I’ve heard lots of conversations recently about 21st Century Literacies. Are there really new “literacies” evolving in relation to new media and the needs of the workplace, or is the word literacy just being over-applied to the point where it will lose meaning?
Here’s where my thinking is with this so far: traditionally literacy referred to the ability to read and write, those being essential tools to access information in the world. As more and ever-changing avenues for accessing information have developed, the meaning of literacy is expanding beyond the ability to read and write to include the ability to access and learn new information.
The best thing we could teach kids today is how to teach themselves. It’s my same old rant, that we have to expand our notions of literacy so that it reflects today’s information landscape and then integrate that, instead of trying to integrate technology. If we teach contemporary literacy, then the tech will come because it’s the pencil and paper of our time.
This is the part I’m still making sense of:
But in addition, I would hope that rather than just teaching literacy skills, that we teach literacy habits, and that we teach them as learning literacies, rather than just literacy.
How do we design our curriculum around these literacy habits? I'd love to hear your ideas.
Lesson learned for me about blogging by the way: I knew that I wanted to post something about 21st Century Literacies, but since I’m still figuring this out myself I froze and didn’t post anything for two weeks. But, the process of figuring things out by starting and participating in conversation is sort of the point, isn’t it. So I’m back.