Literacy 2.0

We’ve been at the drumbeat so long – is the message finally beginning to take root? Here’s a quote from the pages of Educational Leadership’s March ’09 issue on the theme of “Literacy 2.0”:

As we consider the shift away from text centrism, it is clear that many of the skills needed to command the new media collage would, by today's school standards, fit best into an art curriculum, where concepts of color, form, and collage are part of the everyday narrative. Unfortunately, art—including music, drama, and the other arts—is largely viewed by K–12 education as, at best, an elective, and at worst, fluff to discard when money gets tight and No Child Left Behind bean counters bring high-stakes testing pressure to bear on school communities. Digital literacy demands that we treat art as the next R, just as important as the traditional 3 Rs. This is one of the most pivotal shifts in literacy that the digital age has inspired, and we should not deny our students these important literacy skills.

That comes from an article by Jason Ohler, who paints Literacy 2.0 as a “media collage,” drawing from the many communicative faculties in which students must be literate today – including linguistic, visual, digital, and time-based media. I can just imagine it: one art teacher for every English teacher on faculty in every school! Can you see it? Well, maybe not that fast. Still, it’s one thing to try and make the argument to the powers that be by waving a little article from an Art Ed. Journal. It’s quite another when it’s staring back at them from the pages of one of their own. How about dropping a copy or sending a link to the administrator or board member in your life?

For those who have been following David’s recent infatuation with the comics, there’s another great piece in this issue: an article by James Bucky Carter, who notes that comics and graphic novels are a perfect medium for bridging the multiple modalities – linguistic, visual, and time-based – that make-up this evolving model of literacy.


  1. dsgran said...
    Thanks for posting that, Mike! It makes an excellent argument for arts advocacy, which seems like something we all need to be doing more of now a days

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