As I wrote back in February, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is really beginning to focus on 21st century literacies. I’ll be heading off to their annual convention, Because Shift Happens: Teaching in the 21st Century, in San Antonio this weekend where I’ll be presenting with Anne Smith, Kristin Leclaire and Mike Porter. NCTE has a Ning setup for the convention, are running some sessions in an area called the New Media Gallery, and have Tech to Go Kiosks organized by Sara Kajder with some help from Bud Hunt.
The November issue of the NCTE Council Chronicle (pdf) also has several articles (The “C’s of Change” (pdf), Widening the Audience: Students Reading and Writing Online (pdf), and Reading and Writing Differently (pdf)) that focus on trying to get our heads around what 21st century skills really are, and what it might mean to be literate in the 21st century. They also have an online “extra”, More Thoughts on 21st Century Literacies.
I think all these articles are worth your time – and are worth sharing with any teacher in your building that works with literacy (which is hopefully every teacher in your building). And then encourage those teachers to get involved in the conversation. As Bud Hunt says in one of the articles,
I’ve probably learned more about teaching and learning as a result of being engaged in professional discussions online than I’ve learned in any meeting or class or directive from an administrator.This is too important for your teachers not to be involved in this discussion.