Now that I’ve provided you with an introduction to the Multiliteracy Project, I’m back to give you a run down of the literacies I see present in this collaborative work.
A colleague recently loaned me a very clever book entitled “World Class: The Re-education of America,” which was co-written by an Art teacher, Mary Ellen Shevalier and a French teacher, Françoise Piron. On page 66, Françoise Piron’s ideas sum up what the Multiliteracy Project is trying to do.
“If we are indeed committed to preparing our students for the world and for the future, then we must be able to work cooperatively with our colleagues to create curriculum that generates meaningful connections. We must integrate differing but complementary subject areas and make use of technological tools as a means to enhance student experiences in the classroom and beyond.”
The following questions may be raised: How can we at Marcellus improve what is already an excellent district? How can we better prepare our students for jobs that don’t exist today? What is one thing we can focus on to improve 21st century learning? I’m going to answer all of these questions with one word: Multiliteracy!
This circle graph depicts the literacies that are present in the Multiliteracy Project, with some of them being more prominent than others. As you can see, multiliteracy means much more than becoming literate in more than one language. According to Wikipedia, cultural literacy is “familiarity with and ability to understand the idioms, allusions and informal content that create and constitute a dominant culture.” Information literacy is “the ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use that information for the issue or problem at hand.” Traditional literacy is knowledge of alphabetic and grammatical structures in one’s own native language allowing one to be able the read, write, and think in the language. I have grouped Network literacy, Computer literacy, and Digital literacy together because they all have the common theme of technology; however, they are not used interchangeably.
To describe network literacy, I will use P. Woessner’s “Technology in the Middle” website.
“In the words of Will Richardson, Network Literacy is ‘The ability to create, grow and navigate personal learning networks in safe, ethical, and effective ways.’ Students will engage in the networked world with or without us; our guidance can help them make responsible choices.”
This infographic best depicts a networked teacher. A networked teacher would use his or her networking skills with students and also teach those students how effective networking can improve learning and promote self-learning and life-long learning.
“Computer literacy is defined as the knowledge and ability to use computers and related technology efficiently, with a range of skills covering levels from elementary use to programming and advanced problem solving.” (Source: Wikipedia)
“Digital literacy is the ability to locate, organize, understand, evaluate, and analyze information using digital technology. Digitally literate people can communicate and work more efficiently, especially with those who possess the same knowledge and skills. A person using these skills to interact with society may be called a digital citizen.” (Source: Wikipedia)
Creation literacy is something I made up for this project. I define it as the ability to create and share meaningful content. The content can be in any format. Creations could be artistic, musical, dramatic, digital, etc. This portion of multiliteracy has opened the most doors to collaboration and cross-curricular projects. We work with students who possess an enormous amount of creativity. By providing students with projects that offer creative choices, we can see improved student motivation and learning.
Learning literacy is the knowledge of one’s learning styles, and the proper use of this knowledge. Skills in learning literacy promote self-learning and life-long learning.
Finally, L2 stands for second language literacy. All the current research tells us that by learning another language we come to know our own language better, thus implying that literacy in our native tongues can be improved through second language learning. The proven benefits to language learning seem to keep growing. According to the staff writers at BestCollegesOnline.com, there are ten proven benefits to being bilingual:
- Staves off dementia
- Improves cognitive skills (in other words, it makes you smarter!)
- Heightens creativity
- Easier time focusing on tasks
- Greater control over literacy skills
- Heightens environmental awareness
- Easier time switching between tasks
- Denser grey matter
- Faster response time
- Higher scores on intelligence tests
When two or more of these literacies are combined for instructional use, this is what I consider to be “Multiliteracy.”
Thank you for reading! I will be back soon to explain the different dimensions this project has taken.
In the meantime, to learn more about the project creator, please visit here.