Bringing the Mass New Literacies to a Close

I am up early (even for me), and out the door soon, to head out to the Microsoft Center in Cambridge for the last session of the year for the Massachusetts New Literacies Teacher Leader Initiative. Since last summer, we have been supporting groups of teachers around the state on how to think about this idea of “new literacies” and then implement action plans into reality in their school districts.

Today, they will be turning in their lesson plans and sharing out their learning with the larger group. I will add some thoughts to my ongoing Voicethread Reflections sometime this weekend. My hope is that the projects go beyond the tools — the “technology — and push into the question of what is literacy these days, and how can we help students tap into that multimedia, global world for composition.

My fear is that our discussions may get bogged down into the ways things didn’t happen and the various obstacles: harsh firewalls, lack of time, equipment issues. These are all very legitimate concerns, and certainly they impact instruction, but I am hoping our discussions go beyond that and into the learning that comes with the age of technology.

It helps that the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is the sponsor of the New Literacies Initiative. That shows forward-thinking on the part of our state officials and a recognition that our classrooms need to better reflect the reality of the world in which our students are living, and composing.

Peace (in the literacies of the age),

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