What Does it Mean to be Literate Today?

Posted: October 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

David Warlick, I presenter I heard last week, posed this question to the audience.  He highlighted some ways in which literacy is important today, and I have taken these from notes I took during his presentation:

  1. The ability to determine what is true and verifiable.  In the world where you can google anything and find an answer, one must not just be able to read, but also discern what is true.
  2. Numeracy has become important in literacy.  It’s important now for students to be able to take information and manipulate it–at a much higher level them simple adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing.  Student must be able to manipulate digital information.
  3. The ability to determine which information to use.  Have you ever done a google search only to yield millions of results?  This can become overwhelming.  It is important to be able to tune out distracting information and focus on only the best.  It is also important to be able to build an audience and gain the attention of readers.  This involves the ability to be passionate and compelling when expressing ideas.
It is important that we as educators consider how literacy is shifting due to the availability of information, and the ways we not use information.  To prepare our students for a future we cannot imagine, we need to start asking ourselves what type of literacy our students will need.

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