New literacies: enrichment or essential?

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An Annotation by Jeffery Ayer

Jakes outlines three ways in which the new literacies seem to be upon us, including,

  • “learning with the Web as an information resource”;
  • “the use of blogs and wiki technology”; and
  • “digital storytelling.”

What’s great about this article is Jakes poses many questions with few answers – districts and society will have to do the answering over time.  But he makes some profound statements.

“Our kids need to use the Web for learning in many ways, but we have to structure online learning so that it is true inquiry, supported by the requisite information literacy skills, so that students, when in need, have internalized a problem-solving approach to build answers to questions of importance.”

Regarding wikis, he says that students can,

“extend that personal writing experience into the collaborative writing experience embodied by wiki technology, and now schools have the capability to teach writing with engaging tools that promote a lifetime of participation and contribution.”

Last, Jakes heralds the rather new digital storytelling, which is a lengthy process, but incorporates,

“a narrative, preparing a script from that narrative, and then creating a video based on the script that combines still frame imagery, music, and the student’s voice to tell the story.”

It also involves writing, rewriting, script production, and storyboarding.  All in all, Jakes presents the new technologies with great positive remarks, but with many questions, most essentially, “Enrichment or essential?”

Jakes, D.  (2006, February 23).  New literacies:  enrichment or essential?      Paper presented at TechForum in San Diego, California.  Retrieved      June 9, 2008.

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