Reflections on literacy

Brainstorm with my colleagues

Refection: Literacy, Fluencies and the Digital Age
What does literacy mean?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, literacy is defined as the ability to read and write, competence or knowledge in a specified area:computer literacy is essential.

While the ability to read, understand what you have read  and write in order to communicate your understanding forms the basis of a literate person, it is insufficient. Literacy is contextual and a literate individual has to deal with an inordinate amount of information available at the speed of light. How does one assess this information? Is it reliable and valid?  What about the types and numbers of social interactions now possible? How do we cope with an increasingly exposed youth, no longer safe even within their homes? Aside: This week a 14 year old Chilliwack girl is arrested for soliciting on Craig’s List along with a 51 year old john. OMG! Our primary responsibility is to keep our kids safe and to understand the consequences of their actions, both in the virtual and real world.
Reflection — How do Richardson’s ideas fit into your previous answers? http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/nov08/vol66/num03/Footprints-in-the-Digital-Age.aspx
I agree that  the digital age/new technology allows for new ways of collaborating and communicating. I can  see myself as a co-learner, where both the students and I develop technical literacy. I cannot see myself as an engaging expert re.technology. I think I am an engaging expert as a content teacher. The big F for FEAR comes up for me. Is this really the expectation and am I failing my students by not being an expert in technology?

What do I owe my students? I care, I want them to succeed, I want them to be safe and happy. Do I owe them 24/7?
What about my life? If I am always there for my students, or for anyone, I feel that I am doing myself and my daughter a great disservice. I celebrate being disconnected…am I the only one?
I feel that I know so little but I am open to new ideas and to new ways of accessing information. Isn’t it important to know how to use and sort through the plethora of information? Where do I start? There is so much on my plate already. How do I figure out a balance.
This is the challenge.

Postscript:
I had a break down this week. I offered a tutorial for my kids on Wednesday, a time for me to go over some difficult concepts that the government wants them to be competent at. One of my students, one who never does any work, panicked and figured out he really didn’t know anything. He wanted personal attention and I had 60 kids in at lunch. He lashed out and said he still did not understand and that what I was doing was useless. Now I know that this boy is belligerent when he gets stuck but I took it personally (a combination of exhaustion and disappointment)and I found it hard to regroup.
BALANCE! I need it. This course is not the be all and end all and I am  a good teacher who really cares about her kids. I need to give myself a break and not worry so much.

PPS: My colleague was feeling on the edge and vulnerable at last Tuesday’s meeting. What is important? jumping through these hoops or meeting the needs of our student’s and ourselves in the best way possible?

A response to the fluencies.
http://www.21stcenturyfluency.com/fluencies.cfm
Just more jargon for literacy in context. I agree already!!! that’s why I am giving up my life!!!
What it means to have a digital footprint? Whatever you
put out on the WWW better be intentional (intention is a great word from my colleague that I am borrowing) because it is there forever. (Like publishing a book but with less intention and thought about the consequences). YIKES!

Does this change the choices I make as an educator? Not really. I choose to learn, stay current and do my best for my clients, the students.
My choices as an educator seem to be overwhelming. Which way do I go? I choose to investigate the possibilities and choose what is BEST for me and my kids. I will continue to reflect on my practice as long as I teach. That is separate from and regardless of the access to and influence of technology in our lives. Back to reality people. Thinking and doing is where it is at!!!!

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One thought on “Reflections on literacy

  1. While your comments are insightful, it was your mind map that left an impression. Loved it – clicked on it to find out how it was made, goggled the result, went to the site, registered and now I can make my own! Thank you!

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