Literacy & Learning / Contemporary Literacy

Literacy is a Reflection of Culture

As little as we know about the future, for which we are preparing our children, it is clear that it will be a place that is governed by information. Accessing, processing, building with, and communicating that information will be a major part of our daily occupational, professional, and personal work and play.

Being literate in this future will certainly involve the ability to read, write, and work with numbers. However, the concept of literacy — “the basics” — in an information-governed technology-rich world will be far richer and more comprehensive than the 3Rs that continue to define schooling for many. This enlightening and thought-provoking address will describe how our notions of literacy must expand to harness a rapidly changing information landscape where content and knowledge are increasingly networked, digital, and overwhelming.


Some Articles & Other Resource

  • The New Literacy appeared in Technology & Learning magazine,1
  • The New Literacy (a different article) appeared in the March/April issue of [ Administrator].3
  • Setting the Stage: A Future Fiction This is a work of future fiction. I do not call it science fiction, because I have every reason to expect that schools can change this much, and that it could happen during my career. If they do not, it will not be because the technology is not available, but because we did not have the courage or vision to make such dramatic changes in the way that we prepare our students for their future. This is an abbreviated version of chapter one ofRedefining Literacy for the 21st Century. This piece was published in the March 2004 issue of Library Media Center.2
  • ”’The Nine Themes of Digital Citizenship, by Ribble and Bailey Now is the time for educators as well as other adults to begin to evaluate how they are using technology. Within this website are many examples of how educators can begin the process of teaching their students how to use technology more appropriately. These resources can be used by any adults who are interested in helping students better understand appropriate technology use.
  • Textbooks of the Future That students will eventually use computers in place of traditional textbooks is almost certain. Just watch the eight-year-old children at your local elementary school pulling their backpacks (now on wheels). This makes no sense. Published in May 2004 issue of Technology & Learning Magazine.5

  • Sweatshop Video is a resource that I am very frequently asked for after the keynote. It can be access from the SFETT web site and the URL is:
  1. Sept, 2004 and co-written with Dr. Sara Armstrong2 []
  2. Warlick, David. “A Future Fiction.” Technology Connection. Mar 2004. Linworth Publishing. 16 Mar 2008 <>. []

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  1. Pingback: CPS Tech Talk | CoLearners

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