Technology – The New Literacy of the 21st Century

Old New Media Readings by Krista76, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  Krista76 
Funny , isn’t it? How serendipitous life can be?  Last week I was muttering about how to overcome the bias some teachers and most parents have regarding the use of social media as a blended instructional approach.  Well, this week one of my ethics teachers invited me into her classroom to discuss cyberbullying .   Apparently, she sees me as the resident expert on all things Facebook, BBM, and Twitter (considering my fledgling experience in this area, this is truly scary!!) This was hot on the heels of the previous week’s School Community Council’s Parent Night featuring a guest speaker addressing the very issue of bullying and social media. I suspect she was looking toward me to spell out the doom and gloom of Facebook and cel phones which would be a reasonable expectation, considering our school’s and school division’s rather strict policy regarding their usage – no cel phones in classrooms without teacher permission; Facebook is blocked for student and teacher use in our school. Instead, I came  to class armed with a multimedia assault – launched with clips featuring Dana Boyd , key quotes and media stats,  a TEDtalk video  arguing that social media actually builds intimacy as opposed to inoculating us from authentic relationships (a belief I held as recently as 6 months ago),  links to my Blog, the EC&I 831 Blog  and the subsequent Twitter  responses (Kids were wowed by Visible Tweets  which I had scrolling in the background),  I delivered what apparently was a surprising message to my students. Considering my recent pedagogical shift,  I have to say, it was a surprise to me also.  My  message? Embrace technology it is the literacy of the present and will if it does not already, define your world and frame your experiences. In addition, I chatted about Digital citizenship  and digital identity  – citizenship and identity are changing. As we use social media we must be aware of who has access to the information and how that information is being used. For students who are often unaware of digital footprints, this comes as a bit of a shock. The question is how do we best address changing citizenship and identity with our students in our existing curricula?  Should it be left up to the technology teachers? The ethics teachers? The humanites teachers? Do we earmark it at a certain grade level? Or, does the solution lie in all teachers adopting technological pedagogy which just as literacy pedagogy argued that all teachers, regardless of curricular expertise, were literacy teachers, all teachers are responsible for technological literacy. What are your thoughts?

5 thoughts on “Technology – The New Literacy of the 21st Century

  1. Bravo – wow, this is really great. I love that you are taking the pieces from this class and applying them directly into action. This is what the class is all about. I’m so glad that this is so timely for you and that you are able to lead the way with you are learning.


  2. mickpanko says:

    Kelley – you are a great model for a new administrator to follow…thanks for your continued reflections – I find them super insightful and helpful. Way to go – beating the social media drum too…

  3. taylorm says:

    I’m scared for our youth if I have to be the one teacher responsible for their technological literacy! But I am willing to try. I think most teachers continue to be comfortable with letting “technology teachers” teach technology. There is a certain “let the experts teach it” approach that many more experienced teachers(quite often less technological) support and encourage. I agree with the idea that it is time to remove the term technology as a descriptor for subject matter and simply have all teachers using and incorporating technology in all classes at all levels. Some will do it better then others, but that is part of the world of education.

  4. Great discussion- I think this is such an important topic for all ages (young and old alike). I believe that we need to start this conversation and that it should not be left for someone else to teach. I believe that part of the problem is that many are not aware of the good side of social media as the news portrays the bad

  5. […] The community one lives in is not the only community one knows. As I muttered in last week’s blog post , we need to address digital citizenship in a global society, this cannot be done if we restrict […]

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