My little angel's point is valid. I am old, and my educational experience is far different than the one she is about to endure. For one, students today have to deal with two literacies. One is of course the traditional literacy function that includes hard copy books, articles and newspapers. The other is a technological literacy function, one where blogs, articles, chat rooms etc. are read through the use of the Internet.
In the March 2009 issue of Educational Leadership, Joanne Rooney addresses this challenge in an article entitled Teaching Two Literacies. The following bullet points are a review of the article.
- Technology has revolutionized reading, possibly as profoundly as the invention of the printing press.
- The format for reading may have changed, but the ability to understand what is written is still at the core of reading.
- Schools are held accountable for teaching the traditional literacy as well as incorporating new technology into the learning environment.
- So the challenge becomes teaching both literacies.
- The author offers 3 mindsets in order to achieve teaching two literacies:
- Continue to encourage students to read good books and effectively communicate through writing.
- Redefine the term literacy, with less focus on textbooks.
- Create a culture in school that is focused on reading, writing and thinking.
So how do we create a culture as described? Nine suggestions:
- Emphasize reading and writing school wide (poetry writing contests etc.)
- Create student blogs or chat rooms
- Create time and space for silent reading
- Encourage teachers to use web tools that "hook" students.
- Create book clubs for staff
- Encourage electronic journal keeping for students and staff
- Train or encourage teachers to read and write in both literacies
- Model both literacies
- Teach parents the importance of reading to or with their students.
This article provides good perspective on attempting to balance the new and traditional forms of literacy. The challenge of balancing the two is not going away. The sooner schools accept these two literacies as a reality for our students, the sooner we can start to find a proper balance in order to create the best possible learning opportunities for our students.
For a little pick me up, check out the tune Black Betty by Ram Jam. I have no idea what the song is about, but it's a catchy tune and it makes me want to play the air guitar while lip-synching. It's a great reminder that I could be a bodacious rock star if I only had musical ability.........or talent...............or could play an instrument.
The Red Sox are 1-1. At this current pace, they will finish 81-81. Luckily, they play the White Sox 7 times this year, so that's 7 wins in the bank. That should be enough to make the playoffs. Go Bosox!