Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"Digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline and profession"

Continuing to entice you to dive into a reading of the 2010 Horizon Report: K12:
Along with current trends, the Advisory Board notes critical challenges that schools face, especially those that are likely to continue to affect education over the five-year time period covered by this report. Like the trends, these are drawn from a careful analysis of current events, papers, articles, and similar sources, as well as from the personal experience of the Advisory Board members in their roles as leaders in education and technology. Those challenges ranked as most significant in terms of their impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in the coming years are listed here, in the order of importance assigned them by the Advisory Board.

Digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline and profession. The challenge is due to the fact that despite the widespread agreement on its importance, training in digital literacy skills and techniques is rare in teacher education and school district professional development programs. As teachers begin to realize that they are limiting their students by not helping them to develop and use digital media literacy skills across the curriculum, the lack of formal training is being offset through professional development or informal learning, but we are far from seeing digital media literacy as a norm. This challenge is exacerbated by the fact that digital literacy is less about tools and more about thinking, and thus skills and standards based on tools and platforms have proven to be somewhat ephemeral.

Franklin, MA


  1. I think it it's safe to say that the one skill everyone is going to need in the 21st century is *searching*. With sites like Facebook and tools like phpBB being so popular, anybody with a modicum of common sense and time can put content on the web and get feedback, which means a lot of content is being put out there already.

    But all of the really smart people I know already know how to search that that vast ocean of content to quickly find what they need, that Google allows for boolean operands like "AND" and "OR" to refine searches, that have the comprehension skills to filter out the kruft and chaff from search results.

    Kids are going to learn operating systems on their own at home using their parents computers. Since they're starting at such a young age at home, file navigation and web browsing is going to come to them the same way as first words do: by observing their parents and playing with newfound skills themselves. Not a lot of time really needs to be spent on that in the classroom. Not a lot of time really needs to be spent on that in the classroom.

    But problem-solving skills like searching are going to be absolutely key to everything they do in school and in their careers. We already teach search in schools now by teaching children how to use the library, so teaching digital/online searching in the classroom really isn't that far off.

    My problem is that I just don't trust the school system of the United States to see the importance of search (and related problem-solving skills on the computer) much less actually do something about it. Instead they'll waste our tax dollars and our childrens' valuable classroom time teaching them how to apply bold styling to text in a Microsoft Word document.

  2. I'll partially agree with you that searching will be a key skill. It is step one. Understanding what results are returned, which ones are valid, which ones are suspect; will be equally if not more important. Any one can search Google, et al makes that easy. Determining which results the search engine gives back will be where the thinking and analysis comes in.

    If left alone, I would not trust an organization to do what it needs to do, especially where change is required. That is where the informed, active citizens and voters need to make sure their voice is heard. "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." "a watched pot never boils."