About Me

Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Reading in the Digital Age

My sister forwarded an op-ed from the New York Times about reading skills for this generation.
The piece commented on things I have written about and commented on over the last year, namely there being a need to support our students in writing (and reading) non-linearly.

What I found interesting was what was lacking in this article. Two issues I thought about that were never brought up were:

  1. Does current standardized testing test the skills needed in the digital age? They do speak about the decline in standardized test scores which some put down to "computer time" (funny how they don't point to the effect that NCLB legislation and its focus on regurgitating information rather than "learning" might have on those scores). They also mention how the US in NOT part of a pilot program to test digital literacy skills (where is AERA or any of the other professional organizations that are trying integrate technology into the classroom).
  2. Literacy is more than the "reading skills". It is how to decode symbols and interaction with text. Most literacy experts see that literacy is embedded within a culture and determinates of literacy include an understanding of the context of a text. As a result, is it possible that there is a shift in our culture that those in power would like to prevent (which really is impossible) in order to maintain the current status quo? The article speaks about looking for other viewpoints (that may be contrary to the "authoritative" publishers, opening up new venues). Of course, this also may necessitate teaching students DIFFERENT skills that include analyzing their assumptions, author intent and bias, and checking/rechecking facts. So what happens when they do this to "authorized" versions and find them lacking?

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