Monday, July 18, 2005

Multiple Literacies

While I try to work through a bit of writer's block on a paper that I'm trying to write (and have been trying to for a while), I came across two posts today that are rather interesting when you look at them together. The first is from David Warlick over at 2¢ worth who suggests like many have that we should stop trying to integrate technology, but rather improve technology literacy in schools. From the post: For educators, information means a lot of things. What I’m talking about is its shape. There’s all kinds of information around us. We live in an information environment. But more than anything else, the shape of that information has changed — dramatically. There are three ways that the shape of information has changed. It is: Networked, Digital, and Overwhelming. Each of these changes has had a dramatic impact on how we access, use, and communicate information. When information is networked, then its direction becomes an issue. During most of my life, information traveled in one direction, from points of assumed authority to the consumer. Now it travels in all directions, from millions of sources — from points where we cannot assume authority. Digital information doesn’t sit still. It glows, grows, shrinks, travels at the speed of light, and in its abundance, information is simultaneously diverse, and at its roots, very much the same. Digital information is also gloriously malleable. With the skills and tools, we can shape information into almost anything we want — or need. Information is also overwhelming, where managing that information is not a biggest problem. It is having your message compete for attention amongst a growing glut of other messages. I think David has hit the nail on the head. While even here at the U of A we try to increase the use of technology in the various courses that compose the B.Ed., we are also trying to improve the technology literacy of the instructors who are having to use the technology in their rooms. Slowly introducing them to new tools that we think they may find helpful seems to be working for many people. David also frames the malleable nature of the digital realm rather well. It's a tidal wave of information that can be changed by those in the know and that changes those it impacts (especially those who are not as aware that what is in print or on TV is no longer the truth, and really hasn't been for a long time). The other posting is from the Multiple Intelligences blog. There is a listing of the various types on intelligences that one may encounter and some of the technologies that can be used to explore them. If one were merely trying to integrate technology into the classroom, it may be difficult to find specialized tools for each of the categories, but if one were literate about technology and understood how different tools could be used, it is very possible to cover more than one intelligence and come up with creative ways to do so. Technorati Tags: , , ,