In my last post I was examining what David Warlick has to say about integrating technology into the classroom in his book Redefining Literacy 2.0 and I quoted him as saying, “Educators should seek to integrate literacy, rather than integrate technology.” So what does David mean when he uses the term literacy? Well, his entire book is devoted to what he believes literacy looks like right now, but he boils it down to its simplest form by saying this: “Literacy comprises those skills involved in using information to accomplish goals.” He also says “that perhaps the best thing we can be teaching our students today is how to teach themselves (how to learn what they need to know, to do what they need to do),” and “that the literacy habits we want them to develop are actually learning literacies.”
Well, I must say, this is exactly what we school library media specialists have been doing for years! Our speciality is categorizing, storing, searching, evaluating, synthesizing, organizing, and communicating information, whether online or in print! And our primary goal is to equip students to do it, too! From the American Association of School Librarians web page entitled Information Literacy:
AASL provides leadership for the development of dynamic, student-centered school library media programs. These programs help ensure that students master the information literacy skills needed to be discerning consumers and creative producers of information and ideas.
And how ironic that in a time when the world of Internet information is more bewildering to users than ever, when Google (see this NY Times article) and Wikipedia (see this Wikipedia article) are some of the most commonly used (and often least effective) research sources, and when President Obama himself proclaims that “teachers are the single most important resource to a child’s learning,” school librarians are being cut from many schools due to budget concerns. Continue reading