When I graduated college in 2005, the only tech course required of me was an Internet writing course where I designed a web page and did PowerPoint, which is considered archaic by today's standards. Then of course I have had the pleasure of working in relatively poor districts with overhead projectors from the 1970s. Now, the National Council for the Teachers of English defines 21st century literacy as the following:
- Develop proficiency with the tools of technology
- Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally
- Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes
- Manage, analyze and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information
- Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multi-media texts
- Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments
Meaning, that apparently if students don' know how to manage technology like blogging, Twitter, Wikis, Glogster, Prezis, IPADs, etc....and share learning with a worldwide community (such as YouTube) then really, they cannot be considered literate. Hell, by these standards, I am not even considered literate.
As a teacher, and as a smart person, I was offended when the PHD at the tech seminar I attended said this to me...that I wasn't literate.
But literacy isn't reading and writing by book/hand anymore.
I have kids who don't even know how to type. Or open Microsoft Word.
I have only 4 laptops in my room. How in the heck do I make my students global media extraordinaries if I don't have any technology that makes them "literate" by today's standards?
So I get Smart Board. Smart Boards are awesome because they are a huge interactive white board that really gets the students into the lessons. When I went to the tech conference, I specifically chose the half-day seminar on Smart Boarding so that I could learn how to use it- never had before. I still operate on a 1976 overhead projector.
So I go to this conference, get all inspired...and when I get back, I move the Smart Board into my room.
I don't even know how to plug the darn thing in. I had cords everywhere...when I went to touch the board it did something funky instead of something cool like I was shown at this conference....and the worst part was...it was all in front of students who I was trying to impress and make "literate" for crying out loud!
The kids told me to go back to training.