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NCTE Definition of Literacy in a Digital Age - NCTE (November 2019)

Author: National Council of Teachers of English

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National Council of Teachers of English

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Definition of Literacy in a Digital Age

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URL to article: https://ncte.org/statement/nctes-definition-literacy-digital-age/

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NCTE’s Definition of Literacy in a Digital Age makes it clear that the continued evolution of curriculum, assessment, and teaching practice itself is necessary.

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Literacy has always been a collection of communicative and sociocultural practices shared among communities. As society and technology change, so does literacy. The world demands that a literate person possess and intentionally apply a wide range of skills, competencies, and dispositions. These literacies are interconnected, dynamic, and malleable. As in the past, they are inextricably linked with histories, narratives, life possibilities, and social trajectories of all individuals and groups. Active, successful participants in a global society must be able to

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Sep 15
Erica Fehrman (Sep 15 2021 7:36PM) : ALL OF THIS more

I can’t pull out just a few of these points because they are very interconnected and all important. Especially when certain forces are trying to limit equitable access, cross-cultural connections, and ethical implications, we must continue to educate, educate, educate.

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Sep 15
Hannah Kuhn (Sep 15 2021 2:38PM) : As society and technology changes, so does literacy. more

This simple line made me think of the Korean alphabet, hangul, invented in 1446. Previously, literate Koreans had relied on Chinese characters, using the Chinese meanings and Korean pronunciation. The invention of a vernacular alphabet expanded literacy outside the scholar class, to all men, and to women. This new technology, a written alphabet that was accessible to all, led to significant improvements in literacy and other societal changes.

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Sep 18
Neihan Yaqoob (Sep 18 2021 7:59AM) : Korean alphabet more

Thank you for sharing this, Hannah. This historical fact demonstrates the importance of inclusivity and equity for bringing positive change in a society.

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Sep 18
Antonio Daniels (Sep 18 2021 11:06PM) : I appreciate this information.
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Sep 15
Erica Fehrman (Sep 15 2021 7:15PM) : Interconnected, dynamic, malleable more

The acknowledgement of interconnectivity, dynamism, and malleability is so important. As people today argue about changing/updating thought practices, I wonder how anyone could be ok with changes in history but not changes today. If there’s one constant in the human condition, it is change.

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Sep 18
Neihan Yaqoob (Sep 18 2021 7:54AM) : Bringing change = Risk-taking more

Great points, Erica. Change is indeed constant in human experience. In my observation, I have seen people holding onto old practices (and avoiding change) because there is some sense of “safety” in following than leading. To become a leader or a change-maker, one has to take risks. Perhaps people are afraid to take risks and just prefer to play it safe.

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Sep 18
Antonio Daniels (Sep 18 2021 11:48PM) : I think much resistance to change is ideological. Those operating from conservative ideologies tend to resist change. They desire to maintain tradition, and they see change as a threat to their beloved status quo.
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  • Participate effectively and critically in a networked world;
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  • Explore and engage critically, thoughtfully, and across a wide variety of inclusive texts and tools/modalities;
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  • Consume, curate, and create actively across contexts;
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    Sep 18
    Neihan Yaqoob (Sep 18 2021 7:44AM) : Consume, Curate and Create more

    I am wondering what’s implied here. What should participants in a global society consume, curate and create?

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    Sep 18
    Antonio Daniels (Sep 18 2021 11:53PM) : Great question! Also, what does "actively across contexts" mean?
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    Sep 20
    Christina Cantrill (Sep 20 2021 9:21AM) : I agree more

    Such a great question; thank you for raising it Neihan. … I’ll think about it more now as I certainly don’t have an answer.

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  • Advocate for equitable access to and accessibility of texts, tools, and information;
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    Sep 15
    Hannah Kuhn (Sep 15 2021 2:45PM) : Equitable access is key! more

    During the pandemic, we all watched how students across the country without access to hardware, software or reliable internet service, had to rely on schools and libraries to fill those gaps. I was struck by images of students outside McDonalds to catch wifi, or in their bathroom in order to use the single device in their household to attend a zoom class without interruption….the digital divide is real. The pandemic revealed how much still needs to be done to address it.

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    Sep 18
    Antonio Daniels (Sep 18 2021 11:58PM) : So many people think that discussions about "the digital divide" are outdated. Your response, however, exposes how discourses about this topic are still relevant to our present period.
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  • Build and sustain intentional global and cross-cultural connections and relationships with others so as to pose and solve problems collaboratively and strengthen independent thought;
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    Neihan Yaqoob (Sep 18 2021 8:04AM) : Collaboration more

    Can’t help but think of Bruffee’s piece, “Collaborative Learning and the Conversation of Mankind” here. I strongly believe that collaboration supports collective problem-solving and also shapes individual thinking.

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  • Promote culturally sustaining communication and recognize the bias and privilege present in the interactions;
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    Sep 19
    Antonio Daniels (Sep 19 2021 12:08AM) : Teaching Students to Resist Bias and Privilege more

    Teachers must engage students in instruction that intentionally equips them with skills and knowledge to “recognize bias and privilege present” in diverse texts. If teachers do not make this a priority, then students will not recognize the significance of engaging in this anti-bias and anti-racist work.

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  • Examine the rights, responsibilities, and ethical implications of the use and creation of information;
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    Sep 19
    Antonio Daniels (Sep 19 2021 12:15AM) : Ethics and Social Media more

    This point is critical to emphasize to students, especially as ethical considerations are increasingly abandoned across social media platforms. Effective writing teachers help students to understand how to use and create information responsibly, including in online spaces. I think it is useful for writing teachers to collaborate with their students to create a code of ethics for writing online.

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    Sep 19
    Hannah Kuhn (Sep 19 2021 9:30PM) : a code of ethics more

    Antonio, this is a great idea, especially a code of ethics that is co-created by teachers and students.

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  • Determine how and to what extent texts and tools amplify one’s own and others’ narratives as well as counter unproductive narratives;
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    Neihan Yaqoob (Sep 18 2021 8:24AM) : Unproductive narratives more

    Great point, although I find it really difficult to address or respond to “unproductive narratives” in day to day life. It feels like banging your head against the wall. I wonder how one should go about telling people that what they are saying is not healthy/constructive. I wonder how one should go about countering those narratives, especially when those people believe their narratives are absolutely justified in every way possible. I am really curious to learn how texts and tools can address this very real issue in our global society.

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    Sep 19
    Antonio Daniels (Sep 19 2021 12:35AM) : Using Theory to Counter "Unproductive Narratives" more

    One of the first tasks we have in countering “unproductive narratives” is to explain to people how their narratives are unproductive. I employ critical theory to support my explanations and to buttress my arguments against their narratives. One of the primary tenets of critical race theory is to supply counternarratives to these unproductive narratives. For critical race theorists, these counternarratives are valuable vehicles for disempowering unproductive narratives. I assert that when we allow these unproductive narratives to go unchallenged, we empower them.

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  • Recognize and honor the multilingual literacy identities and culture experiences individuals bring to learning environments, and provide opportunities to promote, amplify, and encourage these differing variations of language (e.g., dialect, jargon, register).
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    Hannah Kuhn (Sep 15 2021 2:51PM) : Recognize and honor multilingual literacy! more

    As someone who speaks more than one language, I think it’s really important to create a welcoming space not just students who speak different languages, but also variations like dialect and jargon. I think code switching, the ability to choose a style of speech to suit one’s situation and audience, is an important skill to cultivate. Writing assignments should teach formal, academic language, and also allow room for informal language, languages other than English, that reflect students’ real lives and experiences.

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    Neihan Yaqoob (Sep 18 2021 8:15AM) : Multilingual literacy more

    I am a multilingual and work with multilingual students. These students come from different cultures; they translanguage (use multiple languages for communication) and code-switch all the time. What they bring to our writing center in terms of thoughts, ideas and insights is just incredible. I 100% agree that we should recognize and celebrate these identities and voices!

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Elements of the Framework for Literacy in a Digital Age

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Applied to learners of English language arts, today’s literacy demands have implications for how teachers plan, model, support, and assess student learning. We believe that learning is a lifelong process which invites students and teachers alike to benefit from reflecting on questions associated with the continued literacy demands. Understandings of the definition of literacies used here have implications for learner agency, access, action, and opportunities.

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Sep 18
Neihan Yaqoob (Sep 18 2021 9:02AM) : Learning more

In my experience, I have seen that students generally don’t see learning as a lifelong process. For them, learning is just a matter of completing a course or getting a degree. I wonder how we can change that mindset before addressing larger literacy-based issues.

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Participate effectively and critically in a networked world

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The internet is one of the primary information sources of the modern era, making it a necessity for learners to understand how to participate and navigate the networked world. Building and utilizing connections between people, ideas, and information provides opportunities for them to be critical consumers of information, builds agency in their own work, and prepares them for the global world beyond the classroom.

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  • Do learners select, evaluate, and use digital tools and resources that match the work they are doing?
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    Sep 19
    Antonio Daniels (Sep 19 2021 12:48AM) : How will learners know? How will teachers help them to know? What skills and knowledge are needed by learners and teachers to answer this question?
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  • Are learners critical, savvy producers and consumers?
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    Sep 15
    Hannah Kuhn (Sep 15 2021 2:54PM) : Are teachers critical, savvy producers and consumers? more

    This sentence made me laugh. Yes, I want my students to be critical and savvy, but I have to get there myself, first.

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    Sep 19
    Antonio Daniels (Sep 19 2021 1:06AM) : You are a sufficiently critical and savvy consumer and producer already. more

    During my first semester teaching at the university level, my supervisor made the following statement to me: “Antonio, you have more knowledge and experience than these undergraduate students than you think. Knowing this, teach them with confidence.” Although all of us, including our professor, want to grow in our knowledge as consumers and producers, we are already critical and savvy enough consumers and producers to teach and interact with our students. Your hesitancy may stem from your healthy desire to grow so much more in your skills and knowledge to be the best teacher you can be for your students.

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    Sep 19
    Hannah Kuhn (Sep 19 2021 9:32PM) : thank you Antonio more

    I appreciate your words of encouragement. Being a preservice teacher, it’s hard to gauge what one knows and doesn’t know, vis a vis future students.

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  • Do learners build and utilize a network of groups and individuals that reflect varying views as they analyze, create, and remix texts?
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  • Do learners analyze information for authorial intent, positioning, and how language, visuals, and audio are being used?
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    Neihan Yaqoob (Sep 18 2021 9:13AM) : How language, visuals, and audio are being used? more

    This part of the sentence made me think of multimodal compositions and their effectiveness for communication in today’s digitized world. For my “Make” exercise this week, I also explored how language, visuals and music work together to communicate an idea on a digital platform.

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  • Do learners find relevant and reliable sources that meet their needs?
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  • Do learners take risks and try new things with tools available to them?
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    Sep 15
    Hannah Kuhn (Sep 15 2021 2:57PM) : Risking taking more

    I definitely want to create a learning environment that allows risk taking. You’ll see from my Make this week, I’m trying to model (modest) risk taking by using my own writing as a mentor text, and presenting my revision process “live,” rather than just the polished final product. I’m curious: how do my classmates create an environment that fosters risk taking in writing?

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    Sep 19
    Antonio Daniels (Sep 19 2021 1:27AM) : One of the ways I foster an environment for students to take risks is I complete the same writing assignments I assign them. I write my drafts in front of them. They can see my struggles and mistakes; this allows them to feel safer taking risks.
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    Sep 15
    Erica Fehrman (Sep 15 2021 7:42PM) : Risks and problem solving more

    I always admired my grandparents (who were educators) for being life-long learners. They continuously learned new subjects and new technical tools, even when in their eighties. As I age, I want to maintain an attitude of connecting with the world and young people where they are rather than expecting a stoppage at some randomly selected time of my living.

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    Sep 15
    Hannah Kuhn (Sep 15 2021 9:16PM) : life long learners more

    Your grandparents are great role models. I, too, hope to keep learning, right up until the end.

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    Sep 16
    Kristan Olfers (Sep 16 2021 7:11PM) : Exciting tools more

    I would imagine that students that may not have been all that excited when writing with pen and paper, might actually have fun with it using the tools of the modern age!

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    Sep 16
    Kristan Olfers (Sep 16 2021 7:14PM) : When inspiration strikes! more

    Everyone, well almost everyone, has a phone as an appendage these days, so when inspiration strikes they can jot a note in their phone or send themself an email.

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  • Do learners, independently and collaboratively, persist in solving problems as they arise in their work?
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  • Do learners use a variety of tools effectively and efficiently?
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  • Do learners select and use appropriate tools and modalities for audience and purpose?
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    Kristan Olfers (Sep 17 2021 3:43PM) : Never knew the abundance of tools more

    Personal goal – to examine ones that will one day be a good fit but I realize that the schools may guide the tools based on finances, accessibility to the students, etc

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  • Do learners take responsibility for communicating their ideas in a variety of ways with different modalities and clear intentions?
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Explore and engage critically, thoughtfully, and across a wide variety of inclusive texts and tools/modalities

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Learners have access to a wide variety of texts and tools. We engage with many multimedia texts in our daily lives for a variety of reasons. These texts not only give learners new information but also allow us to see our worlds in new ways. Engaging with texts that vary in format, genre, and medium gives us new perspectives and insights. Having knowledge and understanding of the various texts and tools available is important for using them intentionally. Being literate means making choices and using texts and tools in ways that match purpose. It also means thinking about texts and tools in new ways.

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Neihan Yaqoob (Sep 18 2021 10:39PM) : Purpose more

Purpose is key! I think it’s really important to teach students to be cognizant of their purpose when using digital texts and tools. They shouldn’t use them just for the sake of using them. Students must experiment, yes, but ultimately, a clear purpose should define their actions.

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  • Do learners seek out texts that consider multiple perspectives and broaden their understanding of the world?
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    Sep 19
    Antonio Daniels (Sep 19 2021 1:34AM) : Each year, I address this question by giving my students multiple opportunities to read argumentative texts and write argumentative essays. In my capacity as a writer, argumentative writing is my favorite genre.
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  • Do learners critically analyze a variety of information and ideas from a variety of sources?
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  • Do learners choose texts and tools to consume, create, and share ideas that match their need and audience?
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  • Do learners create new ideas using knowledge and insights gained? Do learners analyze the credibility of information, authorial intent, and its appropriateness in meeting their needs?
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    Sep 15
    Hannah Kuhn (Sep 15 2021 3:00PM) : Do learners analyze the credibility of information? more

    This is a big one, in the post- factual age we seem to be living in. I remember in high school being assigned to read news articles and fact check them, as a way to learn this skill.

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    Antonio Daniels (Sep 19 2021 1:38AM) : Teachers must emphasize to students why assessing the credibility of sources is important. We must show them how to make such assessments and give them models of credible sources.
  • Do learners use information and the ideas of others to solve problems and make decisions as informed citizens?
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  • Do learners strive to see limitations and overlaps between multiple streams of information?
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    Sep 18
    Neihan Yaqoob (Sep 18 2021 10:46PM) : Limitations more

    As much as it’s important to teach students about all the information out there, I think it’s equally critical to teach students where to draw the line. Not everything in the digital world is good, safe and beneficial. We must teach students how to choose information with wisdom and purpose.

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  • Do learners gain new perspectives because of the texts they interact with?
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  • Do learners use tools to deepen understandings, to share ideas, and to build on others’ thinking?
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  • Do learners develop new skills strategies to meet the challenge of new texts and tools?
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Consume, curate, and create actively across contexts

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Neihan Yaqoob (Sep 18 2021 11:01PM) : Curate more

I am interested in learning more about the art of curation. I think this is overlooked in many cases, especially when learners are overloaded with multiple texts and expected to create outcomes in short deadlines.

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As empowered learners engage in literacy practices, they need opportunities to move from consumers to producers of content. More specifically, learners need to move from content consumers to content curators to content creators. These stages do not have to operate in a sequence, nor should they be mutually exclusive as learners fully utilize the reader/writer nature of digital texts.

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Sep 15
Erica Fehrman (Sep 15 2021 7:46PM) : 3 C's [Edited] more

I like these specific terms of content consumers, curators, and creators—along with the understanding that learners must flow back and forth through all three phases, as in a continuous tide of learning.

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Neihan Yaqoob (Sep 18 2021 10:52PM) : Creation and Consumption more

Great point, Erica. This reminds me of my art and design students who are required to go back and forth between different stages of the design process to “create”! I think creation begins with consumption, just like our Make exercise this week began by studying (or consuming) mentor texts.

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Consume

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Neihan Yaqoob (Sep 18 2021 11:15PM) : Consume vs. Curate more

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I thought all the action words under Consume, such as analyze, examine, consider, review, solve and search sounded less consumption-like. For me, Consumption is plain reception (i.e. reading information) and Curation is more closely associated with examination, evaluation and eventual selection/organization of information.

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  • Do learners analyze and evaluate the multimedia sources that they consume?
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  • Do learners examine the credibility and relevancy of sources they consume?
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  • Do learners consider the author, purpose, and design of information they consume online?
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  • Do learners review information shared online with a perspective of healthy skepticism?
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  • Do learners solve real problems and share results with real audiences?
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  • Do learners search and synthesize online texts to solve inquiry-based (personal and academic) topics?
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  • Do learners review a variety of sources to evaluate information as they consider bias and perspective in sources?
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    Sep 15
    Hannah Kuhn (Sep 15 2021 3:04PM) : Review a variety of sources. more

    This is one of the problems of social media as a primary source of information; artificial intelligence feeds us more of the same, rather than offering a variety of sources and viewpoints to consider. It’s important to always ask: what is the source of this information and what is the perspective or bias of that source?

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Curate

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  • Do learners consciously make connections between their work and that of the greater community?
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  • Do learners evaluate their own multimedia works?
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  • Do learners evaluate content they find online before sharing with others?
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    Sep 17
    Kristan Olfers (Sep 17 2021 3:53PM) : Depth more

    That’s a lot to think about given today’s world where news reports are all over the map.

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    Sep 18
    Neihan Yaqoob (Sep 18 2021 11:28PM) : Sharing content online more

    The sharing culture is indeed crazy in today’s world, especially when it’s done mindlessly. Sometimes I wonder if people share excessively just because they can’t handle the information overload. The imagery that comes to mind is funny: people playing “Pass the Parcel.” The only difference in this case is that everyone playing the game has a parcel, and everyone is randomly throwing their parcel at each other. Chaotic!

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  • Do learners apply ethical practices when using media?
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    Sep 18
    Neihan Yaqoob (Sep 18 2021 11:34PM) : Ethical practices more

    This is a tough one. The questions of right and wrong behavior in terms of using media are subjective. What’s considered morally wrong in one culture may be perceived very differently in another culture. I think each learner should be responsible for defining their ethical practices and boundaries when using media.

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  • Do learners evaluate content and develop their own expertise on a topic?
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  • Do learners collect, aggregate, and share content to develop their voice/identity/expertise on a topic?
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Create

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  • Do learners use tools to communicate original perspectives and to make new thinking visible?
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  • Do learners communicate information and ideas in a variety of forms and for various purposes?
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  • Do learners make creative decisions with intention, developing and using skills associated with modality?
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  • Do learners communicate information and ideas to different audiences?
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  • Do learners articulate thoughts and ideas so that others can understand and act on them?
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    Sep 18
    Neihan Yaqoob (Sep 18 2021 11:49PM) : "Act on them" more

    The “acting” part shouldn’t be obligatory, I think. It should be up to the audience.

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  • Do learners evaluate multimedia sources for the effects of visuals, sounds, hyperlinks, and other features on the text’s meaning or emotional impact?
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    Sep 19
    Antonio Daniels (Sep 19 2021 1:52AM) : This is my first year placing a serious emphasis on multimedia sources in my instruction. My students love discussing, writing about, and interacting with these sources.
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  • Do learners have the skills to make informed decisions about their own design choices as much as their choices about text?
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    Sep 15
    Hannah Kuhn (Sep 15 2021 3:06PM) : Informed decisions about design choices more

    I feel like this is an area where I am a total beginner. I’ve spent a lot more time thinking about content than medium. Is this something one only learns through practice, or are there toolkits or 101s available to help prevent design bellyflops?

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  • Do learners share and publish their work in a variety of ways?
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  • Do learners share and publish original content with a consideration of the intended audience?
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  • Do learners respond constructively to published work and to responses to their own work?
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  • Do learners publish in ways that meet the needs of a particular authentic audience?
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Advocate for equitable access to and accessibility of texts, tools, and information

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Sep 17
Kristan Olfers (Sep 17 2021 4:00PM) : Important…always! more

Rural areas come to mind, time and time again.

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Not only should learners have opportunities to explore and engage with a wide variety of inclusive texts and tools, but they should also be provided equitable access to these texts and tools on a frequent basis. Learners must have ready access to information and information professionals that provide expertise in print-based and digital-based texts and information sources. Additionally, learners with disabilities should be provided equitable access to text, tools, and information and, when necessary, advocate for this access in all of their learning experiences.

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  • Do learners have readily available classroom access to a variety of texts and information sources?
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  • Do learners have access to well-funded school and public libraries?
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    Sep 15
    Hannah Kuhn (Sep 15 2021 9:20PM) : Well funded public libraries more

    Our county created its own taxing entity, in order to better fund libraries. During the pandemic when libraries were closed except for book pick up, a lot of people were unable to access resources, especially digital tools.

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  • Do learners have opportunities to engage with and learn from school media and library professionals?
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  • Do learners make decisions in information-rich environments?
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  • Do learners recognize information gaps or information poverty?
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    Sep 15
    Hannah Kuhn (Sep 15 2021 9:21PM) : information poverty more

    I’ve never heard this term before. Sounds like a food desert, but for information.

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    Sep 18
    Neihan Yaqoob (Sep 18 2021 11:58PM) : Hungry for information more

    The term, information poverty is also new for me. Imagery wise, I think of hungry people running around, looking for information. To be honest, it’s a disturbing image in some ways.

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    Sep 19
    Antonio Daniels (Sep 19 2021 2:05AM) : Excellent metaphor! I, too, have never heard of this term, but I conducted a little research on the term, and it is one I am interested in exploring further.
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  • Do learners advocate for their own individual and community’s access to texts and tools?
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  • Do learners attain a greater understanding of text through accessible text structures?
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  • Do learners use visual cues (headings, subheadings, boxes, graphics) to support their reading of a text?
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  • Do learners access digital texts that adhere to web accessibility principles?
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    Sep 18
    Neihan Yaqoob (Sep 18 2021 11:59PM) : Web accessibility principles more

    Never heard of these principles before.

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  • Do learners with disabilities receive equitable access to texts, tools, and information?
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Build intentional global and cross-cultural connections and relationships with others so to pose and solve problems collaboratively and strengthen independent thought

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Learners need communicative skills in order to work collaboratively in both face-to-face and virtual environments to use and develop problem-solving skills. Cooperation is not collaboration, and learners need to be actively working with one another to pose and solve problems and construct narratives. When learning experiences are grounded in well-informed teaching practices, the use of technology allows a wider range of voices to be heard, exposing learners to opinions, perspectives, and norms outside of their own. Understanding the ways in which connections support learning and being intentional about creating connections and networks are important for learners.

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Sep 19
Neihan Yaqoob (Sep 19 2021 12:14AM) : "Cooperation is not collaboration" more

I agree. There’s a subtle difference. Cooperation connotes people “giving in” (sometimes), just to get the work done. Collaboration, however, connotes people focusing purely on the task and working constructively to complete it in the best way possible.

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Sep 17
Kristan Olfers (Sep 17 2021 4:01PM) : Yes to perspectives! more

Always good and appreciated.

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  • Do learners work in a group in ways that allow them to create new knowledge or to solve problems that can’t be created or solved individually?
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    Sep 15
    Hannah Kuhn (Sep 15 2021 9:30PM) : Collaboration can be powerful more

    In my prior career, I looked for ways to facilitate peer to peer learning and team problem solving approaches. I found that facilitation was often necessary for group collaboration to be successful.

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  • Do learners work in groups to create new sources and ideas that can’t be created or solved by individuals?
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  • Do learners collaborate with others whose perspectives and areas of expertise are different from their own?
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  • Do learners listen in a way that allows them to intentionally build on one another’s thinking to gain new understanding?
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  • Do learners develop new ways of thinking and/or new responses from disagreements and grapple with diverse perspectives in ways that positively impact work?
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  • Do learners gain new understandings by working with others in sustained ways?
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  • Do learners make intentional moves to learn from and with others?
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Promote culturally sustaining communication and recognize the bias and privilege present in the interactions

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Culturally sustaining communication provides an opportunity for (and is possible when) learners draw on racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse sign systems/modalities to consume, curate, and create in face-to-face and digital spaces. Teaching practices grounded in this framework create opportunities for learners to inquire about how language and power converge in print or digital texts to create and perpetuate biases against marginalized communities. Learners need opportunities to practice recognizing patterns in discourse which are rooted in the oppression of nondominant groups (e.g., race, gender, sexuality, ability) and a variety of strategies they can use to interrupt this discourse.

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  • Do learners have opportunities to raise questions about bias and privilege when consuming, curating, and creating texts?
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  • Do learners have strategies for interrupting discourse that marginalizes people based on race, culture, sexuality, language, gender, and ability?
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    Hannah Kuhn (Sep 15 2021 9:38PM) : Don't forget marginalizing people based on age! more

    I read texts where people are talking about Boomers, Millennials and other generational groups in ways that are not constructive. Making a mid-life career shift myself, I am keenly aware of negative attitudes toward mature workers.

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    Sep 19
    Antonio Daniels (Sep 19 2021 2:18AM) : In what specific ways do these texts discuss "Boomers, Millennials, and other generational groups in ways that are not constructive"?
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    Sep 19
    Hannah Kuhn (Sep 19 2021 9:40PM) : Good question, Antonio re: specific ways that texts discuss Boomers, Millennials and other generation groups. more

    One example of not constructive texts widely available in social media is the “OK Boomer” meme that implies Boomers are ‘out of touch’ have mortgaged the future (financially and climate wise), refuse to retire, and are tech-incompetent. Millennials are stereotyped as fragile (expecting “participation trophies” rather than rewards for winning), work-averse, complainers (about student loans debt), job hoppers, and addicted to social media. This sort of stereotypical characterization makes it harder for people to see, hear and respect each other as individuals.

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  • Do learners have opportunities to identify and discuss how to detect and report fake news/deliberately misleading and false information or information that promotes hate speech and violence?
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    Sep 17
    Kristan Olfers (Sep 17 2021 4:10PM) : There it is! more

    That was my point above!

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  • Do learners create texts across modalities for a variety of audiences and consider how diverse groups would respond?
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  • Do learners have opportunities to collaborate with people/learners from communities that hold different views/ideas/values/beliefs, life experiences, racial, ethnic, and cultural identities, and economic security to address social issues that impact all of our lives?
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Examine the rights, responsibilities, and ethical implications of the use and creation of information

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Networked, digital spaces offer the opportunity to instantaneously share, aggregate, and access torrents of information from others. These spaces also raise questions about aspects of intellectual property and ownership of ideas, content, and resources online. The rapidly changing digital texts and tools create new categories of ethical dilemmas around these issues. It is important for learners to understand the ethics, or “principles governing an individual or group,” as they interact with information in current and future contexts.

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Learners must understand and adhere to legal and ethical practices as they use resources and create information.

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  • Do learners share information in ways that consider all sources?
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  • Do learners consider the contributors and authenticity of all sources?
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  • Do learners practice the safe and legal use of technology?
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  • Do learners create products that are both informative and ethical?
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  • Do learners avoid accessing another computer’s system, software, or data files without permission?
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  • Do learners engage in discursive practices in online social systems with others without deliberately or inadvertently demeaning individuals and/or groups?
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  • Do learners attend to the acceptable use policies of organizations and institutions?
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  • Do learners attend to the terms of service and/or terms of use of digital software and tools?
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  • Do learners read, review, and understand the terms of service/use that they agree to as they utilize these tools?
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  • Do learners respect the intellectual property of others and only utilize materials they are licensed to access, remix, and/or share?
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  • Do learners respect and follow the copyright information and appropriate licenses given to digital content as they work online?
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Determine how and to what extent texts and tools amplify one’s own and others’ narratives as well as counter unproductive narratives

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It is important for learners to have multiple opportunities to engage in multimodal literacy practices as a means to communicate information that supports participating in a diverse and democratic society. Learners are navigating digital spaces during a time when narratives are being constructed for a variety of purposes. Learners need a heightened awareness about how texts and tools can be used to produce and circulate biased narratives aimed at justifying exclusionary practices and policies that disproportionately impact nondominant communities. Learners also need sustained opportunities to produce counter-narratives that expose and interrupt misguided texts that do not represent the fullness of their identities or life complexities. To engage in participatory literacy practices, learners need opportunities within the curriculum to author multimodal stories in order to examine power, equity, and identities and grow as digitally savvy and civic-minded citizens.

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Sep 19
Neihan Yaqoob (Sep 19 2021 12:35AM) : Narratives more

True. And sometimes we just don’t know what those hidden agendas are!

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Sep 15
Hannah Kuhn (Sep 15 2021 9:44PM) : Counter-narratives more

This line raises an issue for me. I believe it’s really important for “learners to produce [counter] narratives….that represent the fullness of their identities or life complexities.” What I worry about is a growing tendency in some corners of academia to silence narratives [“misguided texts”] we disagree with, rather than engaging them in dialogue, debate and analysis.

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Sep 19
Antonio Daniels (Sep 19 2021 2:27AM) : Yes, we need to engage all narratives, even those narratives we find unacceptable.
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  • Do learners analyze narratives to address accuracy, power dynamics, equity, monolithic notions of race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexuality, or ability?
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  • Do learners explore multimodal narratives to identify and better understand the cultural practices that inform the creation of these narratives?
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  • Do learners have space in the curriculum to compose narratives across genre for a variety of audiences that center their life experiences and honor their cultural backgrounds?
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  • Do learners create and disseminate narratives that leverage the affordances of digital tools?
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  • Do learners share and critically analyze narratives they produce and consume in digital spaces?
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  • Do learners use multiple digital tools and print-based literacies to design and create multimodal representations of stories that communicate asset-based ideas?
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  • Do learners use multiple digital tools and print-based literacies to amplify the cultural wealth in their communities?
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    Sep 19
    Neihan Yaqoob (Sep 19 2021 12:39AM) : Cultural wealth? more

    I wonder what “cultural wealth” means here.

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    Sep 19
    Antonio Daniels (Sep 19 2021 2:30AM) : Excellent question! What is "the cultural wealth"?
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Recognize and honor the multilingual literacy identities and culture experiences individuals bring to learning environments and provide opportunities to promote, amplify, and encourage these differing variations of language (dialect, jargon, register)

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The use of learners’ variety in narrative and lived experience enables us to use our own potential to achieve in deeper and more authentic contexts. In addition, the use of learners’ native dialects in education enhances the social, cognitive, emotional, and linguistic development of learners in and out of school. In a multilingual society, the issue of dialects in education, and more specifically the languages of instruction, often are not problematized or debated. The literacy identities and dialects invited into the classroom are often dependent on a variety of factors such as historical, economic, pedagogical, sociolinguistic, cultural, ideological, theoretical, or/and political. As learners utilize and enculturate in current and future digital contexts, they need opportunities to promote, amplify, and encourage differing forms of language. This includes variations within the same language, social and regional dialects, standard and nonstandard varieties.

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Sep 15
Hannah Kuhn (Sep 15 2021 9:49PM) : Speaking of jargon.... more

Seems a bit ironic, but I found this particular document to be pretty jargon-y. The ideas are solid, but the language is pretty clunky. I would say it’s not accessible to a reader not already steeped in edu-lingo.

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Sep 19
Neihan Yaqoob (Sep 19 2021 12:22AM) : Jargon more

I agree with you, Hannah. The language of this document didn’t sound accessible at all. That said, I am not sure if this document is created for general readers or if it’s just targeted at teachers, educators and other teaching professionals.

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  • Do learners have opportunities to utilize digital texts and tools to validate their existence and lived experiences?
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  • Do learners have opportunities to connect them with their textual and historical lineage and narratives?
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  • Do learners explore and critique the premises, myths, and stereotypes that are often held by the dominant culture?
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  • Do learners have space in the curriculum to support positive racial and ethnic identity development while pushing back against marginalized narratives?
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    Sep 19
    Neihan Yaqoob (Sep 19 2021 12:31AM) : How to support positive racial and ethnic identity development more

    If we could just teach people how to genuinely “respect” each other…
    We have a beautiful concept here called لِتَعَارَفُو (li-taa-ra-fu = “to get to know each other” in the Arabic language). It basically highlights that the fact that we are very “different” necessitates that we should make collaborative efforts to familiarize ourselves with each other. From this standpoint, I see “human difference” from a very different perspective. Difference, to me, simply means an opportunity for connection!

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    Sep 19
    Hannah Kuhn (Sep 19 2021 9:42PM) : a beautiful concept in Arabic more

    Thank you for sharing this, Neihan. I love learning about concepts like this in other languages.

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  • Do learners have opportunities to increase engagement with reading and other academic subjects?
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  • Do learners have access to images and narratives of multilingual identities and cultures from marginalized communities?
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    Neihan Yaqoob (Sep 19 2021 12:25AM) : Identity more

    I am a multilingual, but I am not from a marginalized community. That’s a different group altogether.

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  • Do learners have space in the curriculum to provide healing from the damages to marginalized communities?
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    Sep 15
    Hannah Kuhn (Sep 15 2021 9:56PM) : Learners...to provide healing from damages to marginalized communities? more

    I think I understand what this is getting at. Maybe it’s just the wording. I think our education system/administrators/teachers needs to offer space in the curriculum for images and narratives from marginalized communities -which could be healing-but I don’t think that “learners” should be expected to “provide healing for damage” that’s been done to their communities. Anyone read this differently?

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    Sep 16
    Erica Fehrman (Sep 16 2021 10:13AM) : possibly... more

    Could “providing healing” be akin to creating space for empathy? And out of that can come movement from damage to health?

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    Sep 16
    Hannah Kuhn (Sep 16 2021 12:47PM) : creating space for empathy more

    Erica, I like your proposed language much better than the original text. I agree, students can be asked to help create space for empathy; that’s something we can all do. Thank you.

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    Sep 18
    Neihan Yaqoob (Sep 18 2021 9:24AM) : Empathy more

    I’ll second that. Beautifully said, Erica! Empathy is THE most important thing we need in today’s world, including learning environments, of course!

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NCTE 21st Century Literacies Definition and Framework Revision Committee

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  • Shelbie Witte, Chair, Oklahoma State University, OK
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  • Detra Price-Dennis, Teachers College, Columbia University, NY
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  • Franki Sibberson, Dublin City Schools, OH
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We wish to extend our appreciation to the following individuals for their feedback at various stages of this revision:

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DMU Timestamp: May 11, 2020 21:16

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