New Media Literacy Skills

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From the New Media Literacies project, at

See also:


NML Description


Preliminary Skills:

Basic Literacy -- the ability to read and write

Technical Skills -- the ability to operate core technologies and tools desired for specific projects.

Multimodal Literacy -- the ability to process information across multiple systems of representation.

Emerging Skills:

Play -- a process of exploration and experimentation.

Performance-- trying on and playing different identities.

Navigation -- the ability to move across the media landscape in a purposeful manner, choosing the media that best serves a specific purpose or need, or which might best provide the information needed to serve a particular task.

Resourcefulness -- the ability to identify and capitalize on existing resources.

Networking -- the ability to identify a community of others who share common goals and interests.

Negotiation -- the ability to communicate across differences as you move through a multicultural and global media landscape.

Synthesis -- pulling together information from multiple sources, evaluating its reliability and use value, constructing a new picture of the world.

Sampling -- mastering and transforming existing media content for the purposes of self and collective expression.

Collaboration -- sharing information, pooling knowledge, comparing notes, evaluating evidence, and solving large scale problem.

Teamwork -- the ability to identify specific functions for each member of the team based on their expertise and then to interact with the team members in an appropriate fashion.

Judgment -- the ability to make aesthetic and ethical evaluations of media practices and to reflect on your own choices and their consequences.

Discernment -- the ability to assess the accuracy and appropriateness of available information.

These skills each lie at the intersection between the self and others. These are cultural skills and not individual skills. The goal is communication and participation, not simply self-expression, and that requires an understanding of the impact of one's ideas on others. Any ethical framework we develop should emerge from this understanding that media may have been personalized in the early 1990s but it is now collaborative and communal in an era of networked and mobile communications technologies." (

UNESCO Description


Basic or core literacies

This term still applies to the core or foundation literacies of learning how to read, how to write and how to perform simple numeracy tasks necessary in everyday life.

Computer literacy: Computer literacy means the efficient ability to know how to use and operate computers as information processing machine

a. Hardware Literacy

Hardware literacy refers to the set of basic operations you need to know in order to use a computer such as a Personal Computer (PC) or Laptop, or perhaps a combination hand-held device such as BlackBerry efficiently.

b. Software Literacy.

Software literacy refers to the “invisible” set of general-purpose procedures and instructions that the computer or telecommunications hardware requires in order to perform its functions properly.

Media Literacy: Media literacy embraces everything from having the knowledge needed to use old and new media technology to having a critical relationship to media content in a time when the media constitute one of the most powerful forces in society.

Distance Education and E-Learning

Cultural Literacy: Cultural literacy means a knowledge of, and understanding, of how a country’s, a religion’s, an ethnic group’s, or a tribe’s traditions, beliefs, symbols and icons, celebrations, and traditional means of communication (e.g. orally) impact the creation, storage, handling, communication, preservation and archiving of data, information and knowledge, using technologies.

Information Literacy

… empower people in all walks of life to seek, evaluate, use and create information effectively to achieve their personal, social, occupational and educational goals." (


Trebor Scholz calls for an ethics of participation and 'participation skills':

"Youth needs to be educated and what that means changes frequently. Today, informal "peer education" plays an increasingly important role. Finding your way around participatory cultures is crucial for professional life in the "creative industries," for citizenship, and for personal growth. This literacy needs to be taught and right now many relevant skills are mainly taught outside of institutions of learning. Kids are not born with a better ability to cope with information overload (like a sixth finger to text faster). Teenagers don't have dual processor brains. Some of them are more fearless and playful in their encounters with technology partially because they grew up with networked computers.

However, if you don't know how to deal with the constant influx of music, videos, software, email, friends on IM, and blogs and wikis and MySpace posts (now also available for life on the go), then you will be simply drown in a swamp of data. Your attention will be so diffuse that you can't follow through with a concentrated, long-term project. It will also be hard for you to be present with another person, to actually "meet" them.

We need an ethics of participation!"

More Information

  1. Participatory Media Literacy, at
  2. Transliteracies, research group on online reading
  3. Dan Gilmour: Principles of New Media Literacy