Angela Maiers helps schools and educators understand and implement new media literacy programs and practices. She is interviewed here by “Smart Mobs” author and social media pioneer Howard Rheingold.
“The fundamentals of what is means to be ‘literate’ have not changed,” Maiers says. “Literacy, in the million ways it’s described, is simply about–at the very basic level–communication. Input and output of meaning and message.” (5:04) According to Maiers, digital literacy hinges on “the ability to contribute–in clear, consistent, empowering, impacting ways–your ideas.” (6:13)
She poses an interesting hypothetical scenario involving Albert Einstein’s “General Theory of Relativity” that stresses the importance of communicating ideas in ways that are socially/culturally acceptable: “Being heard isn’t about being smart. Einstein could write the theory of relativity and blog about it. But, if he didn’t reveal who he is and what kind of intention he had behind the message, if he didn’t do it in the right medium, […] if he didn’t honor the language system and culture in place across that space, then he’s not gonna be heard whether he’s Einstein or not.” (7:16)