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


One thought on “Is it Really More to Teach the New Skills Needed Today?

  1. THanks for your very supportive comment on my posting. It really makes a difference to know that I am not alone in my frustration. You are absolutely right though, does it have to be so hard to be of benefit?
    I loved the video link re. Youmedia. It would be nice to offer those kinds of resources to our students to demonstrate what they know.
    In terms of coverage or curriculum it’s a constant battle for me. I teach Science 10 and I am trying to instill my passion and “cover” the curriculum at the same time. I am looking at focusing on the most important big ideas. We’ll see how it goes.
    Good luck next week.

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