Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Networked Literacy

Spending time at ISTE this past weekend has given me a lot to chew on regarding writing and literacy and tech integration and many, many more things related to my work and those that I work with.  Interestingly, while searching for more on 21st Century writing (see Monday's post) I see that Jeff Utecht shared his thoughts on the topic .  He has created the visual below to represent the amount of time we are currently teaching different types of literacy.

I don't think many of the teachers I work with would disagree with Jeff's assessment.  And I am wondering what we are going to do about it.

What I am finding even more interesting is that while at this conference, I experienced an interesting lesson in "networked literacy."  Jeff's working definition:
 Networked literacy is what the web is about. It’s about understanding how people and communication networks work. It’s the understanding of how to find information and how to be found. It’s about how to read hyperlinked text articles, and understand the connections that are made when you become “friends” or “follow” someone on a network. It’s the understanding of how to stay safe and how to use the networked knowledge that is the World Wide Web. Networked Literacy is about understanding connections.
The conference opening keynote was on Sunday.  While I chose not to go in person, I did follow the "Twitter stream" (the flow of "tweets" from those at the conference giving their thoughts and take-aways from the conference.)  Interestingly, the flow of tweets soon turned a bit harsh, despite the conference organizers putting out some "rules."

It made me think about digital footprints and what proper networked behavior should be (all a part of literacy.)  And it made me think even more about trust - which seemed to be a secondary theme running through the conference.  And it made me think about the "chilling effect" watching Sunday night unfold may have had on teachers/administrators new to Twitter as well as to those who still had to present.

So it doesn't surprise me that networked literacy is not taught often.  It seems we are still developing the rules.

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