Curriculum 21

   What does this mean? Thinking about the new curriculum that needs to be implemented many of us, thought well of course it needs to be implemented. Many of us are trying to understand the 21st century learning skills, but this to me is taking it further. It makes me wonder if we have it in the curriculum will more teachers would learn and teach more of the skills needed in this shift in our learning culture.

     There was a comment in the article that mentioned that students are waiting for teachers and curriculum to catch up. (pg 211 Frank Baker)  We as educators need to adapt our practices in the classroom in the wake of the new literacies that are arising now and in the future. Once again ensuring that our students have the skills and understanding of learning to learn. The student is able to develop their skills as change continues to happens.

    The Feedback Loop in the David Niguidula’s article on e-portfolios made it simple for me in the diagram he provides. I created the same diagram here;


The e-portfolios do not only provide the teacher with and idea of the student’s learning, but it also provides the teacher feedback on their practice, assignment designs, and participation.  The teacher can reflect on what their practice and change their curriculum map. (Another term that is new to me and I love!)

I would like to leave this blog with a quote from the article “21st Century Literacies”.

“As new technologies shape literacies, they bring opportunities for teachers at all levels to foster reading and writing in more diverse and participatory contexts.” pg.2

I need to be more reflective on my own practice to understand what 21st strategies am I already using and understanding more on the why I am using them. I know I am direct with the students in the skills I teach them, I tell them the what, the why, and the how.  Now I need to recognize the how in order for me to add to my field study.


Is it Really More to Teach the New Skills Needed Today?

From Jenkin’s White Paper;

“…textual literacy remains a central skill in the twenty-first century. Before students can engage with the new participatory culture, they must be able to read and write.  Youth must expand their required competencies, not push aside old skills to make room for new.  Second, new media literacies should be considered a social skill.”pg 19

In our literature circles, on Friday the idea that we are not moving away from teaching the basics of reading, writing and math but we are adjusting to the new technologies being introduced in our ever-changing learning culture. I know for myself as I read through the White Paper I kept making connections to things I already do in the classroom. Reflecting on my own practice can see where I can extend my teaching to better enable the students to explore new technologies.  I think many of us are feeling like we have to cover so much ground to ensure the students are getting the best education we can provide them. This makes me think about something I heard at a workshop once, that there are no curriculum police. We do not want to teach something because we have to, because it is in writing that we do.  I can’t help but think we are doing a huge disservice to our students,if we go over everything just to ensure we can check off that yes we covered that.

We want to create a rich and open learning environment. I want to see the students take a hold of their learning and inquire what is meaningful to them.  We all know that students pick up on how we are feeling like that, so of course if we are rushing through a unit, which we don’t like, they are going to get that it really is not that important. If the teacher is lacking the passion behind learning, what do we expect the students do?

I know this blog seems like it is all over the place, but that is where my brain is right now. Going back to my title; Is it Really More to Teach the New Skills Needed Today? With the new literacies/multiliteracies, why wouldn’t we want to enrich our teaching skills and renew our passions for teaching? Through my own classroom experiences, I know that the excitement of learning needs to come from me first, to ignite students in their own passion of learning.

This little youtube Video really resonated with me in thinking that we as teachers need to teach the new literacies as well as what we are teaching now; reading, writing, social responsibility, math, etc…


New Media

Its Multiliteracies…

    While discussing Pahl and Roswells, Chapter Two “Multimodal Literacies:New Ways of Reading and Writing,” with my group this book popped into my head. We were discussing the idea of using pictures books in lessons and how we do use them in the class. At first we were questioning what came first; the new detailed non-fiction picture books or the internet? I kept thinking to of the many Reading Power Workshops I have gone to over the year, about reading non-fiction. I couldn’t help but think that all the non-fiction reading strategies we teach the students can be used with the internet. That was my duh! moment! Why on earth did I not see the connection before?

   I am thinking about the fake internet sites, that Taryn had given us; and

   I see that we can use all these new technologies with the students, but we first need to be looking at the how and why of using them. We need to me able to teach students how to use the different modes of literacies, and how to use them effectivley. But first we need to learn first, or do we? I would like to see the students bring in new modes to the class, to teach us what they know.

   Having the students bring in artifacts, similar to what we have been doing, and share with the class who they are. The students are able to bring in their different domains of learning into the class. It is a great way for me to gain a better perspective on how each individual learns and about who they are as individuals.

   I am starting to think about how to adopt learning multiliteracies lessons into my classroom this September. It would be great to see what the students think of their literacy world.  What insights will they provide me in understanding the theory behind multiliteracies. Will it make them more aware of the different modes of literacies and identify their own literacy domains.  Hmmmmm….now I am actually looking forward to September!

Multiliteracies and My Brain

   Okay, so today my brain proved itself to me.  After reading “A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies; Designing Social Futures, last night I truly believed I was not understanding what it was trying to tell me. In class today, after discussing the article with my amazing group, you know who you are, I began to connect the dots or in regards to the article the multiliteracies!

  Since I know how my brain works, I have decided to blog a couple of diagrams of how I see the theory behind multiliteracies, which I might add is not in my spell check!  So forgive me if I misspell it.

Six major Areas of Designs when Thinking of Multiliteracies;






Multimodal – is the tying together of each design and their relationships

Here is another great way for me to understand;

From the Peel District Site

Types of Mutliple Literacies
computer literacies -software
web literacies -interenet
digitial literacy – cells, emails, msn
visual  literacy – graphics, text, TV
audiotory literacy – radio, conversing
home  literacy – routines and chores
community literacy – bus schedules
social  literacy – manners and etiquettes
work literacy – procedures, routines
curriculum literacy – school subjects
Reading through this I can’t help but think this is something we, as educators are already trying to do. We strive to reach all the diverse learners in our classroom. Multiliteracies, to e is attaching a name to the designs we use to reach the learners in our classroom.

What to Reflect on?

Okay, so we just had our second day of class and I am already feeling overwhelmed and behind.  I know it is our learning journey, but many us put a lot of pressure on ourselves. I think it is time to sit back and think exactly what I want to be learning this week and what it is I want to take away from this journey.

A key quote that has stuck out to me today was from the article we read last night,

Defining Literacy and New Literacies
Leu, et al. (2004)

   The quote really had me thinking about a lot of things that teachers struggle with. It also made me feel a little bitter when Leu made the comment that teachers do not have an incentive to learn the New Literacies, because we are too worried about the standardized testing. Of course that was the States, but  me I can see how some teachers, here in BC, get caught up in checking off the PLO’s as they teach them.

As Cammack (2003) points out in her review of Alvermann’s (2002) edited volume, “differences in technology use and perceptions of value between teachers and students can effectively act to block change in the integration and use of technology in literacy pedagogy.”

I agree with this quote from Cammack. I see it in classes in the school where I teach. My question is how can we change this? How can we provide more professional development for teacher? I have offered many informal training sessions for the staff I am on. Some teachers will join for a week or two, and but generally it usually is only one or two that keep it going. I do not think it is a lack of incentive or motivation,  I strongly believe it is a lack of time.

Just thinking about how I started today’s blog, I am overwhelmed and I have to admit frustrated. What do I do when I am feeling this way? I shut down and I simply can not do it. Sure, professional development is something we need to address when it comes to New Literacies, but we must also think of baby steps and time. We want teachers to feel excited about learning new things, in order for them to provide their own incentives for their own learning.  Like Leu said in is article; “The continuously changing technologies of literacy mean that we must help children “learn how to learn” new technologies of literacy. In fact, the ability to learn continuously changing technologies for literacy may be a more critical target than learning any particular technology of literacy itself.

Students not only need to “learn how to learn,” as educators we do too.

What have I learned today?

Well, I have learned that my brain is having a difficult time getting back into school work.  Today’s class was a great way to get back into the whole learning thing! Thanks, Gina. It has been a great class. I was able to take a lot away from today’s class. I really enjoyed the introduction part of the day; we were asked to think of an adjective that describes as well as starts with the same letter as our first initial. This activity is something I will be doing in the classroom this September.

The articles discussed today really had me thinking.  Larry Cuban’s blogs had me giggling, just thinking how far we have come in the use of technology not only with ourselves, but also with our teaching.  The biggest thing that stuck out to me was how Cuban talked about access, and how only many of us our still using traditional teaching strategies regardless of the amount of technology access we have at home and at school. One person, here in class, made the observation that sure some of us are using technology more however we are still delivering it in the traditional way. That I think was a an aha moment for me! There have been many days in the classroom where I struggle with being in front of the class using the smart board. I try different strategies to get myself away from the front of the class when using the smart board. At times, it is easy however other times I am kicking myself for being at the front. My way of teaching in the classroom is that you can’t see me in the classroom. The classroom and all participants are engaged with one another, learning and teaching together.

I loved Pahl and Rowsell’s Chapter One, from “The New Literacies Studies and Teaching Literacy.”  I liked the activities it encourages us to do as educators. Many of the activities  I would like to do in the classroom around the new age of literacy. One of the biggest things I am planning on doing is asking the students; how do your students view the internet? I would really like to see how the students perceive the internet and how they use it.  The ideas of domains was a great way for me to understand the new literacy development.  In our group today, we started to discuss what literacy means. I have started to really see literacy as communication. The group discussion was a great way to hear others’ ideas and thoughts. It was a great way to open up the ideas in my brain around literacy. I am looking forward to reading more from Pahl and Rowsell.