Acquisition of Advanced Literacy Conference
University of California, Davis
February 2000


Multimedia Genres for Science Education and Scientific Literacy

Jay L. Lemke
City University of New York

This paper describes preliminary work on the analysis of NASA websites. The main focus is on the multimedia literacy demands of the sites and individual pages, illuminated by a comparison between two sites, one for the educated public and one for professional scientists, each presenting essentially the same kind of information (color map visualizations of satellite data on earth surface conditions). The preliminary sections develop the framework of multimedia semiotic analysis, relate it to literacy studies in science education, and frame the web analysis in relation to earlier work on scientific print publications.

Technical Note: If using a slow internet connection, disable images and use the embedded links to NASA pages. Or be patient; image files are 70-100kB jpeg screen captures.

Why Scientific Multimedia?

Literacy and Social Semiotics

Critical Literacy

The Multimedia Literacy Demands of Scientific Education

Multimedia Genres of Scientific Print Publications

Scientific Literacies and New Multimedia Genres

 The Earth Observatory Site

The Goddard Site

Earth Observatory vs Goddard: NDVI Data

Conclusions and Initiatives