to the common man, while still targeting the audience that you think can do something about the idea. This mock-up written version is a bit haphazard, but I'm certain the video you make will convey the message more clearly.

  2. I like the idea of illustrating problems and then offering solutions. The only problem I can foresee is that this topic wouldn't divide an educated audience as most people would agree with your ideas as they are fairly general. I'm not sure if this is a problem or if it was what you were going for though.

  3. I like where you're going with this idea too ... I just would like to see how each of the sub arguments will divide a crowd like Chloe had mentioned. I'm sure there are some great issues that can be addressed and better help us as the audience understand what you're getting at.