Over the last two decades, the definition of literacy has expanded well beyond that once found in popular publications which expressed literacy as “the ability to read and write and to communicate with written or printed symbols."
In addition to the old standards of literacy, newly adapted definitions for 21st century literacy include the ranges of skills needed to participate socially and collaboratively in varying contexts and in different environments.
As a result of the expanded understanding of “literacy”, a number of phrases incorporating the word literacy have been coined. These phrases include computer literacy, scientific literacy, literacy, visual literacy, cultural literacy, adult literacy, etc.
As professionals in the field of education our challenge is to help our students obtain the literacies they will need to succeed in the workplace and as life long learners.
Types of Literacy
"Language Literacy is the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, and communicate, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning to enable an individual to achieve his or her goals, to develop his or her knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in the wider society."
“Mathematical Literacy is an individual’s capacity to identify and understand the role that mathematics plays in the world, to make well-founded judgments and to use and engage with mathematics in ways that meet the needs of that individual’s life as a constructive, concerned and reflective citizen."
“ Scientific Literacy means that a person can ask, find, or determine answers to questions derived from curiosity about everyday experiences. It means that a person has the ability to describe, explain, and predict natural phenomena. Scientific literacy entails being able to read with understanding articles about science in the popular press and to engage in social conversation about the validity of the conclusions.”
COMPUTER and INFORMATION LITERACY
ALL STUDENTS WILL USE COMPUTER APPLICATIONS TO GATHER AND ORGANIZE INFORMATION AND TO SOLVE PROBLEMS.
Descriptive Statement: Using computer applications and technology tools students will conduct research, solve problems, improve learning, achieve goals, and produce products and presentations in conjunction with standards in all content areas, including career education and consumer family, and life skills. They will also develop, locate, summarize, organize, synthesize, and evaluate information for lifelong learning.
Technological Literacy is the ability to understand and evaluate technology. It complements technological competency which is the ability to create, repair, or operate specific technologies. "There is a major difference between technological competence and technological literacy. Literacy is what everyone needs. Competence is what a few people need in order to do a job or make a living. And we need both."
Technological Literacy is the ability to use, manage, assess, and understand technology. It involves knowledge, abilities, and the application of both knowledge and abilities to real-world situations. Citizens of all ages benefit from technological literacy, whether it is obtained through formal or informal educational environments.”
Because technology can be defined as the use of hardware and people in order to extend human capabilities, Technological Literacy can be described as the intellectual processes, abilities, and dispositions needed for students to understand the link between technology, themselves, and society in general.
Technological Literacy encompasses three interdependent dimensions: (1) content knowledge/social context ; (2) ways of thinking and acting/ Intellectual Processes ; and (3) capabilities/ technical competency .
21 st Century Literacy
21st century literacy includes the digital skills needed to participate socially and collaboratively in the new media environment.
And, no matter how we cut it, the two aspects relating to any type of literacy is the ability for “ powerful decision making and well-founded judgments ” and “ participation in the wider society as a constructive, concerned, and reflective citizen .”
Who is Tech Literate?
Technologically Literate students are able to…
analyze the technological influences on their lives and see themselves as having roles and responsibilities in shaping society
critically examine and question technological progress and innovation
explain how technology shapes and is shaped by society
use data collection and decision making skills to make intelligent choices
take responsible action on social issues
understand and model positive, ethical use of technology in both social and personal contexts
use a variety of technology tools in effective ways to increase creative productivity.
use communication tools to reach out to the world beyond the classroom and communicate ideas in powerful ways.
use technology effectively to access, evaluate, process and synthesize information from a variety of sources.
use technology to identify and solve complex problems in real-world contexts
Introduction to the Task
In order to deepen students’ understanding about the effects of technology on their lives and how it extends the human experience, it is important that these experiences relate to real students, and their issues and interests in their everyday lives.
By linking subject matter with everyday life and developments in society, students become involved in authentic and understandable experiences relating to technology.
You are a technology coordinator charged with working with one classroom and one classroom teacher. You will help your chosen teacher identify one small aspect that impacts the lives of students and use existing technologies to extend the experience for the students. Simply stated, create an educational experience for students by exhausting some aspect authentic their lives (the nugget) and use varying technologies to add depth and meaning to the experience.
The technologies you incorporate should allow students to employ the real world strategies of
The end result should be a technology-enriched product that exemplifies the intellectual processes our students’ use in becoming more technologically literate (synthesizing, researching, decision making, debating, inquiry, data collection, critical analysis, problem solving, evaluating, etc.), that addresses some authentic part of their lives as relates to technological issues (culture, environmental issues, communications, transportation, consumerism, health and safety, politics, the economy, ecosystems, energy, technology, media, etc.), and that accomplishes the criteria of what constitutes best practices in instructional technology.
What computer skills did the students need to execute the projects?
Approaching Technological Literacy Did you see any instances where the experiences helped to shape overall technological literacy?
Planning This type of challenge requires focused planning. Unlike past projects, the project designs for this task may not be found in any project registry but relies on the planning, preparation and collective energies of everyone involved.
8 Steps in the Planning Process
Choose the content area(s) and social context(s) and any goals and objectives.
Determine the overall purpose for choosing this goal/objective.
Determine the students participating in the project: Considerations: school(s), grade level(s), performance level(s), gender, number, etc.
Determine the roles of the participating adults:
Instructor: Moving students through the activities, checking work, giving feedback, etc.
Moderators: uploading to eboards/forums, intercepting email dialogue, posting/responding to emails, making initial email contacts, etc.
Secretary: Designing/Issuing/ Collecting parental consent forms, keeping a log of the progress, etc.
Technician: Setting up email accounts, posting to eBoards, teaching new software packages, Issuing AUP’s, taking pictures throughout the process, etc.
Determine Timelines: When will you begin? How often will participating adults meet/correspond? How will the schedule be arranged? How often will students work on the classroom computers or in the lab? etc.
Plan for difficulties: release time, internet at home, testing, etc.
Design activities and accompanying rubrics that work to accomplish the intended learning goals and objectives.
and as always… On the day of the Fair…
Engage visitors in an interactive, meaningful experience. Interactive means more than just passively seeing or experiencing a project. Have viewers do something that incorporates use of multiple senses. Use technology to have viewers gain deeper insight into the presented project.
The Mission of the Computer Fair
To showcase the talents, abilities, interests, potential, and skills of our students as they relate to instructional technology and its impact on student growth and achievement
To recognize those instructional technology-based practices that have had a significant impact on the evolution, development, and perpetuation of the instructional technology program
To celebrate and promote excellence in instructional technology