Presentation of the ANR TRANSLIT research project

The current convergence of media literacy, information literacy and computer literacy is one of the most important recent transformations of “the culture of information.” This convergence has brought about the development of “transliteracy.” Transliteracy can be defined on two levels that address the complexity of modes of interaction between information and users:

  1. the ability to embrace the multimedia layout that encompasses skills for reading, writing, counting and computing with all the available tools (from paper to image, from book to blog)
  2. the capacity to navigate through multiple domains that includes the ability to search, to evaluate, to test, to validate, and to modify information according to its relevant contexts of use (as code, news and document).

TRANSLIT explores the socio-technical, political, economic and educational implications of this emerging transliteracy. This research focuses particularly on three types of events where situations of transliteracy occur (concours Castor, semaine de la presse, journée du numérique) as they may bring to light the various levels of transliteracy and their dynamics, according to two different scenarios: the situations of training in schools; the situations of training out-of-school around the selected events.

The project hopes to produce knowledge about the specific problems transliteracy raises in terms of editorialization of content, transmission of knowledge, co-construction of learning and civic participation in digital activities as well as transferability of diverse practices and skills in different contexts. In this relatively under-theorised field, using the results obtained, TRANSLIT also aims at modelling elements of equivalence, evolution and transfer between the various literacies (media, information and computer)to produce a transliteracy articulated around the sciences of information-documentation, communication and computation. These would be conspicuously French contributions to a field where the English-speaking world has tended to examine transliteracy as emerging from the teaching of the mother tongue.

TRANSLIT aims at answering three sets of questions:

  1. What new sharing of competences between these three disciplinary fields do these uses of transliteracy generate?
  2. What new collective dynamics, on the scale of the school and national environment may emerge with the development of transliteracy?
  3. What are the political and educational solutions that might aid the acquisition of a fully-fledged transliteracy?

Besides a series of monographs, two types of complementary investigations are planned:

  • a continuous epistemological inventory intended to assess sites, domains and projects related to transliteracy to provide a dynamic mapping of the process;
  • a detailed study of all the political and policy-relevant issues concerning the regulation of this transliteracy as a collective phenomenon.

TRANSLIT proposes a research program between four recognized laboratories in the humanities to analyze the dynamics at work in transliteracy and its contexts of use. The purpose is to open investigations into the problems of interest for the various actors in this domain. TRANSLIT will guarantee an accurate evaluation of results for use in the industrial, political and educational spheres. This research will be conducted over a total duration of 36 months. The results will be published in communications directed not only to the academic community, through reports and publications, but also, more generally, directed to the general public, the decision-makers, to industry and to civic associations. In the last 6 months, the organization of an international conference will set the results in a comparative framework for debate (in particular between the French-speaking and English-speaking cultural area).