Tuesday, 12 January 2016

21st Century Literacies

            It’s funny, I’ve had this blog for about 3 months now, and I completely forgot to introduce myself! So here it goes… Hello! My name is Nicole and I am an aspiring teacher in her fourth year of a Concurrent Education program in the Primary/Junior level at Brock University. Yes, that means only 1 year of teacher’s college between adult responsibilities and me. These four years have passed so quickly, I am not sure if I am ready to give up being a student. However, I am excited to have students of my own!

            Throughout these four years I have definitely gained a lot of knowledge that will help me as a future educator. In first year I learned a lot of educational theories that I did not know how to apply just yet. However as the years progressed we learned more practical strategies and methods that we can use in our classrooms. An important and evolving theme that began circulating in my fourth year is the idea of 21st century skills. One of the most discussed skills has been technology skill, but we have not touched much upon 21st century literacies.

Retrieved from here.

            In the past, the concept of literacy meant having the skill to interpret squiggles on a piece of paper as letters which, when put together, formed words that conveyed meaning. However, in today’s world, being literate requires much, much more than the traditional literacy of the past. In this day and age there are many new literacies such as critical literacy, media literacy, financial literacy, mental health literacy, and much more.

            The shift into our screen-based society is causing a drastic change in our students, and as our students have changed, teachers need to alter teaching methods and topics accordingly. That said, I am really glad we are learning about these literacies, as I have not learned much about them in the past. In order to help our students thrive in the world of 21st century literacy, we, as future educators, need to become fluent in the language of newer technologies and incorporate more modern thinking about literacy.