Exploring New Literacies

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Author: Why School? (TED Books, September, 2012)
Learning on the Blog (Corwin Press, August, 2011)
Personal Learning Networks (Solution Tree, May 2011)
Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms ( Corwin Press, 3rd Edition, March, 2010)
Latest Articles:
"Students First, Not Stuff" (Educational Leadership, March 2013)
"Gaming Gains Respect" (District Administration, August 2012)
"Preparing Students to Learn Without Us" (Educational Leadership, February, 2012)
"Investing in Teachers as Learners" (Education Week, January, 2011)

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The Context:
Information and knowledge are no abundant and distributed as opposed to scarce and collected. Knowledge resides in networks, and to be truly information literate we need to know how to create opportunities for relevant information and knowledge to find us.

Framing Questions:
  • What are the seminal changes in information with the advent of the Web?
  • What are the biggest challenges those changes create?
  • In what ways do these changes require us to redefine/rethink literacy?

The Shifts
  • Literacy
    • NCTE Literacies
      • Literacy has always been a collection of cultural and communicative practices shared among members of particular groups. As society and technology change, so does literacy. Because technology has increased the intensity and complexity of literate environments, the 21st century demands that a literate person possess a wide range of abilities and competencies, many literacies. These literacies are multiple, dynamic, and malleable. As in the past, they are inextricably linked with particular histories, life possibilities, and social trajectories of individuals and groups. Active, successful participants in this 21st century global society must be able to:
        • Develop proficiency and fluency with the tools of technology;
        • Build intentional cross-cultural connections and relationships with others so to pose and solve problems collaboratively and strengthen independent thought;
        • 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 multimedia texts;
        • Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments.
    • ALA Information Literacy Standards
    • Computing Literacy
    • Network/Connections Literacy
    • New Media Literacies
    • Project Information Literacy
    • Reading and Writing in Hypertext
    • Curation

  • Accompanying Mindsets/Skillsets
    • Balance
    • Self-direction/Self-organization
    • Resilience
    • Continual learning
    • Transparency
      • Reputation Management
    • Crap detection (Howard Rheingold)

Four Steps to Information Leadership

Framing Quote: "It's not information overload. It's filter failure." --Clay Shirky
  1. Creating Relevant Information Streams
  2. Assessing the Information we Find
  3. Managing the Good Stuff
  4. Curating / Sharing With Others

Assessing Information
How do we identify authority? How do we know who to trust? How do we know what's accurate?

Some other questions to assess potential nodes in your network.
  • Does the author reveal his/her full name
    • Can I search more deeply for that person
  • How long has the person been writing/publishing?
  • What is the level of the writing?
  • How many comments are there?
    • Is there a community of readers who are contributing?
    • What is the tenor of the comments?
    • Does the author respond to comments?
  • Are there advertisements on the page?
    • What is the agenda of the author?
    • Does the author represent someone else?
  • Who links to the site? (Linkto function in Google.)