Thursday, June 4, 2009

The New Literacy

One of my first assignments was to react to a quote from the first week's reading. Below is the quote I picked and my response to it.

In The New Literacy: The 3 Rs Evolve into the 4 Es, Armstrong and Warlick state:

The challenge to us as educators lies in keeping up with an information environment that has changed dramatically in the past 10 years, a decade during which the very nature of information has changed in appearance, location, accessibility, application, and communication. Thus, it is crucial that when teaching literacy to our students, we emphasize skills that reflect the information environment of the present, not the past.

This quote appealed to me because it succinctly explains the tremendous change I have witnessed in technology and education during my career. It also emphasizes for me the gravity of the truth that we cannot settle for “teaching the way we were taught”.

I myself am struggling with wanting to print out the articles we are reading for this course so I can learn the way I’m wired to learn – by physically highlighting and making notes in the margins. This struggle combined with the quote above makes me realize that those of us whose brains were wired before the early 1990’s when the digital age really began to take hold in the main stream have an incredible task before us as we strive to create literate students who have grown up bombarded by and wired to take in information in ways and quantities that we barely comprehend. Learning more about learning styles and needs of digital learners needs to become and remain a priority for me so I can help prepare our teachers to successfully educate their digital students.

NOTE: Opening quote from
THE NEW Literacy: The 3Rs Evolve into the 4Es
Sara Armstrong; David Warlick
Technology & Learning; Sep 2004