Information ecology and the ACRL IL revisions

At the webinar on the ACRL IL revisions today, there were some questions about the use of “ecosystem.” Here are a few quotes I already had (from a new literacies paper), though going back to them I see that they use “ecology” instead. And I’m not sure they’re precisely clarifying! Also, check out Wikipedia.

Here’s Ito et al. (2010), Hanging out, messing around, and geeking out: Kids living and learning with new media:

We use the term “new media” to describe a media ecology where more traditional media such as books, television, and radio are intersecting with digital media, specifically interactive media and media for social communication (Jenkins 2006) (p. 10).

And later:

We use the metaphor of ecology to emphasize the characteristics of an overall technical, social, cultural, and place-based system, in which the components are not decomposable or separable. The everyday practices of youth, existing structural conditions, infrastructures of place, and technologies are all dynamically interrelated; the meanings, uses, functions, flows, and interconnections in young people’s daily lives located in particular settings are also situated within young people’s wider media ecologies. (p. 37)

Here’s “ecology” used for literacy more broadly:

Ecology seems to be a useful and appropriate way of talking about literacy at the moment, and of bringing together its different strands. Using the term changes the whole endeavour of trying to understand the nature of reading and writing. Rather than isolating literacy activities from everything else in order to understand them, an ecological approach aims to understand how literacy is embedded in other human activity, its embeddedness in social life and in thought, and its position in history, in language and learning.


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