New Literacy?

Today a teacher referenced me to an article in Edutopia (published by the George Lucas Educational Foundation) titled “Programming: The New Literacy.” The following quote helps capture the essence of the article:

“I believe the single skill that will, above all others, distinguish a literate person is programming literacy, the ability to make digital technology do whatever, within the possible one wants it to do–to bend digital technology to one’s needs, purposes, and will, just as in the present we bend words and images.”

Will our students need to be able to not only use digital technology, but make digital technology “sit up and sing” to their whims to be successful in tomorrow’s economy? Are they already more literate than we are? I think sometimes they already think we (the adults) are the illiterate ones! We try to keep them from using what we do not understand or the things we are afraid they will use the wrong way. I am sure that we need to rethink digital technology policies and try as best we can to marry our curriculum with digital concepts as well as use of digital tools. What do you think?

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