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Reformulating literacy in different context December 28, 2005

Posted by collaboration in Observations, Research.

Those succeeding in the future, are probably going to be the ones who can contextualize information that initially is presented in separate contexts (including separate media), and subsequently reformulate the content so the new “text” fulfills a specific set of communication needs. In other words: comprising, condensing and evaluating different sources of information turns into a fundamental part of media literacy.

Reformulating literacy in different context

The lab in which I work was originally set up to instruct and utilize commercial grade applications (PhotoShop, Dreamweaver, Pagemaker and the like), integrated into a middle school curriculum. Seen as forward thinking and progressive, it strayed from the ‘computer class’ mindset. Relying on flexible scheduling, it also depended on teachers being held accountable to using and understanding technology.

The original concept had teachers taking the lead in instruction. This meant that teachers learned the applications and understood how to integrate them as well.

Jump ahead nearly six years and standardized testing, among other things, have taken time away from everyone. The time to learn these applications, the money to support constant upgrades, as well as the ability for administrators to demand that teachers use this technology has left the lab under-utilized and underfunded.

The report quoted above focuses a need for instructional technology to move away from the instruction of applications. The tools that students need today involve information and it’s processing within different context. Not only must students organize and present material from mulitple sources, but they must also evaluate the efficacy of each.



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