Kylene Beers · NCTE · technology · Web 2.0 · wlu

21st Century Literacies (NCTE’s Nov. 2007 Council Chronicle)

If you blog, then you know that websites are no longer the sole way to get information out into the world. We’re living in a Web 2.0 World. Today we have blogs, wikis, podcasts, and many other tools that allow us to not only communicate, but to collaborate with others around the globe.

Ruth and I have recently sat through amazing presentations by Kylene Beers, who is the Vice President of NCTE, and has made the case that we need to prepare our students for the demands of the 21st Century. We have both been amazed by Beers’ dedication and enthusiasm on the topic and have tried to integrate 21st Century Literacies into our own classrooms. (For instance, we both have wikis. We also have our blog URL on the bottom of our emails so that our students can obtain access to it if they so desire.) In fact, I was so inspired by Beers’ presentation at the WLU Conference in Louisville this past summer that I wrote a proposal on to obtain funding for an LCD Projector so that I could open up the world to my students. (Note: Beers states that all you need is one laptop and one LCD projector in a classroom to make kids more tech savvy.)

I was just reading through Lorna Collier’s article, “The Shift to 21st-Century Literacies,” in the November 2007 Issue of The Council Chronicle. There are a couple points she makes that I wanted to post here since they’re thought-provoking and important for teachers of writing to think about:

To help students thrive in the world of 21st-century literacy, teachers need to become fluent in the language of newer technologies… The definition of “21st-century literacies” also includes new ideas about what can be considered texts. (Collier, 2007, 4)

Quoting Kajder: “Students need to learn from us how to engage in online spaces and still have academic discourse, to do it for purposeful, functional needs, because the toolset can’t be completely different whenever they step into whatever their future jobs might be — and yet that is what the reality is right now.” (Collier, 2007, 5)

And finally, a quote from David Bruce:

“There’s a fallacy that kids aren’t reading and writing anymore. They are, but they just are reading and writing differently than what we’ve traditionally done in schools.”

How are you preparing your students for the demands of the 21st Century in WRITING WORKSHOP? Please use the comments section to open up a small forum here about how we can integrate more technology into our Writing Workshops. (How Web 2.0 savvy of me, right?)

To read other posts Ruth and I have written about Web 2.0, click here.

One thought on “21st Century Literacies (NCTE’s Nov. 2007 Council Chronicle)

  1. I was able to hear Sara present at NCTE. She has a wealth of infomation on her website, It’s an excellent resource.

    What a great quote from Dave Bruce. I’m going to have to copy that into my writer’s notebook. It is so true. Our students are reading and writing a TON — it just looks different from what we’ve expected in the past.

    The question becomes how can we shift our paradigms to accept the literacy our students are coming to us with and that they need for the future?

    I’m looking forward to hearing more thoughts on this subject. It’s an important line of thinking to be on!!!


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