Daily Archives: December 28, 2013

Teaching in a Digital Age

Facebook Logo As an instructor of literacy methods courses in preservice teacher education, one of the challenges is remaining current. I feel that I must have current knowledge of research on literacy and literacy development, current knowledge of curriculum resources and government initiatives, and be current with ever-changing social media trends. The last point is one that is often overlooked but equally important. To prepare my student teachers to be effective literacy teachers, I need to know them and this entails knowing the social media they are using. If I do not have some working knowledge of their communication patterns they might view me as a dinosaur which in turn can create a barrier to me understanding where they are coming from. Also, both student teachers and I need to know what pupils are using if we want to connect home and school literacy practices. Not having a teenager makes it difficult to stay current – many adolescents are far more in tune than me. So what to do? I found this website http://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/blog which is helpful. I am not sure who sponsors it but there is a treasure trove of info for those of us trying to figure out what adolescents and young adults are using. One page that was very useful lists11 sites that kids go to after Facebook http://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/blog/11-sites-and-apps-kids-are-heading-to-after-facebook . I liked the thumbnail sketches of each site and the pros and cons of each site.
Another page identified top digital citizenship bloggers.
http://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/blog/our-favorite-digital-citizenship-bloggers-to-follow-in-2014
These bloggers identify issues that are often invisible to me.
Knowing popular culture I feel is essential to being a literacy professor. Clare

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