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Friday, September 24, 2004

The New Literacy

(via elearnspace)

This article The New Literacy rings so true. It is as relevant to our adult learners just as much as children or students (so when reading just do a mental ‘find and replace’ replacing the words ‘student’ with ‘adult’).

"Recently, Edgar Murphy of the North Carolina State Board of Education delivered a presentation to a group of technology-using educators in the Raleigh area. He stated that of all the positions he has held in his life, he was technically qualified for only the first one. In the case of those that followed, he convinced prospective employers that he could teach himself all he needed to know while on the job.

Some months back, Michael Cox, a chief economist for the Federal Reserve Bank, predicted to a group of students that they would have at least five jobs after they graduate, four of which haven't been invented yet.

A fundamental question for everyone involved in education — administrators, teachers, parents, and students — in this time of rapid change is, "What do students really need to be learning today in order to be ready for an unpredictable future?" If Mr. Murphy's experience is a model for our children's future, then the best thing we can teach them is how to teach themselves. This requires that students become not only literate, but also able to use that literacy within their personal information environment in order to succeed now and in the future.

The challenge to us as educators lies in keeping up with an information environment that has changed dramatically in the past 10 years, a decade during which the very nature of information has changed in appearance, location, accessibility, application, and communication. Thus, it is crucial that when teaching literacy to our students,
we emphasize skills that reflect the information environment of the present, not
the past."


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