Literacy in that, literacy in that…

OPS Language Arts Standard 2.4 – Multiple Literacies: Students will research, summarize, and communicate information in a
variety of media and formats (textual, visual, and digital).

What the heck is multiple literacies?  I can honestly say that I completed my report cards and even printed them with this standard “assessed” before I stopped to ask myself what these two words really mean.  I mean, I understand being literate in something, but what does the multiple have to do with anything?  What is this even doing on the new report cards if we, the teachers, have no idea what it means?  Have no fear, Angela Maiers cleared up any misconceptions I previously had and now I ‘get’ it!

You know the various media that we use in any given day…email, internet, Teacher’s Manual, Sitton Spelling Manual, CAFE book, ELMO document viewer, Smartboard, etc…well we have to be literate in how these function to know how to use them, therefore we are literate in the various media.  It’s a literacy in something else beyond a book.  Aha!  Does it make sense now?  Of course.  Why should we wait until junior year of high school to teach students how to do research for a paper, or to properly cite it when they do have the info?  Why should we wait until students can properly type on computers before we let them explore the internet and where it can take them?  Why are we not teaching the technology of tomorrow, today?

Zoom in on me trying to explain this very concept to parents at conferences tonight…most were like “oh!”  They understood exactly what I meant about being able to apply reading and writing basics in all other forms.  One parent even said, “So, it’s like he’s learning how to do things now that he’ll have to know how to do in the future and for the rest of his life.”  My point exactly.  It really is.  It may seem like just another standard to be added to the checklist, but it’s so much more.

My question to you is, what have you taught your students lately that could be used in the next few years outside of your classroom and possibly help them build upon as they continue to learn?

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