I am proud to be at day 15/30 for #AprilBlogaDay!
The prompt (which I am using for 4/15) honors International Literacy Day by asking some great questions, mostly captured In this article by the International Literacy Association. I am publishing this post in advance of day 15 to include it on the actual International Literacy Day.
On my last interview (2009) I answered a question about my view of technology integration in classrooms. I likened it to teaching certain literacies, in the way that people transition through the stage(s) of needing this help. Eventually people phase out of needing the same supports.
I would clarify that to mean that technologies would eventually become learned and a part of a teacher’s scaffolding. I know that every year when I had a fresh group of middle schoolers I would still have to teach them about studying vocabulary in math/science class.
I also clarify that to point out that teachers have literacies to develop still. And not just technology-centric literacies. Buffy J. Hamilton, The Unquiet Librarian, talks about transliteracy, but this is even more basic than that. Before educators can combine new literacies with traditional literacies – we need to help educators catch up. For too long education has knowingly/unknowingly lagged behind the rest of the world in incorporating the Internet into our practice and now we as a group find ourselves at a deficit.
I strongly encourage each educator to take their professional learning seriously. Seriously. You should not depend on the leaders who led you into this deficit of knowledge to “professionally develop” you out of it one hour each second Wednesday of the month at a time. Because even if those leaders could lead you to a higher awareness of the Internet and how it could revolutionize learning, would they? Hear me out – I am not saying they are sandbagging your advancement knowingly. However the structure of K12 education hasn’t just been constructed since Google. Those in position to make decision may have earned it, but in a different time and manner than today.
While I would never expect a student of mine to work out vocabulary study on his/her own, I do think it is time that educators individually take on their own professional learning in their area of interest where Internet literacies are concerned. There are so many options available to individuals or small self-formed professional learning communities that educators would never run out of content from which to learn.
Just like I worked students through incorporating tier two words and some tier three words into their vocabularies, teachers need to assert their right to select their own path through the current modern literacies and see how these fold into their existing literacies for themselves.