Using ICT to develop literacy


A useful resource from UNESCO called Using ICT to Develop Literacy is now available as a PDF download from their website. It’s an easy read – concise and useful, focusing on five key ways in which ICT can support literacy

  1. Enhancing Learning
  2. Broadening Access to Literacy Education
  3. Creating Local Content
  4. Professional Development of Teachers
  5. Cultivating a Literacy-Conducive Environment

There is a useful discussion at the beginning of the document on how literacy is defined:

“The word ???literacy??? is often used today as a substitute for the word ???ability??? or ???competency???. For example, ???computer literacy??? is the ability to use computers, and access and create information through a computer. Such uses should not be confused with the term ???literacy??? as we use it here, i.e. the skills related to reading, writing and communicating in the written form.

Examples of other uses of the word ???literacy??? include:

  • Information literacy: The skills required to organize and search for information, while also analyzing that information.
  • Critical literacy: the ability to engage in critical thinking, and judge the intention, content and possible effects of written material.
  • Mobile literacy: The ability to use mobile technology, such as a mobile phone and its non-voice features.
  • Media literacy and research literacy: The ability to be a discerning reader and the ability to find various types of information.
  • Cultural literacy: the ability to understand cultural, social and ideological values in a given context.
  • Legal literacy: the knowledge of basic legal rights and how to protect those rights.
  • Visual literacy: the interpretation of images, signs, pictures and non-verbal (body) language. “

The resource also contains a range of informative case studies and illustrations from a variety of cultural contexts.

One of the focus areas, professional development, is a particular interest of mine, and on that subject, here are a couple of other links that I found over the weekend:

???Cultivating Digital Educators??? – a paper by two school teachers from the US in which they share their experiences and ideas about how to transform a traditional school environment into one where teachers effectively use technology for collaboration, curriculum development, instructional delivery, and student engagement. Their presentation is available as an 18min movie download and is worth viewing.

Beyond Spray and Pray PD – an article by Wesley Fryer in TechLearn nothing new here at all, in fact, everything he reveals in this latest ‘epiphany’ is what has underpinned the ICT PD cluster schools programme in New Zealand for the past six years – but always good to have this affirmed!

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