Learn more about Foundational Literacies Foundational LiteraciesLearn more about New Literacies New Literacies



New Literacies


  • Specific to text on the Internet
  • Skills necessary, IN ADDITION to foundational skills, when the goal is to understand and communicate new information on the Internet
  • Include:
    • Identifying a question to be answered
    • Searching for possible the answers on the Internet
    • Critically evaluating the information found
    • Synthesizing a variety of information
    • Communicating the new information to others
  • Strategies that can be taught through explicit instruction
  • Multiple instructional models through which these strategies can be effectively taught including:
    • Internet Reciprocal Teaching
    • Internet Questioning the Author
    • Internet Workshop, Internet Inquiry


What are New Literacies?

Leu, Kinzer, Coiro, and Cammack, (2004) identified four elements of new literacies necessary when reading on and communicating via the Internet:

• Locating information using menu, search engine, links, or other navigation finders relevant to a topic or goal.

• Critically evaluating information within and across web pages against standards of credibility that take into account the information’s source, authority, mode of representation, logic and purpose.

• Synthesizing information from many sign systems (e.g., print, pictures, icons, moving images, audio, and other design elements) and sources to construct a working mental model of the content.

• Communicating information by producing a representation that coherently, explicitly, and persuasively articulates the meaning intended by the author(s).

Because the enactment of these elements takes on novel forms in the new online medium, they are referred to as new literacies (Coiro, 2003; Leu 2002; Leu, Kinzer, Coiro, & Cammack, 2004).

For an activity that demonstrates new literacies, click here to visit the Parent page and scroll down to the New Literacies Activity section.

How Can We Integrate the New Literacies 
Internet Reciprocal Teaching explained and linked to video demonstrations (PDF document).

Video Links

The video links below are examples of effective and ineffective new litera.  Each is captured using a program called Camtasia.  Camtasia is a program that records the computer screen, thus capturing all that happens during a journey onto the Internet.  This program has allowed us to analyze effective and ineffective strategy use while reading on the Internet. 

Video example of INEFFECTIVE new literacies (Flash Video)

Video example of EFFECTIVE and fast new literacies (Flash Video)


Video example of INEFFECTIVE new literacies (Flash Video)


Orca IShowU test

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