1. Ryan Bretag just had a great post re: literacy. References Atwood as well. http://www.ryanbretag.com/blog/?p=2750 His discussion questions posed at the end of the post should definitely be considered by administrators and teacher leaders today. Pretty certain many of our schools aren't questioning our literacy practices as deeply as we should be.

  2. I was rolling along enjoying the post and then saw the video at the bottom and it really helped improve my Christmas spirit. I know that literacy is so important and I'm glad that you have emphasized that there is more to literacy than being able to read one of the "classics." Hope you have a wonderful holiday and hope to see you in Philly next month.

  3. Such a great, insightful post! I think you highlight the importance of educators being literate themselves (so they may teach literacy) regardless of our level of support for the medium. Our job is to prepare our students to be successful in the world they live in, not just the parts of it we support!

  4. I have written my own post on this as well. I want to have the impact with my words as you do with yours. I am new to blogging and Twiitter, but I am very passionate about getting the educators in my school and around the world to become connected. I have grown more as an educator in the last few months than I have in my first four years. I truly believe "two heads are better than one" and twitter has given my students and I hundreds of teachers inside my classroom. If you have time, please read my blog. I would appreciate any feedback!! http://wp.me/p1Xe7C-E

  5. coleksyn

    Interesting post George. I have to say that John Seely Brown's comments on what literacy really is nails it. Teaching kids to navigate complex and often confusing spaces is primary for literacy. Gone are the days when information is sought through static sources such as periodicals, encyclopedias and text books On line searching is much more complex and takes real literacy skills not only on " how to" but in critical thinking and assessing reputable info and sources.

    Whether we encourage it or not, children are becoming self directed learners. When they want to know something they turn to google, they tweet it out, they search for like minded individuals on social media.
    Education is missing the boat if it doesn't step up and guide students in participatory learning. And how can that happen if Educators are not engaged themselves in this type of learning?

    I agree that Twitter can be a useful tool for Educators to further their own literacy skills in this area in order to facilitate this learning in their students. Here's why:

    Twitter requires the user to manage a flow of information that is constantly changing. The use of the medium is also amenable to increasing complexity. For example, progressing from simple tweeting to the managing of lists, hash tags and professional chats.
    Twitter requires the reader to think critically and assess the validity and/or relevance of sites and blogs. It also allows the development of skills in commenting and supporting your own ideas.
    As well, in developing a PLN on Twitter, users learn the fine art of mixing professional and personal engagement which is essential in navigating social networks for professional learning.

    So while Twitter is not the only medium for educators to develop these skills, it's functionality and it's global acceptance make it an ideal one.

    • Felicia

      Thank you for your comments to thus post. It encouraged me to read your ththoughts on mixing personal with professional on tweeter. I couldn't have word it better. @DrFPalmer #coteaching

  6. Hi George,
    You have made me realize how important it is for me to teach Twitteracy to my students. I often open my Tweetdeck and display it on our IWB after we have done a collaborative activity with another class in another location. My students can see how the other teacher and I share what we have just done via Twitter. I set up a class account two years ago, but have not felt comfortable using it yet. I am ready to change that in 2012. Thanks for giving me a push in the right direction.

  7. Thank you George for the lovely post! I will be using it as part of our PD on January 2nd. Often when folks come into my office, they make some remark about my four columns of tweets that I monitor through Tweetdeck– some say it resembles alien language, or noise or even, it seems cacophonous. I've always thought that while the separate tweets seem like individual notes or harmonic phrases, for me it all comes together like a symphony–sometimes light and jazzy and sometimes Wagnerian. I suppose it is all what meaning you make of it and that is the truest form of literacy. I loved the video at the end–another wonderful lesson for our students that their voices do matter. Thank you!

  8. Just like to say that lying in bed on a Boxing Day morning in balmy Adelaide (visiting for Christmas), I am enjoying your Twitteracy blog. Ah, the power and spread of social media and iPads. So much more encouraging that reading the News. So much more diverse than old paradigm. So much more interesting than 'push' media. Thanks George.

  9. Felicia

    George I really enjoyed this post. Previous commentators have said it all. And yes, much more positive than reading the news this post-Christmas morning.
    I am new at tweeter and blogging. I learned so much more in one month by the way of tweeter, than in countless, boring PD sessions. The resources I found via posts on tweeter and professionals I'm following are giving me the professional mana I need. Thanks!
    @DrFPalmer #coteaching

  10. Peter

    I'm wondering if certain aspects of this post aren't a year or two out of date. For instance the reference to exponential growth (of Twitter) … it would have to be a very small exponent because Twitter numbers are usually quoted in the 400-800 million range… there isn't much room for exponential growth. The reference to journalists also seems a dated one, at least to me.

  11. See, but here's the thing, George: At least here in the States, learning to "navigate" is completely irrelevant simply because there is a pacing guide — scripted day-by-day — for the entire curricula regardless of what grade level or subject you are teaching.

    So we talk about the importance of learning to navigate but then we don't give anyone — teachers or students — the freedom to navigate. We harp on teachers for not learning to navigate even though they're working in organizations that refuse to allow them to navigate.

    That's what leaves me hacked off.

    If we really want these kinds of skills and behaviors to creep into the lives of teachers and students, it's about flippin' time that we make changes to the scriptedness of the world that we're creating in our schools.


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