Reading Will Richardson’s Huffington Post Article today reminded me of a blog I wrote here three years ago. I wrote about the National Council of Teachers of English‘s new definition of 21st Century Literacies and how we as a learning community needed to consider them and implement where possible. Let us consider the progress we have made in exposing our students to learning situations where they:
• Develop proficiency with the tools of technology • Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally. • Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes • Manage, analyze and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information • Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multi-media texts • Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments
Even though we are a school in an economically challenged area, we do have a moderate inventory of computer technology for our students to use. I think we have done some things that develop student proficiency in using modern tools of technology. I have seen use of Schoology, Moodle, Ning, Blogger, Youtube, Twitter, Turnitin.com, Discovery Education, and the Kahn Academy in different classes during this school year. Students are exposed to tools that will allow them to be engaged in the NCTE standards but that exposure is limited. We have yet to really reach out to other learning communities or cultures using the many tools that are available to us. How can we do this on a more regular basis? Our students have done some blogging but it has been somewhat limited. We ask our students to write on a weekly basis but how we better design and share information with communities outside of PCHS? Are we asking our students to use their ability to manage, analyze and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information in our learning environments? What does this mean? I watch my own children do this at home, but is it something they do in school? Is it a valuable experience for them to have here? How do we create opportunities for our student to critique and evaluate multimedia texts? Does the new iText agenda make this easier? Does it fit into the skills we are asking students to attain and practice? If so how? If not, how can we? Do we discuss the ethics of using modern networking technology with our students? How can we better do this? WE NEED TO BE DISCUSSING THESE THINGS…right?