Sunday, June 27, 2010


As I look back through the course material, I am struck by the thoughts of Thomas Freedman.  "Those who have the ability to manage massive amounts of information. . .  will have the capacity to contribute more to society," (November, 2008, p.2).  Is is my job to prepare students to be contributors.  If they are unable to "read" the web, I am not preparing them properly.  Literacy is no longer reading the words in a book.  Being literate requires using skills to accomplish a goal, according to David Warlick, (Laureate Education Inc., 2009).  Times have changes!  Signing "X" on the line used to mean you were literate, then writing your name, and reading words on a page.  Now reading the words is not enough.  You need to be able to interpret, comprehend and infer when you read.  Once you add the digital world into this, you need to be able to do even more.  The New Literacies, which include Questioning, Searching, Evaluating, Synthesizing and Communicating, are new skills that need to be modeled and taught.  Students need to be able to navigate, and discriminate information on the web for their own purposes.  This is what is the most profound for me.  Teaching these New Literacies should be at the forefront of our education.  It should be taught so that the digital world can be used for learning an inquiry.  Technology is only growing and to avoid it is not going to do our students justice.  We need to embrace it and use it.

One personal goal I am setting for myself is to teach these New Literacies as the beginning of the year.  Once these skills are taught, I can do so much more with digital learning.  One way I would accomplish this is to have each student earn a Passport to Digital Citizenship, (Ribble, 2008) as well as using the Quest model (Eagleton and Dobler, 2007) to teach and model how to use the Internet.

This course has allowed me to understand how online inquiry can be used in conjunction with district, state and national standards.  Students need to be taught to teach themselves, (Laureate Education Inc, 2009).  By teaching them to learn through inquiry they can do just that.  This also allows for peaked interest in learning and student choice with projects.  It can also allow for modified learning and meeting the individual learning needs of students. 

I am excited to teach my students how to read the web so we can use it to learn from each other, and others around the world.