New Literacies

Listening to Will Richardson’s session on PLENK2010 this past Wednesday. He brought up NCTE‘s definition of critical literacies:

  • Develop proficiency with the tools of technology
  • Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally
  • Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes
  • Manage, analyze and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information
  • Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multi-media texts
  • Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments

He said that tools become the central point of the conversation without worrying about the context. And in fact, he did not think the high school graduates he knew would make the grade if these were the certifying literacies.

Reminds me of a vision statement that I read recently. This is from the NAE (Committee on the Engineer of 2020, Committee on Engineering Education, National Academy of Engineering). Describing the Engineer of 2020, the enlightened authors write:

What attributes will the engineer of 2020 have? He or she will aspire to have the ingenuity of Lillian Gilbreth, the problem-solving capabilities of Gordon Moore, the scientific insight of Albert Einstein, the creativity of Pablo Picasso, the determination of the Wright brothers, the leadership abilities of Bill Gates, the conscience of Eleanor Roosevelt, the vision of Martin Luther King, and the curiosity and wonder of our grandchildren.

Yeah. Right.

Jenny started the discussion on ethical responsibilities. I think it is important to also evaluate ethical responsibilities in the traditional context as well, not just for issues that tools such as Facebook are creating in the context of the Internet. The traditional system throws up as many horrific examples of violation of ethical responsibilities.

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