I’m slowly reading and digesting, and appreciating, the National Council of Teachers of English revised definition of Literacy in a Digital Age, and I am appreciating the depth of the inquiry.
This section of the definition seems key to me — how to help students not only understand what they are consuming in the digital landscapes but how to gather meaning through curation of content and how to create, too.
I am just about to enter our Game Design Unit after Thanksgiving break, and the whole reason I even ever thought about teaching video game design as a literacy practice is because of concerns about my sixth graders spending so much time immersed in something someone else built, I wanted them to build something, too. By having them design and engineer and publish video game projects, I hope they uncover the process of the profession, and think more deeply about their own game experiences.
Curation is the lost sibling in all this, and even as I work hard on my own — as a learner — to use folders and bookmarking and tags to keep as much of my content together, to gather it for curation — to make sense of what I have been doing in digital spaces with digital writing (this blog is my most reliable curation space, I would say, but not the only one).
Even something simple, such as folder awareness for students who use Google Drive. In a meeting of our Western Massachusetts Writing Project yesterday, we were brainstorming ways that the technology team can support teachers, and this idea of explicitly teaching the construction and curating of folders, with project files and other materials, to students came up, and it is one of those things that many of may take for granted — we do it, without thinking, making folders for our files — and many students have no awareness of how to do it, or why.
Now, the definition by NCTE goes way beyond that folder architecture, in interesting directions — here are three of the more intriguing guiding questions in each of the three categories of Consume, Curate and Create that had me thinking a bit more deeply:
- Do learners review a variety of sources to evaluate information as they consider bias and perspective in sources? (Consume)
- Do learners collect, aggregate, and share content to develop their voice/identity/expertise on a topic? (Curate)
- Do learners evaluate multimedia sources for the effects of visuals, sounds, hyperlinks, and other features on the text’s meaning or emotional impact? (Create)
Peace (make it so),