Rapid advancements in digital technologies have fundamentally changed the social skills and cultural competencies necessary for full participation in the digital age. The ease with which individual can now share information, sample, and remix media content, access diverse communities, network across digital and analogue environments has shifted the focus of literacy from individual expression to that of community involvement. These new literacies demand facility with new genres, new messages, and new media that extend beyond traditional modes of reading, writing, and speaking. According to Jenkins et al., (2006) these new skills include:
- Play - the capacity to experiment with one's surroundings as a form of problem-solving.
- Performance - the ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery.
- Simulation - the ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world processes.
- Appropriation - the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content.
- Multitasking - the ability to scan one's environment and shift focus as needed to salient details.
- Distributed Cognition - the ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities.
- Collective Intelligence - the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others toward a common goal.
- Judgment - the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources.
- Trans-media Navigation - the ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities.
- Networking - the ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information.
- Negotiation - the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms.
This program offers hands on learning experiences with digital media to develop the skills, knowledge, ethical frameworks, and self-confidence needed for full participation in contemporary culture. Throughout the program participants will be immersed in a participatory culture that provides opportunities for peer-to-peer learning as they engage in activities that promote creative expression, civic engagement, political empowerment, and economic advancement. This program is well suited for teachers seeking to transform learning experiences in schools or community members seeking to raise their public profile and productivity in workplace settings.