This is sad in so many ways, not the least of which is that I believe newspapers (not necessarily the format, but the concept) are critical to a democracy. And I felt that The Rocky was doing better than most newspapers at trying to incorporate the web into their operation (obviously not profitably, though). It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out here in Colorado.
In the meantime, this spurs some questions for me. I am not particularly knowledgeable about newspapers or their business model, so I can’t really comment on that. But I wonder what this means for K-12 education, particularly here in Colorado.
What should this mean for how we teach students here in Colorado?
How does this affect where and how they find news information, and how do we as educators help them do that?
Will teachers in Colorado make the connection to their own classroom practice? Both in terms of the way publishing and audience is changing, but also in terms of how the status quo is not guaranteed to continue – and that outdated models can and will be replaced.
And, in light of Kathleen Bates Yancey’s (and the NCTE’s) call for a reexamination of writing in the 21st century, how will all teachers (not just Language Arts teachers) respond?
Perhaps most important, seen historically this 21st century writing marks the beginning of a new era in literacy, a period we might call the Age of Composition, a period where composers become composers not through direct and formal instruction alone (if at all), but rather through what we might call an extracurricular social co-apprenticeship.NCTE is calling for teachers and students to embrace writing “authentic texts in informal, collaborative contexts” where there “isn’t a hierarchy of expert-apprentice, but rather a peer co-apprenticeship in which communicative knowledge is freely exchanged.”
Does this describe your classroom?
We have to move beyond a pyramid-like, sequential model of literacy development in which print literacy comes first and digital literacy comes second and networked literacy practices, if they come at all, come third and last.How are you developing not only print, but digital and network literacy practices in your classroom?
Yancey’s article helps us “understand an increasingly important role for writing: to foster a new kind of citizenship.” In an age when newspapers are failing (at least in a business sense), this is going to be critical not only for our students, but for our democracy.
We need to become serious about helping students becomes citizen composers instead of good test takers.Are your students on their way to becoming citizen composers?
Update 2-27-09: The Rocky has a "Final Edition" video up, I'm embedding it below. Also, John Temple has an article where he tries to explain some of the economics of why Denver can't support two papers.
Final Edition from Matthew Roberts on Vimeo.