Welcome, pass around an attendance sign in sheet. Name tags for next week. Norms, begin and end on time. If we eliminate a formal break we can be done at 6:10. That being said, you are adults, and if you need to take a short break at any time, that’s not a problem. We’re going to ease in slowly since yesterday was New Years Day and I bet some of you had long drives to make it back to class for today. I’m going to give you some information about who I am and what I’m doing here, and I’m going to give you an overview of the course. By the end of today’s class we should have a working definition of multiliteracies and we’re going to be working towards a definition of what it means to be literate in the 21st century.
This is me! I’m going to tell you a little bit about myself and I hope to learn a little bit about each of you (starting with names!) over the course of the next 9 weeks. We only have nine classes in total so I hope you’ll forgive me if I forget a name and help me out by creating nametags for next class. My name is Danika Barker. I’d prefer that you call me Danika, but if that feels too informal for you, Ms. Barker is fine. I am a graduate student, not a professor, so please no Professor Barker. I’ve thrown a few pictures up here to sum up some of the out the extracurricular sides to my personality. (Explain the three smaller pictures. Explain unplug’d picture. This is a picture taken two summers ago at an off-the grid education summit in Algonquin park where I got to connect with amazing and innovative educators from across Canada. I think this picture sums a lot of things up because even though we had no cell reception or wifi, I’m holding my iphone like it’s an appendage. In fairness, I was using it to take pictures. But I am a very connected teacher and I like being connected my network of teachers and interesting people. On the screen are a few different ways you can connect with me. QR code, website, Twitter, email. I have a pretty big digital footprint on the internet (which my students have attested to after Googling me) but that was a conscious decision I made as a teacher. As we continue in this class you should think about what you want your digital footprint to look like.
I am a graduate student but I’m also a full time English teacher at Central Elgin Collegiate Institute in St. Thomas. I love my job and my students. I couldn’t imagine doing any other job.
We have a lot of fun studying English in a variety of different ways. Some of these methods look a lot like the things you did in high school English while others may look very different. Concept maps, literary criticism
Literature circles, BYOD, blogging,
Enough about me an my students. Let’s talk about the course. I will likely be here about half an hour before class and my office is in 1111 if you need to meet with me. If the weather is bad, it might take me longer to get here from St. Thomas. I’m also happy to stay after class if you need to chat about anything. The course syllabus is posted on OWL, which I assume you’re familiar with. That’s where you’ll find information about assignments and links to the readings. I will also be posting the slides for each class on my professional blog and the link to that blog is posted on our course site. We’ll look at the syllabus in a little more detail in a moment.
Our goals for this course include an immersion in multiliteracies. That means you’re going to work with and look at a variety of different types of texts, focussing on some of the more “non-traditional” texts. We’ll look at a bunch of different web 2.0 tools like wikis and blogs, but we’ll also look at graphic novels and slam poetry. We’re going to think about how we integrate these modes of expression into what it means to be literate. You will be asked to take risks and challenge yourselves, and you are encouraged to make mistakes. This course is not about mastering tools; it’s about trying knew things and thinking about what this means for our teaching practice. My approach to teaching will be a mix of theory and practice. I will hope to, in every class, model at least on instructional strategy that you can try with your students in your next placement. Gradual release of responsibility is a term you should become familiar with. This is a teaching philosophy that advocates the scaffolding of learning. Whenever you introduce something new, you model it first and give the students the opportunity to practice and get feedback before they have to be evaluated. I also want to give you context. We will be discussing some theory in this course, but whenever possible, I will give you practical examples from a classroom teacher’s perspective.
Think pair share. What it means to be literate has changed quite a bit over the past hundred years. In the mid 19th century, being literate could have meant that you were able to sign your own name or perhaps repeat from memory, a poem or passage from the Bible. I suspect your concepts of what it means to be literate today requires a little more than that. Maybe your definitions include being able to critically analyse a text or maybe it includes being able to establish a website’s reliability. Let’s think about why this definition has changed.
Choose how you want to take notes.
The Basics of ‘Old Learning’ Old education systems fitted very neatly into the old world of work. The state determined the syllabus the textbooks followed the syllabus, the teachers followed the textbooks, and the students follow the textbooks, hopefully in order to pass the tests. Think of this as a product of the industrial revolution. This is the factory model of education. In a way, teachers became a bit like production line workers, slaves to the syllabus, the textbooks and the examination system. The curriculum was packed with information in the form of quite definite facts – ‘facts’ about history, facts about science etc…. together, this was supposed to add up to useful-knowledge-for-life. Many of these facts have proven to be less durable than the curriculum of that time seemed to promise…. Nevertheless, there was one lesson that ‘good’ students took into the old workplace. From all the sitting up straight and listening to the teacher, from all the rigid classroom discipline, from all the knowledge imparted to them and uncritically ingested, they learnt to accept received authority and do exactly what they were told…. More than anything, it produced compliant learners, people who would accept what was presented to them as correct, and who passively learnt off by heart knowledge which could not easily be applied in new contexts – but they did not have knowledge of sufficient depth for a life of change and diversity….
The image of the new economy is the worker sitting in front of a computer screen. Information and communication dominate this ‘knowledge economy’… symbols are at the heart of new technologies… even in manufacturing, [workers] use screen-based interfaces, and these are linguistically, visually and symbolically driven. … The new technologies are software – rather than hardware intensive, and are flexible and open to multiple users…. Technical knowledge has a shorter and shorter shelf-life. ‘Up-skilling’ needs to occur continuously…. You need to be multiskilled, more flexible and more able to take on a range of tasks… technology is now very much a relationship between tools and the knowledge of these tools in people’s heads. …. Niche markets and ‘mass customization’, where ‘high tech’ meets ‘soft touch’ [lead to renewed interest in diversity]. ..teams work with high levels of interpersonal contact, and work best when differences –of interest, association, network, knowledge, experience, lifestyle and languages spoken – are respected and used as a source of creativity. …At the global level, …. distant markets become closer. (Kalantzis, Cope & Harvey, 2003, p. 20)
The world is changing: Socially: • changing societal structures in a shrinking world • increasing social and cultural diversity • increased marketing of ideas and products through multimedia Technologically: globalisation of economies, cultures and workplaces • new information andcommunication technologies • literacy is no longer print-based • media influence reachinginto homes, leisure sites and workplaces • increasing use of still and moving images andother semiotic systems Economically: • multiple occupations throughout one’s working life • changing demandsupon literacy skills and behaviours • knowledge economy We need to equip students with the ability to combine and recombine existing and new literacy skills in different ways, for new purposes and with new technologies. Wen we’re talking about multiliteracies, we’re talking about a concept of literacy that is far broader than the 19th century concept of literacy. This is a term that focuses on how literacy has been redefined by social, technological, and economic change. In order to be multiliterate you need to understand and be able to use the literacies of a range of texts and technologies, but you also need to understand the literacies of social responsibility within a socially, culturally and linguistically diverse world, and what it means to be an active citizen within this context.
A Pedagogy ofMultiliteracies Danika Barker
Welcome• Who am I?• What are we going to be learning about?
Multiliteracies? social changetechnological economic change change
Next Week1) Read Chart for Analysing a Text2) Read Rodd, Zoe, and Jaclyn’s blogs (links all in syllabusand posted on my blog)3) Complete the literacy survey and think about how youwould redesign it for use with your students in your nextplacement.