*Shifting Literacies – A Learning Conversation

 Anne Smith  asmith@lps.k12.co.us  http://learningandlaptops.blogspot.com/
Leclaire    kkakos@lps.k12.co.us   http://21ckakos.blogspot.com/
NCTE definition of 21st Century Literacies http://www.ncte.org/governance/literacies

Blogging: Why Blog?

  • Extend classroom walls: create learning communities outside of the school day, peer to peer, teacher to peer, global partnerships. Also, extends the learning: teacher doesn’t drive the discussion, students do
  • Help kids learn: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. These have all been important in classrooms, but now with 21st century learning, reading, writing, speaking and listening can look differently. Meet every students needs.
  • Creating authentic audiences with meaningful and relevant assignments.
  • Create digital footprints: wider audience
  • Build a community of learners: discuss problems, challenges, display successes
    Synchronous and asynchronous learning


(Click the wikispaces link at the top to see examples of student blogging.)


  •  21st century learners: readings, pedagogy, learning theory, discussions, had to be a better way to teach and for kids to learn, same traditional teaching methods weren’t working the way we knew kids learn best

Student empowerment with learning

  •  Increased engagement
  •  Increased motivation to learn
  •  More meaningful and relevant
  •  Authentic learning
  •  Reflective about learning: think of this long term!
  •  Students learning from students

Shifting the role of teacher

  •  Scaffolding: Not a free for all learning environment
  •  Rubrics: class generated, everyone on the same page
  •  Expectations: class set expectations not just teacher
  •  Learning along with the students

Why do we think this is working?

o Positive impact on students wanting to talk about change in their learning

o Students want a say in their learning

o We are here for students, school doesn’t exist with out the kids

Why are we excited about these changes?

o Watch kids be passionate learners

o Enthusiasm and engagement

o Reinventing my role as a teacher

How has technology transformed our classroom?

  •  No limits to demonstrating their learning: Photostory, podcasts, blogging, Google tools, wikis, etc.
  •  Collaborative nature of technology: connected within classroom, outside of classroom walls, global connections
  •  Meets a variety of learning styles
  •  Shifted the learning to the students
  •  Personalized learning
  •  Producers of information: not just for the teacher, or for their peers but for the world
  •  Meet the 21st century learners needs and new literacies

Things we struggle with:

  •  Sustainability
  •  Harder work to teach and learn this way
  •  Kids sometimes push back, parents sometimes push back

Tools that have transformed our classrooms: Photostory, wikis, podcasts, blogging, MovieMaker, polleverywhere



  • Why do students like wikispaces?
    • We are finally tapping into their literacy–21st century literacy–and they feel that what they are doing is important in the real world.
    • These projects will not sit in closets; they leave digital footprints–true and lasting imprints that contribute to the rapidly changing design of the 21st century world. Shouldn’t the classroom be a part of this world?
  • Why do teachers like wikispaces?
    • Well, first and foremost, because my students like them.
    • Secondly, I like the emphasis on the synthesis of an entire semester or year; not only are they synthesizing multiple texts with their own experience, but they are synthesizing multiple literacies as well.

Transformational Difference though…shifting learning to kids, to meet kids needs so that they learn best! They become producers of information, creating their digital footprints, and collaborating in the world as a participant not just as a recipient of information.