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Blog task #2 – the convergence of literacies in the 21st century

The role of the teacher librarian in the convergence of litereacies in the 21st century.

Any number of academics [Abilock (2004, p.1), Bundy (2004) Langford (1998, p.59) and Herring and Tarter (2006, p.3)] define information literacy in a number of ways. But does information literacy need to be its own thing. Or is literacy inclusive of all its forms. Is a literate person a digital citizen?

Importantly ACARA (2013) discusses “goals set out in the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (MCEETYA 2008)” in which students “become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens.” This will be achieved through teaching general capabilities across the curriculum.

General Capabilities
General capabilities in the Australian Curriculum (ACARA, 2013)

When reading definitions about literacies it is important for the teacher librarian to acknowledge the multimodal texts that are at play. With careful consideration and exploration of these general capabilities it is possible to see the convergence of these elements as different literacies i.e. being ICT literate or numerically literate etc…

The role of the teacher librarian is to help people get information. But what exactly does this mean with the convergence of literacies, multiple literacies, an interconnected world, and emerging global languages. TL’s can teach library skills and help provide information with the help of the Dewey system! But in today*s world of ubiquitous teachnology (sic) and changing words, jargon and metalanguage LOL  how will young peoples literacies help them become digital citizens?

*all apostrophes have been removed because they are becoming obsolete (Nichol, 2013)

In this blog post you are not able to read the writers body language, you will not hear my voice or feel me shaking your hand. Let us contemplate “what is literacy?” Can students be taught social literacy? Or can students teach emerging technologies to their teachers? A lifestyle change and the prevalence of computers has changed teaching from instructional to more of a learning partnership. Some of the key concerns become;

• Information overload
• Being selective and evaluating and using appropriate information
• Teachers need to undergo training in emerging technologies (twitter, blogs, etc…)
• If you’re hooked into a machine what is the emotional cost
• What tools will help learners in an unknown future job?
• Multiple literacies
• Visual literacy
• Different languages, becoming multi-lingual in a global community
• Literacy of numbers
• Should we define literacy as being a fluent communicator?

Cultural anthropologist Michael Wesch (Waters, 2012) proposes that learning how to use tools to find answers is not enough and that what teachers should be doing is encouraging a questioning mind. Literacy is not reading and writing and its not critical thinking, literacy needs to be redefined – students need to become total participant citizens, digital citizens.

The idea of social responsibility is also touched upon

“The internet … transcends physical borders. Consequently, digital citizens engage both locally and with groups not connected with their geographic reality. A true digital citizen is simultaneously engaged with both” (Waters, 2012)
What is the role of the teacher librarian in this instance? TL’s help provide “the fluency to communicate effectively with other humans”?

References

ACARA (2013). The Australian Curriculum v4.2 General capabilities. From http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/GeneralCapabilities/Overview/General-capabilities-in-the-Australian-Curriculum viewed on 29th April 2013.

Nichol, M. Plurals and Apostrophes (Mostly) Don’t Mix viewed on 29th April 2013 from http://www.dailywritingtips.com/plurals-and-apostrophes-mostly-dont-mix/

Waters, J.K. (2012). Turning students into good digital citizens. THE Journal, 9 April.

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