National Council of Teachers of English on 21st Century Literacies

[tweetmeme source=”librarianbyday” only_single=false]The NCTE  Definition of 21st Century Literacies

Adopted by the NCTE Executive Committee, February 15, 2008

Literacy has always been a collection of cultural and communicative practices shared among members of particular groups. As society and technology change, so does literacy. Because technology has increased the intensity and complexity of literate environments, the twenty-first century demands that a literate person possess a wide range of abilities and competencies, many literacies. These literacies—from reading online newspapers to participating in virtual classrooms—are multiple, dynamic, and malleable. As in the past, they are inextricably linked with particular histories, life possibilities and social trajectories of individuals and groups. Twenty-first century readers and writers need to

  • Develop proficiency with the tools of technology
  • Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally
  • Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes
  • Manage, analyze and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information
  • Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multi-media texts
  • Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments

Additionally the NCTE has posted 21st Century Curriculum and Assessment Framework which includes a great checklist of questions that are useful to anyone interested in 21st Century Literacies.  The list addresses each of the following elements

Develop proficiency with the tools of technology
Students in the 21st century should have experience with and develop skills around technological tools used in the classroom and the world around them. Through this they will learn about technology and learn through technology. In addition, they must be able to select the most appropriate tools to address particular needs.

Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally
Students in the 21st century need interpersonal skills in order to work collaboratively in both face-to-face and virtual environments to use and develop problem-solving skills. When learning experiences are grounded in well-informed teaching practices, the use of technology allows a wider range of voices to be heard, exposing students to opinions and norms outside of their own.

Design and share information for global communities that have a variety of purposes
Students in the 21st century must be aware of the global nature of our world and be able to select, organize, and design information to be shared, understood, and distributed beyond their classrooms.

Manage, analyze, and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneously presented information
Students in the 21st century must be able to take information from multiple places and in a variety of different formats, determine its reliability, and create new knowledge from that information.

Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multimedia texts
Students in the 21st century must be critical consumers and creators of multi-media texts.

Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by complex environments
Students in the 21st century must understand and adhere to legal and ethical practices as they use resources and create information.

More Thoughts on 21st Century Literacies from NCTE

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