Wednesday, July 28, 2010

To become a better reader, you have to read ...

Interesting and though-provoking ideas taken from Warlick's 2cents worth blog (older post): Can Literacy be Taught?
"Students who become fluent in reading, do so because they read, not because they were taught the basic reading skills. Of course, it wouldn’t have happened without having been taught the basic reading skills. But they become fluent because they are required to read for the rest of their formal education and beyond.

If we expect students to become fluent in the broader and equally critical information and technology skills of being literate in a networked, digital, and abundant (contemporary) information environment, then they should be required to use those skills in all of their formal education, just like reading. Reading, for education, is a learning literacy. Reading, processing, and expressing knowledge in a networked, digital, and abundant information landscape are equally important learning skills — learning literacies. "

The paragraph above just screams "integration" to me. Students and teachers should be using technological skills in all parts of the curriculum. Just because a teacher or a student uses something one time does not mean that they "know" it so well it will become natural. That is where the saying, "practice makes perfect" comes in. Repeated use and exposure to technology and "learning literacies" will increase the ease of use. My English/Language Arts students who were used to creating blog responses, wiki pages, voicethread projects, glogs, and other things chose their own ways to respond to novels and articles. That freedom of choice and medium allowed for self-expression and differentiation of student learning.

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