Education Week - November 9, 2016 - 1
Maddie McGarvey for Education Week
here has never been
a generat ion of
young people more
immersed in digital
me d i a t h a n t h i s
one. From computers to smartphone apps to e-books, electronic
media has permeated the lives of
many of today's students since
babyhood. A survey from Common Sense media, a research and
advocacy group, finds, in fact,
that 72 percent of children ages 8
and younger have used a mobile
device to play a game, watch a
video, or use an app-and that's
from a survey conducted three
years ago. The proportion of children using mobile has undoubtedly grown since.
The ubiquitous use of digital technology raises important
questions for educators, especially those charged with preparing students to be literate in modern society. Of course, students must know
how to read and write text, whether on a computer screen or on paper. But do
they also need to learn to be "digitally literate?" And what does that mean?
In this report, "The Changing Face of Literacy," Education Week explores those
questions and attempts to show how the digital revolution is transforming literacy instruction throughout K-12.
As it turns out, experts and educators define digital literacy in various
ways. (See Page 4.) For many, though, the term encompasses a wide range
of skills beyond reading and writing, including reading on an e-reader, assessing the credibility of a website, or creating and sharing YouTube videos.
As Audrey Church, the president of the American Association of School Librarians, notes in this report, "children are digital natives, but they're not
digitally literate." (See Page 25.)
Experts do agree, however, that even the youngest children should be learning literacy with a mix of print and digital texts. (See Page 6.) The Common Core
State Standards, now used by 39 states, also give teachers a gentle nudge toward
teaching digital literacy. Yet, while some of those standards explicitly call for
technology use, others still leave it to teachers to decide whether to incorporate
electronic media. (See Page 13.) Some teachers have stepped up to that challenge,
including one high school teacher in Mineola, N.Y., who is using 21st century
technology to teach "Macbeth," a play written nearly 500 years ago by William
Shakespeare. (See Page 17.)
"My sense is that we're not going to lose Shakespeare," remarked another
educator, a literacy coach in Revere, Mass. "He'll remain forever young because of technology."
Face of Literacy
Digital Literacy: Forging
Agreement on a Definition
How Should Elementary Schools
Teach Reading in an Age of
A Small Nod for Digital Skills
Teaching Shakespeare the
21st Century Way
Digital Generation Eschews
E-Books for Pleasure Reading
Startup Aims to Customize
Classroom Book Selections
As Media Landscape Changes,
Librarians Take on New Roles
Web Extra: Video
Mineola High School teachers Al Cavalluzzo and
Cynthia Lombardi both want their students to love
Shakespeare, but they have different philosophies on
using technology to make that happen.
Web Extra: Twitter Chat
Teachers around the country share stories, tips, and
ideas for teaching Shakespeare in today's digital age.
Left: A 3rd grade student reads online at Indian Run
Elementary School in Dublin, Ohio. The school integrates
tablets, laptops, and print books into reading time.
The Changing Face of Literacy / www.edweek.org/go/changing-literacy