What Is Transliteracy? An Introduction from Sue Thomas.

Listen to this 2:19 minute interview with Sue Thomas from last years Transliteracy conference (she mentions libraries at 1:13).

Some key points

  • unifying literacy
  • aggregation of knowledge and sharing of knowledge
  • one is not better than the other they are simply different from each other

On Defining Transliteracy and Why Transliteracy Matters

I’d like to bring your attention to a post by Lane Wilkinson. Most of the post is about the definition of the word transliteracy and if we need to redefine it.  Lane takes an indepth look at the the why, how and need of defining or redefining including covering extensional and intensional definitions, concluding in part

… there is nothing yet to be gained by specifying the precise necessary and sufficient conditions for being an instance of transliteracy. Why? Well, transliteracy is in its infancy, and part of the fun in tracking its development is that there really is no consensus about what, exactly, ‘transliteracy’ means.

The whole post is worth a read if you are interested in the definition of transliteacy. Even if you are comfortable with the term, you may want to pay attention to his final paragraph where he raises the question: “One last thing…why should librarians be involved in transliteracy?”

It’s simple, really. Libraries are on the front lines of traditional literacy initiatives. But, libraries are also the vanguard for information literacy and digital literacy. In fact, if you can call it a type of literacy, you’ll probably find it in a library. This is important because it follows that libraries should be the natural proving grounds for exemplary instances of transliteracy. As a reference and instruction librarian, I see potential transliteracy every day. Whether it’s the cognitive code-switching when students effortlessly glide between touch-screens, keyboards, and pencils, or it’s the cognitive effects of 140-character constraints, or it’s the preference for digital access over print, or any other activity I see daily in the library, I can tell that that something is happening to our conception of literacy. Some sort of information related cognitive process is very well-developed in some patrons, and not so well developed in others. I can’t give a precise definition yet, but I can point to similarities, and, for the moment, that is how we should be approaching ‘transliteracy’. Librarians are perfectly situated to contribute to the extension of ‘transliteracy’ and, moreover, once a sufficient understanding of exemplary cases is reached, librarians are perfectly situated to explain why transliteracy matters.

I really like what Lane has to say, my only point of contention would be that since we are seeing transliteracy everyday, and “libraries should be the natural proving grounds for exemplary instances of transliteracy” we should not wait to explain why transliteracy matters.  Transliteracy matters because it reflects the demonstrated change in the needs of our communities whether that community is school, public, academic or special library.

Ryan Nadel Answers – What Is This Buzz Word “Transliteracy”?

CiL2010 April 12th tweets in wordle

Ryan Nade is not a librarian. He is one of the authors of a white paper, “Digital Literacy in Canada: From Inclusion to Transformation” calling for federal leadership in creating a national digital literacy strategy to ensure that all Canadians have the necessary skills to use digital technologies to their fullest potential.

Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning talked with Nadel about how transliteracy and new media technologies are altering our lives.

Spotlight: What does it mean to be effectively transliterate?

RN: Kids are transliterate. They are naturally using so many mediums. If you watch them interact, especially socially, they talk, they’re on their phones and on their laptops.

But, are they effectively transliterate? Do they connect all of those spaces in meaningful ways? How do you go from friending someone on Facebook to meeting them at the corner store and sending them a text when you leave? So their transmedia education is not about how to use email, but the ability to adapt to using new literacies. You will learn how to use an iPad or a Kindle, but is there an understanding between the iPad, the classroom and the playground? We need to create experiences that speak to that.

Parents and teachers see kids using Facebook, texting and using other technology so fast, and it’s such a huge part of their lives, that on the other side of the digital divide we ask, “What do we have to teach them? It’s their medium. It’s their social ecosystem.” But what’s missing is how does one medium translates to the next. It’s about connecting all of these chains of communication.

Read the whole interview.

Visual Learning and Mind Mapping

[tweetmeme source=”Strng_Dichotomy” only_single=false]
Visual Learning & Mind Mapping was created and originally presented by Roger Hannon and Kaitlyn Mesley of Adult Learning Centres Grey-Bruce-Georgian for Transliteracy Conference 2010 in Owen Sound, Ontario. These videos give you a great visual representation of mind mapping, immersive learning, and how we are primarily visual learners. They also go into explaining how to use Power Point and mental models to educate adult learners.

These presentations will give you some great tools and ideas for your adult technology/non-technology programs and help you understand how they learn and retain information.

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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