New literacies are new forms of how literacy is presented and communicated to others. As technology and social practices continue to involve, literacies are presented not only in the traditional form of reading and writing from printed texts but can be through a variety of different media such as online chat groups, instant messaging, blogging, etc. A quote that represents this from Alvermann (2011) article states, “collective intelligence...as an alternative source of media power” (pg.5).
Alvermann (2011) stated that the autonomous model “assumes a universal set of skills are necessary for decoding mostly printed text.” (pg.5). In contrast, new literacies viewpoint is that of an ideological model, viewing reading and writing from a social context and draws focus to the way text presents an image of the world.
New literacies do not limit individuals to one form of communication and expression. Strengths of new literacies include recognizing individual strengths (different ways to communicate the same idea) and accessibility (online groups, chat groups). It looks at social practices of individuals and uses it as an outlet to learn and grow from. For example, multi-literacies: communication through media, musicals, digital literacies. There are opportunities for new literacies to be used for connecting pop culture and everyday practices for educational purposes. Alvermann (2011), stated debate #2 as a question of transfer. This debate looks that the possibility and potential for students participating in reading, writing, listening and creating popular culture texts from informal to formal learning environments. Informal and formal learning can co-exist. By incorporating new literacies with popular culture, it allows students to develop self-pedagogy. They become aware of their own thinking, reasoning, and perspectives. Example: analyzing advertisements and identifying the underlying messages, making videos and posting the videos on the internet. New literacies with pop culture together engage students and allow students to pick what works for them. It is not limited to printed text, but a wide variety of different mediums. By limiting how students are to complete a task (writing and reading printed text), we are doing students a disservice, as we may be limiting their potential to express and communicate what they intend to say and limit their chances of demonstrating their learning and knowledge. New literacies allow new opportunities and outlets for learning not only about the self but about social constructs within society.