Technology Literacy at the K-8 Level: Conversation About Learning, Pedagogy, and the 5W’s

Facilitators: Edwin Wargo & Joe Bires

What is Technology Literacy to You?
What is Technology Literacy toYour School or State?
What is Technology Literacy toYour Students?
What values and beliefs frame your definition of Technology Literacy?

This is where we return to the concept of lamination, of the layering of different forms of literacy, as introduced by Brandt. Both books make interesting contributions to the developing scholarship on new literacies (cf. Gee, 2003; Lankshear & Knobel,2003), arguing more pointedly than others for an appreciation for how traditional and new literacies coexist. Literacy today is not simply a matter of making a singular word plural. Simply by calling them literacies we have not solved all the problems of understanding what it means to be a literate individual in the 21st century. Rather, being a literate 55-year old is different than being a literate 45- or 35- or 25-or 15-year-old. Each cohort appropriates new opportunities, new ways, and new practices of being literate, but these new ways do not usually displace old ways. Being a technologically savvy 60-year-old means having a particular lamination of literacies that a 20- or 10-year-old is unlikely to duplicate. (Who younger than 50 ever had to type a dissertation using actual carbon paper between four layers of paper in order to produce the copies needed for the committee?) Having a strong grasp of new literacies for a 15-year-old means one is on a literacy journey that starts from an entirely different point and will include a different combination of literacies than will the journey of a 45-year-old in this new century.

And this contrast brings us to what we see as one of the most interesting points these authors make, the layering or lamination of literacies that coexist in individuals and in communities of practice (Lave, 1996; Wenger, 1999). Older forms of literacies are not always replaced or displaced by newer forms. In individuals, they often exist side by side, called upon when needed, influencing one another and shaping one another.

The lamination of reading and composing skills that represent what individuals can bring to any literacy act ultimately defines what is meant by multiple literacies.

From: Schallert, D. & Wade, S. (2005). The literacies of the 20th century: Stories of power and the power of stories in a hypertextual world.Reading Research Quarterly, 40, 520-529.


Photo Credit:
Further Reading on Hemingway's Icebery Theory:

Technology Literacy Assessment and Skills


New Jersey Technology Literacy Standards (NJTAP-IN)

State Technology Literacy Standards (directory provided by SETDA)

eSchoolNews 21st Century-Technology Literacy Resource Center

Will Richardson's Blog Post: Response to Jay Richardson

David Warlick's Blog Post: Technology Literacy?

Etalbert's Great Blog Wrap-Up of Literacy Definitions