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lianzacon06 Report Back Slide 9
Jenkins (et al) describes appropriation as "a process by which students learn by taking culture apart and putting it back together" (p32). He reminds us that much of cultural production has to do with building on, engaging with, and being influenced by previous cultural texts. Traditionally, however, schools and other educational institutions have tended to privilege the idea of a distinct and individual author, rather than a collaborative, cumulative process.
By rejecting appropriation as form of piracy, we miss out on the opportunity to educate users about ethical and legal issues for repurposing media content. Instead, we should be helping media students develop the skills to correctly identify and deconstruct these kinds of media and their creative origins.
Developing critical skills for analyzing new media technologies echoes an issue that was raised several times during the conference. Tara Brabazon described the internet as "large, irrelevant, filled with advertising, outdated, increasingly corporatized". In this environment, it is crucial that students be equipped with the skills to evaluate the value of the information they encounter. Tara also reminded us that searching for information is not the same as understanding information. Librarians, operating in the spaces where users are coming into contact with this ‘surfeit’ of information, can help educate and advise them in making good judgments.
Audiences increasingly engage with information and narratives across multiple media formats. Knowledge of a particular topic or story may invovlve a synthesis of information pulled from a number of various media.
Learning to recognise and correctly identify information across these multiple formats is an important skill for contemporary media users. Additionally, people should be empowered to express ideas and concepts over a wide range of different systems of representation and signification (p.46-48).
New media literacy invovles being skilled in employing "socially based search systems" to find useful information resources. What users get out of social software depends on their ability to understand the process by which it was generated as well as their "analysis of the social and psychological factors that shape collective behaviour" (p49-50). Students need to be able to identify which groups are likely to be able to provide the kinds of information they might be seeking and also choose appropriate strategies to retrieve worthwhile results.