Aug 30 2010

Step Three: Profit!

“Stop integrating technology and, instead, redefine literacy and integrate that.” –D. Warlick, Redefining Literacy 2.0

In what almost sounds like an homage to the creative work of Trey Parker, Warlick (2008) seemingly creates the following easy three-step process to improving the educational system as we know it:

  1. Step One: Stop integrating technology
  2. Step Two: Redefine literacy (Or, as the gnomes would put it, “????”)
  3. Step Three: Integrate That!

It’s a wonderful idea in theory, but in practice it’s a mammoth undertaking. Warlick himself pointed out that “the basic fabric of our society changes much less quickly [than technological tools] and with a greater deal of resistance—and this is fortunate” (p. 7). Redefining literacy will not be able to be accomplished through one book (even a 2nd edition), one person, or even one generation. Much like you have to understand the first three physical dimensions (length, width, height) as a single point in order to understand the fourth dimension (see Imagining the Tenth Dimension for illustration), all of academia will be required to understand the original concept of literacy (reading, writing, and arithmetic) as a single “given” in order to move on to Warlick’s proposed new “Three E’s” of expose, employ, and express (p. 14).

In the fourth dimension (what we normally think of as “time”), a single three-dimensional entity is seen as crossing through the fourth dimension. In the same manner, all three of the original Three R’s will be crossing through Warlick’s Three E’s; they are a requirement for branching into the “new literacy.” In other words, the Three R’s aren’t going away, they’re just becoming an assumption. Without the ability to read, write, and compute, it will be impossible to focus on the “contemporary literacy” of the learner.

So, while I wholeheartedly agree that all we need to do is redefine literacy, the practical question simply becomes, “but how?”

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    • Michelle on September 1, 2010 at 11:24 am
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    Thank you for going above and beyond what you’ve been asked to do!

    • Jada Reed on September 2, 2010 at 5:34 pm
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    That is a good question, how do we do that?? I think we will be changing with the times, or technology, quite a bit through the future of education. Nothing will ever be the same for a long period of time. I like how you mentioned that the Three R’s will be crossing through Warlick’s “Three E’s.”

    • pallender on September 2, 2010 at 11:07 pm
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    You practical question of but how, may be answered quicker than you think. I agree that society changes more slowly and with more resistance; but society as a whole is getting younger. In five or ten years most of the adults and youth in society will have grown up with technology. They embrace it and look forward to exploring and using it. Students are not afraid of the future and what changes are to be made. The studetns of today will be the society of tomorrow and they will get the ball rolling on moving forward with the use of technology. It will be because of the demands made by society that education must change to become a connected global learning environment.

    • amycooper on September 6, 2010 at 9:44 pm
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    I agree that the “how” is an undertaking. I think it’s more of an undertaking for the instructor than the student because children today are already immersed in technology. As others have stated, and myself, kids have technology at their fingertips and most times the adults in their life are further behind in skills than the children. We as the instructors need to open our minds to it and follow in the students’ footsteps and become more immersed. The three R’s will continue, but the modes how we learn them will be different if we are to follow Warlick’s path.

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