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21 Century Literacy

21 Century Literacy

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Published by: Janine Roberge Daggett on Feb 14, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Janine P. Daggett W53102/12/2012
The Literacy Connection
The creation of a 21
Century Literate person is a long process involving a variety of literacies coming together to form a newfound understanding of the digital world that we live in. Simply living in the ´digital ageµ is notenough to create a 21
century learner. Learners must be active participants in all of the steps (or types ofliteracy) on the path to becoming 21
Century Literate. The scaffold of literacy learning (shown in theseparate graphic document) shows how the literacies build upon each other to bring learners from simpleComputer Literacy to 21
Century Literacy. The journey begins with Computer Literacy.
Computer Literacy
is having the basic knowledge and/or ability required to interact with technology effectivelyand purposefully. In order to benefit fully from technology, a user must have some understanding of thecomputer language and how to use it correctly. This is the starting point on the path towards 21
CenturyLiteracy. Once a user has a basic understanding of technological tools, they are ready to proceed to the nextstep: Information Literacy.
Information Literacy
is the acquisition of the skill set required in order to be able to locate and use informationon the internet. We are fortunate to live in a time when we have an entire world of knowledge easilyaccessible at our fingertips. People who have mastered this literacy are able to carefully search for and selectthe pertinent information that they need. They are able to do basic analysis to determine the worth of thisinformation. Once this literacy is achieved, users are ready to branch out into more specific types ofInformation Literacy: Digital Literacy and Visual Literacy.
Digital Literacy
is the ability to not only locate and use data and information, but the knowledge to organizeand evaluate it. It is taking the information and finding new ways to represent if through creative ideas and
These literacies can develop at different rates for each person. A person·s technological growth into a 21
 Century Literate person, requires great education. As classroom teachers, it is our responsibility to teach our students the skills necessary to be successful in the world they will face after their formal education is done.Throughout a child·s formal school career, they are exposed to all of the skills necessary to become a 21
 Century Literate person. Below is a brief summary of how these skills are taught in the school setting.
Computer Literacy:
In Kindergarten, children are introduced to more formal computer procedures andinformation than they have been in the home setting. Children are taught the correct names for the parts ofthe computer and how to drag, click, scroll, and right click. They learn how to access desktop programs andgain access to the internet for the use of educational games. Children are also able to access their classroomwebsite to try games, look at pictures, and read about the weekly classroom news.
Information Literacy:
In the Primary grades, students are expected to be able to access the internet and do aweb search in order to gain information about a broad topic (EX: dogs, flowers, weather). Children areencouraged to look for questions to a series of questions through the use of a teacher created web-quest.
Digital Literacy:
In the Primary and Upper Elementary grades, students are expected to do more researchonline and create digital documents. Children are typing up their stories and using the internet to downloadgraphs and pictures to use in their writings. Students are learning to discriminate between reliable and non-reliable sources.
isual Literacy:
In the Primary and Upper Elementary grades, students are learning how to take their informationand data and manipulate it so that they may create their own interpretation. This is a powerful skill for studentsto have as they prepare for the leap to Middle School and the digital expectations present there.

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