Literate, Resourceful and Habitual Learners?

I was sitting this afternoon reading through the multitude of blog posts that my Netvibes RSS aggregator has set before me and I spent some time chewing through a recent David Warlick post that ended with the following question.

What ICT is going to help my children learn by helping them to become literate, resourceful, and habitual learners — engaged in a learning lifestyle?

David Warlick posed this question in relation to his (and others) ongoing ponderings about the iPad as an educational tool and also brought up his description of contemporary literacy. The following is copied from his original post.

When information is Networked, Reading expands into Exposing what is True (finding, decoding, evaluating, building meaning, etc.)
When information is Digital, Arithmetic expands into Employing the Information, working the numbers that define all information to add value.
When information is abundant (overwhelming), then Writing expands into Expressing Ideas Compellingly. Producing a message that competes for the attention of the audience.

It was this description of the traditional 3R’s in a contemporary setting, together with the closing question that made me think less about technology and more about the teacher in the classroom. If the aim is for our students to be literate, resourceful and habitual learners then I would suggest the first step in that journey is for we who profess to be teachers to be exactly that.





How many of us are truly ‘literate’ enough to develop in our students the ability to ‘expose what is true’ when reading? How confident are we to use the technology we have at our and our students’ disposal to find, decode, evaluate, etc as they aim to expose?
How many of us are constantly ’employing’ the information we ask our students to expose in an effort to add value? Do we consistently ask students to make what they expose relevant or useful to someone else? Is what we ask students to expose relevant or useful to them???
How many of us are being resourceful and expressing our ideas compellingly for our students? Do we consistently ask our students to produce a message for an audience? A real audience that would be compelled to listen/read/view/consume?

Coming back to David Warlick’s original question relating to what ICT is going to help, I think the first step is to ensure that we, as teachers, are literate in the use of ICT to expose. Literate in the use of ICT to add value. Literate in the use of ICT to make a message compelling. Once we, as teachers, are literate, resourceful and habitual in these areas then whatever tool a teacher chooses to use or is available to them in their classroom is going to help.

What do you think?


It's play time

This morning my nearly three year old daughter woke up with the first words, “I just wanna play”. It made me smile.

For the last week or so I have been engaged in training a group of teachers in the use of SMART Boards which are soon to be installed in their classrooms. Many, having never touched or even seen a smart board, were immediately excited by the opportunities having such a tool in the classroom would offer and were eager to get up a start working with the board. On more than one occasion the phrase, “I just want to play with it” was uttered. I know I am certainly not the first to realize that no matter how old we are, play is at the heart of learning, but hearing it from my colleagues and from my daughter in the same week has helped me to remember.

When was the last time you played?

Sent from my iPad

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