Tuesday, September 13, 2005

21st century literacies

While exploring some references to podcasts, I came across this link on Kathleen Bennet's blog on 21st century literacies. It provides a succinct summary and direct link to the downloadable pdf report "Global Imperative" Report of the 21st Century Literacy Summit developed by Adobe Systems, the George Lucas Foundation and New Media Consortium.

The report highlights the "profound shift... taking place in the way people communicate and express themselves;"... a " new form of communication and self-expres­sion occurs multimodally, incorporating visual and aural elements with textual elements, and an immediacy which itself is a di­mension of the new language."

This shift is recognised as occurring in many countries across the globe and has profound implications for curriculum standards, teaching and learning, teacher professional development and accreditation.

The definition of 21st century literacy refers to ... "the set of abilities and skills where aural, visual and digital literacy overlap. These include the ability to understand the power of images and sounds, to recognize and use that power, to manipulate and transform digital media, to distribute them pervasively, and to easily adapt them to new forms."

The report recognises the inadequacy of schooling experiences and outdated curriculum for young, often disengaged people. Poor attendance and retention rates are part of the equation.

21st century literacy characteristics are deemed to be multimodal, encouraging creative fluency and interpretive facility, new grammar and rules of construction (using vocabulary and tools relevant to their experiences), interactive communication (in a web 2.0 connected learning environment) a sense of immediacy, ability to use media to evoke emotional responses and a potential to transform the way we learn.

The report makes for fascinating reading and poses the question, "What does a world that values 21st century literacy look like?"

Does this sit well in a climate of ever increasing basic skills testing and plain language reporting?

1 comment:

  1. ... and does it sit well within a system that is bound up in a paper based publishing paradigm?