What Literacies Are Important?
I finished reading Pegrum’s book from From Blogs to Bombs this week and thoroughly enjoyed every word of it. He does a tremendous job of placing the digital technologies and the lens with which to look at them in the context of the current trends taking place in the global digitized landscape where we live. The anecdotes and research that went into this little powerhouse of a book ground it in the real world and make it all the more engaging. It is an important book for educators in the 21st Century.
Although I didn’t attend the Elluminate session with Mark. I did play it back and I think it’s incredible that we can take part in a workshop like this for free and interact with the author of the book we are studying. Both Mark and Vance encouraged us to reflect on which literacies are important. I created the wordle above that identifies most of the literacies found in Pegrum’s book. My initial response to the question of which literacies are important is: Well, all of them! Yet, as I look at the list, I realize that I am illiterate in many of these literacies. I don’t feel bad about this; it’s the nature of being an educator right now. The greatest thing I have to offer my students is my passion for learning and my expertise as a learner. If I can share that with them and get them excited about the possibilities for their future that having a passion for learning offers you, then I think the rest will take care of itself.
I do believe we have an absolute responsibility to teach these literacies, but more so than that we have a responsibility to encourage students to take their education into their own hands and be active participants in the shaping of their education. I want my students to find their voice, identity and passion and to utilize the powerful web 2.0 tools out there to author their personal, academic and professional narratives. This is a lifelong process. My process is very different than theirs as I started my journey when digital technolgies were in their infancy. Yet, I have a powerful opportunity to be partners with my students in learning how to use digital technologies to craft narratives and share them with the world. It’s a lot more fun than being the expert!
Are there dangers associated with this process? Well sure, but I think those are overdramatized and part of the process is to make students aware of the limitations and dangers so they can learn how to avoid some of the pitfalls out there.
I had the chance to view three of the k12online presentations that were simply fantastic: Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano’s presentation on Skype, Alex Ambrose’s presentation on Googlios, and Chris Betcher’s phenomenal presentation on the Ways of Working. They were very inspiring not only because of the wealth of ideas and knowledge generated, but also the ways in which they chose to present the material. This week I am creating my own action plan for becoming more literate in the way these master educators are.