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Private and professional lives, pedagogical work and situated learning : the multiliteracies of distance education
This paper responds to, and synthesises selected aspects of, the preceding articles in this special issue of the Malaysian Journal of Distance Education focusing on multiliteracies (Cope & Kalantzis, 2000; New London Group, 1996) and their possible implications for new understandings of distance education in contemporary educational institutions and settings. We construct the response in terms of our identification of three crucial ideas with which we contend that designers, producers and consumers of distance education must connect: private and professional lives; pedagogical work; and situated learning. Based on our response to the preceding articles, centred on these three ideas, we essay a synthesis of selected aspects of the articles that enable us to address tow key questions: "How are multiliteracies relevant to contemporary depates about teaching and learning?": and "What are the implications of multiliteracies for new understandings of distance education in the Asia Pacific region in the early 21st centure?". We engage with those questions in terms of two dimensions: cultural and linguistic diversities' and new communication technologies. We aregue that, just as the concept of multiliteracies in augmented and enriched by the theorising underpinning the articles in this issue, so too understandings of distance education are expanded and deepened by the judicious application of a multiliteracies framework particularly one predicated on diversities and technologies in specific geopolitical contexts and on harnessing the productive potential of such diversities and technologies.