Digital Literacy vs Networked Literacy

I woke up this morning to find the following Tweet from Jeremy Brueck: This line between digital literacy and networked literacy is a fine one…but one I think for ed tech people is worth exploring. I first started thinking about the distinction between digital literacy and networked literacy after reading the Writing in the 21st Century document produced by the National Council of Teachers of English and Kathleen Yancey. In the document Yancey states: First, we have moved beyond a pyramid-like, sequential model of literacy development in which print literacy comes first and digital literacy comes second and networked literacy practices, if they come at all, come third and last. Based on this reading and specifically this paragraph I created this diagram: Which Jeremy referred to in his tweet. I wrote on this earlier when I first found the Yancey article in a post titled The Age of Composition (worth a read). Yet in that post I really did not flush out what the different between digital literacy and networked literacy were. I have shown this diagram in a few presentations and very few educators raised their hands when I asked if they were teaching digital literacy in their schools. None have ever raised their hands when I asked about network literacy. Digital Literacy: Wikipedia: Digital literacy is the ability to locate, organize, understand, evaluate, and create information using digital technology. It involves a working knowledge of current high-technology, and an understanding of how it can be used. Digitally literate people can communicate and work more efficiently, especially with those who possess the same knowledge and skills. Microsoft: The goal of Digital Literacy is to teach and assess basic computer concepts and skills so that people can use computer technology in everyday life to develop new social and economic opportunities for themselves, their families, and their communities. By these definitions digital literacy looks at understanding technologies and their uses. It’s everything from understanding folder structures on a computer to being able to successfully use e-mail to communicate with others. Digital literacy focuses on the literacy needed to be literate with technology today. From copy & paste to understanding how to trouble shoot problems with an Internet connection. Networked Literacy: I couldn’t find a definition anywhere on the web of what networked literacy is or looks like, but I think it’s a literacy that we in the blogosphere talk about...

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Learning to Navigate the Web

Today in a second grade class we talked about how to navigate a website. It was the start of an animal unit where students will be studying animals of the grasslands. The students using the National Geographic Kids site which is a great little site to teach kids to research. Here are the questions I used to talk about navigating a web site: Can you find the advertisements on this site? Do we click on ads? Why? Why Not? How do you go back on the Internet? How can you tell if a website opens in a new tab? How do you delete a tab? Where is the main navigation on this site? How do you know that? After about a 10 minute mini-lesson on the above points the students went off and explored the website by themselves. Too often we just go right into the structured lessons and do not allow students to explore. It’s like picking up a book at the book store or in the library. We browse it first, read a page here, look at pictures there. Giving students time to click, look, read, watch, click again gets them use to the site. After this “explore time” I find kids to be much more focused on a lesson. These are the research skills of today, these are the literacy skills that when I told a 4th grade teacher what we were doing today in 2nd grade she was excited that she would soon be getting kids that already have these skills. That’s when you know you’re doing the right...

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The Age of Composition

Miranda Clemson’s left a comment on a recent post of mine and included a link to an eSchool News Article: NCTE defines writing for the 21st Century Right away I was interested in the article. Our school has just adopted and is implementing the Lucy Calkin’s Reading and Writing Program. I was interested to learn what the National Council of Teachers of English would have to say about 21st Century writing. I liked the direction of the article, and so on the last page I decided to download the White Paper by Kathleen Blake Yancey titled: Writing in the 21st Century.I’ve been interested in finding out why our school decided to adopt the Lucy Calkin’s method of teaching reading and writing and after reading the paper by Yancey, I understand why. When the future is unknown, we tend to look backwards; looking backwards to the 70s and 80s when writing became a process. You all know the process of writing right? We believed writing to be a process one goes through and not a subject one studies. Yancey puts it this way: …the promise of composing process as developing theory and classroom practice was truncated by several factors, among them two that are related: (1) the formalization of the process itself, into a narrow model suitable for (2) tests designed by a testing industry that too often substitutes a test of grammar for a test of writing and that supports writing, when it does, as an activity permitted in designated time chunks only, typically no more than 35-minute chunks. I got thinking about this and my own education. Reflecting on it, I feel that too often a test of grammar was substituted for a test of writing (not to say my grammar is perfect by any means). Yancey goes on to say that just about the time this process of writing is making it’s mark on education and education starts to really adopt it, along comes a little thing called the personal computer. Which over the course of the next 20 years will revolutionize the way we write, communicate and who we expect to be able to write to and for. My favorite quote from the article says it best: Perhaps most important, seen historically this 21st century writing marks the beginning of a new era in literacy, a period we might call the Age of Composition, a period...

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