Reflections:

My definition of new literacies has evolved now that I have completed this professional development. I began the week with the understanding that new literacies was how 21st century learners were processing information online. What I learned at the institute this week was new literacies is really about how we process, learn, take in, and output information in the digital age. It is not limited to text online but reaches across multi-modalities. Some of the new literacies I learned about this week were the use of digital storytelling and video production. After my experiences this week I have a new understanding of what these and other new literacies can bring to my classroom. By embracing the new literacies I can enrich and deepen my student’s classroom experiences. The new literacies are prompted by technology because of the ever changing access to information via technology, being able to understand and process the information being given in new types of technology is essential to being able to function in the 21st century. The ever present accessibility of technology makes the new literacies essential to understanding the world around us. Content is changing because of our access to technology, answers to our questions are at the tips of our fingers and memorizing it all is now a thing of the past. For example it is no longer necessary for social studies students to memorize all state capitals, google maps does that for them. History students now no longer spend countless hours going through microfilms for primary sources, with the new literacies they can look up historical sources and publish their findings in a matter of minutes. Therefor the way we teach has to change. Using new literacies teachers must adapt that we are no longer the ultimate source of information, it is now our responsibility to teach our students how to read, interpret, understand, publish, and create. New literacies changes the way our students learn, students who may not be the best readers or math students in a conventional classroom can blossom by using the new literacies, because they process the world differently.

My personal perspective on the new literacies based on what I have learned this week is that the way we shape our world and process information has changed. Learning in the 21st century is about, problem solving, questioning, discovering new truths, creating and critically examining information. It is not enough to tell students what they need to know, students must learn to interpret the information and transmit their views responsibly. By learning the design process we were able to see how creating these products made us dig deeper into our own understanding of the concepts we were hoping to have our students create. Making the videos in the digging deeper sessions it exposed us to the process that we would take our students through and aloud for us as teachers to see just how important our new literacy skills were and how much we learned by using them.

In creating my online identity I have learned to manage my online image creating professional pages that highlight the image that I want to give. I have joined professional online communities and separated any of my personal life from my professional.

If I had one more day at the institute I would have like to go more in-depth into PBI and spend more time using it and creating with it. I believe that PBI activities are extremely beneficial to students and teach students 21st skills along with the content that students need to understand the world around them.