Tech Task #14- Part 2 of 3

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I decided to watch Clarence Fisher’s “Globally Literate”. The odd thing is I just realized as I was getting those links that I talked about one of his blog posts for Tech Task #8. Sorry just thought that was rather random.

So what was this presentation about? It was about how literacy has evolved over time and is continuing to change. We need to accept this change and start teaching literacy to our students in ways that meet this change, preparing students to be literate in today’s society rather than in our parents society. He described the skills that are necessary to be literate and how they have changed/come into existance over the past short while. He talked about what these skills include and how/why teachers need to be teaching them.

I really enjoyed this presentation. I watched a few between this one and my last post but didn’t really like sitting through them or blogging about them (maybe another day when I’m less impatient) The visuals were good, but really got me was the opening it got me interested and ready to watch. I also liked the music in between ideas helped my not so auditory brain stay focused and interested.

This presentation gave me lots to think about, enough I will probably think about it for a few more weeks, maybe longer before I really get to any sort of decision about the ideas it raised in my mind. For me, looking back at how literacy has changed over time really helped me to open my mind to the fact that it is still changing. I think I knew that literacy has changed but for me it has happened in such a way that I haven’t really noticed it happening. we don’t really think about the fact that we are reading/comprehending something new when we first see it, it just is. I can’t remember when I started reading web pages (though it can’t be that long ago) and I definatly don’t remember the first time I clicked on a link or watched a video on the web. Perhaps this is part of the reason we are so slow to change the way we teach literary skills: in some ways it hasn’t truly set in that we are reading differently than in the past.

For me it also was the first time I had heard of photos or video or even spreadsheets referred to as a type of text. For me text has always meant the written word. So I decided to look the word text up on dictionary.com and here is what I got

Something, such as a literary work or other cultural product, regarded as an object of critical analysis.

I suppose by that definition (though it wasn’t the first one to pop up which I suppose shows our lack to change this words denotation, or would it be connotation since its about how we see the word?) it makes sense that text would include things beside the written word.

I found his four skills to involved in literacy very interesting; accessing, comprehending, evaluating and responding. In school often the only two that are required of students are comprehending and responding (though in different ways than he talks about). The fact that we need to guide students in learning how to access (information?) and to evaluate that information is definately something I agree with. It is a difficult skill to develop and is important in making informed decisions. I also think that before this can happen teachers need to be taught how to do this, after all if you don’t understand it yourself than how can you teach it? I know I still do not feel totally confident in my ability to do these two things, and if I don’t feel confident in my own abilities how can I logically teach this to my students?

He also talked about the need to give students time to develop these skills, but I wonder where this time will come from. Being just out of high school I know just how busy students lives are, I can’t imagine adding to it. Definately one of those things I need to ponder over for a while.

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