Spontaneous wanderers in the digital metropolis: a case study of the new literacy practices of youth artists learning on a social media platform
This qualitative case study of 12, eighteen to twenty-four-year-olds from seven countries provided insight into the learning practices on an art-centered, social media platform. The study addressed two guiding questions; (a) what art related skills, knowledge, and dispositions do community members acquire using a social media platform? (b), What new literacy practices, e.g., the use of new technologies and an ethos of participation, collective intelligence, collaboration, dispersion of abundant resources, and sharing (Knobel & Lankshear, 2007), do members use in acquiring of art-related skills, concepts, knowledge, and dispositions? Data included interviews, online documents, artwork, screen capture of online content, threaded online discussions, and a questionnaire. Drawing on theory and research from both new literacies and art education, the study identified five practices related to learning in the visual arts: (a) practicing as professional artists; (b) engaging in discovery based search strategies for viewing and collecting member produced content; (c) learning by observational strategies; (d) giving constructive criticism and feedback; (e) making learning resources. The study presents suggestions for teachers interested in empowering instruction with new social media technologies.