What is 21st Century Literacy?

The buzzwords "21st Century Literacy" are all around us, but what does this really mean? Here are some links that discuss the concept and ways to incorporate multiple literacies into contemporary library practise.

Resource Links:

Some tips for supporting 21st century literacy:
1. Get out there. Explore the posibilities of web 2.0. Try out wikis, blogs, wordle, glogster... for yourself. Once you feel confident with a new platform you can share it with others. Check out some of the resources linked below.

2. Access support. Ask colleagues about what resources they have used and which they found most useful. Find out what resources your district endorses (and perhaps provides) for students.

3. Teach explicitly not implicitly. Don't assume that students know how to evaluate online information. They may be tech saavy but they may not have good "crap detectors" (see Will Richardson's presentation, and his wiki). Student who access Facebook from home may not know about how to protect their privacy - or their image. Students who research online often may still not know how to search effectively. We need to teach all these skills explicitly.

4. Be a risk taker. Model the willingness to try. Not every lesson has to produce a beautiful project. We all learn from our failures too.

5. Be discerning. Research and spend time learning new "tech tools" before using them with your students so that you know they are worthwhile. Remember to choose tools that are "empathetic" (user friendly and age appropriate) and pedagogically the best fit for the learning outcomes you are working towards (from Fontichiaro, K. (2010). Pride and Prejudice and Technology Leadership. In S. Coatney (Ed.), The Many Faces of School Library Leadership (pp. 101-114). Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited).

6. Be adaptable. Maybe you don't have enough computers for a whole class. Use a Smartboard to introduce the technology. No Smartboard? Use a projector and a screen. Ask a colleague to team teach with you so that you can teach part of the class. Some districts have memory sticks so students can work at home and bring their work to school on the memory stick to share.