Sunday, November 18, 2007

Critical and digital literacies

The other day at the web 2.0 workshop at my school a question was posed: is blogging and communicating online better than face to face communication? A trick question I thought. The answer is clear; face to face is always better than distance communication if it is possible. The benefit of setting up the community of inquiry with blogging habits that your classroom can become is the affordances this gives when this is working well – the possibilities of global collaboration leading to greater understanding among peoples.

But I was surprised. The people in the workshop answered the question that blogging gave opportunities to students within the classroom as well. The quiet student who blossoms forth in writing, the international students who, while they don’t like to speak in large class groups, are looking for ways to show their knowledge, the opportunity for students to fill out their answers with considered thought. And this wasn’t said but I know that the opportunities at school to learn how to be a digital citizen while in a safe and monitored environment with guidance at hand are a really important part of classroom blogging.

The workshop was really varied. I look forward to being able to introduce you to a French language blog soon as well.

Having a blogging classroom set up and having enough teachers using web 2.0 tools enables “just in time” learning to happen. We are solving problems together, with other teachers and with our students. I am at the moment trying to get Voicethreads recorded (which isn’t working for me currently) but I will not stop trying. I know that when it does work I will know a lot more than when I started. Being open to all these opportunities means I can make the most of my opportunities. Having students ready with web 2.0 capacities means that we try a new tool when it is invented.

One of my finds this weekend was from the Allan Luke webcasts. I listened to an episode from May 31st this year on the new literacies which I really enjoyed. Allan Luke is at Queensland University, Australia, and has a global perspective. I liked his focus on social justice in curriculum design and his imperative not to infantilise the students in our schools by expecting less of them than they are used to doing in the their daily lives in critical literacies. Have a listen, see what you learn.


  1. Got that, Jo... I saw that you'd added the link to and tried to add another to your del account but no luck... try this one, also very good: This is called Vision42 and is dedicated as A Resource for Writers.

  2. Jo, thanks for the great video resources. Dr. Luke is fantastic. There is always something to learn from him. The questions on New Literacies need to be addressed at every level of our educational system. This will be a wonderful way to begin much needed conversations. I will keep you posted on the results!

  3. Research studies have proven that online learners perform as well or better than students in traditional education programs. However, distance learners must make sure that any program in which they enroll is both accredited and a high quality program such as Thomson Education . Additionally a distance learner must be self-motivated and have less need to rely on others.

  4. Anonymous12:08 pm

    Where did you get the poster that you have posted? My school is also IB and I think it is great!

  5. Anonymous8:41 am

    Blogging makes ideas more accessible and can broaden ways of thinking. Face to face communication can be more effective in getting a clear message across however, one has to keep in mind that face to face communication is not something accessible to school age children who are trying to learn about a subject that they are researching.