Sunday, August 31, 2008

21st Century Literacy: Getting Clear on the Concept

I spent quite a while today working on my edline page. Our school uses edline as our web space to communicate with parents. This year is our second year of using it, so hopefully more parents will become interested and use the tool. Last year we posted information on edline but also printed out every bit of info and sent home notices with students, often in triplicate. This year our school claims to be going green and part of this commitment is to stop sending home so many pieces of paper. 

Some of my goals for this year:
•to post student projects online, in one place. I still haven't figured out exactly how this will look or how I will do it, as one program that we use a LOT doesn't convert easily to a format for web. 
•to be clear and communicative with students, teachers and parents about technology and 21st century media literacy. I have always known that I do not teach computers, but I must do a better job of communicating that fact. The more I read, the more I participate in the ongoing, online conversations, the deeper my own understanding. Hopefully this will translate into a better ability to communicate. 

A large part of the problem is that until people realize that technology is so much more than "learning computers" they are not very interested in what the kids are doing with technology. So no one reads my edline page. Therein lies the dilemma: I am using my page to share info that might, hopefully, get them to want to read my page. Of course, I try to communicate my message in many other ways, too. 
Here is the page:

At (name of school), technology means much more than computer proficiency. 21st Century Media Literacy encompasses the skills that our students will need to succeed in a world transformed by technology. As our students work on creating, communicating, collaborating, innovating, researching, problem solving, and learning digital citizenship, they will develop proficiency with the computer. Please click on the link to review the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) to find out more about what our students are expected to know and be able to do with technology. 

One of my goals for this year is to put all student projects online in one place. If you are a parent who does not want your child's work online, please let me know. Please take a moment to look at the projects our students are doing. I think you will be quite amazed at the creativity and technological abilities our students are developing. 

I am looking forward to a great year!

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